The Joys of Depreciation

Top-level luxury saloons are rarely purchased as an investment, but they hold their place in the market because they are status symbols. Among status symbols, Mercedes has long been at the top, with the Maybach brand creating even more exclusivity than Rolls-Royce or Aston Martin.

A 2004 Maybach 57 sedan sold for $93,500, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s 2016 Scottsdale auction. The car has fewer than 20,000 miles on the clock. Was this a stratosphere car gliding downward into Affordable Read More

Chicken Little May Have Had a Point…

Making sure your car is Q-tip-perfectly prepared before the concours judges arrive is stressful enough, but do we now have to watch for debris falling out of the sky? We’re talking about what the FAA calls Unmanned Aircraft Systems, but the rest of us call them drones.

Drones are pretty fantastic devices that hover and fly around in the sky with a camera and capture amazing photographic images and videos. Plus, they are a lot cheaper than helicopters. The high-quality, Read More

1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans

It was the Tipo 166, introduced in 1948 as a replacement for the 125 S, that first established Enzo Ferrari’s Modenese workshop as a leading manufacturer of racing cars. Powered by a 2-liter Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine, the 166 set forward a course of development that would define the look, sound and inimitable character of Ferrari automobiles.

Unveiled at Geneva in 1950, the Berlinetta Le Mans was a striking fastback with origins in the magnificent streamlined Alfa Romeo racing cars Read More

2003 BMW Alpina V8 Roadster

In 1956, BMW released the 507, a stunning two-seat roadster that delivered exhilarating performance, luxury and rarity and that remains one of the most coveted BMW models ever produced. At the 1997 Tokyo Auto Show, BMW displayed a stylish retro-inspired concept car, the Z07. The Henrik Fisker-designed concept was initially intended to merely exist as a sole concept, however the incredible reception and overwhelmingly positive acclaim spurred the decision to put it into limited serial production in 1999.

The resulting Read More

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Boano Coupe

During nearly a decade of production, Alfa Romeo’s highly successful 1900 series included just 854 examples of the 1900C SS, with the “C” denoting its short-wheelbase chassis and “SS” declaring its competition-oriented specifications.

This car was the star display on the Boano stand at the 1955 Turin Auto Show, and according to its corresponding Automobile Club d’Italia paperwork, the first individual owner was Giuseppe Dalmazio Vallerga of Milan.

The Alfa next passed among several owners, always remaining in Italy, and Read More

1952 Allard J2X

Exciting and engaging to drive, with features meant for performance over style, the Allard J2X successfully straddles the worlds of hot rods and sports cars. Truly a roadster intended for spirited driving, whether on the track or the street, the fun is in mastering its handling and its growling beast of an engine.

With the 1949 introduction of the J2 — a car designed to be successful in competition and to break into the all-important American market — Allard became Read More

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia

Admiring the car offered here, one would be hard-pressed to guess its origins as anything but Alfa Romeo in the early 1950s. Only its very American size and presence belie its roots, as do the subtle Cadillac script and badging.

Underneath its design, the creation of Ghia principal Luigi Segre is the same Series 62 that the average neighborhood banker drove to work in 1953. Such is the power of a coachbuilder to make over a car’s entire personality, transforming Read More

The Best Deals in the Desert

With crude-oil prices tanking, election rhetoric soaring, the stock market teetering and certain collector-car segments already correcting, Scottsdale 2016 was among the most keenly watched auctions since 2009. As described in Publisher Keith Martin’s column on p. 16, in aggregate, though, the effect was neither terrible nor terrific. Certain 1950s and 1960s bellwether investments, such as Ferraris and muscle cars, seemed down from previous highs. Then again, 1980s through 2000s sports cars continued to soar.

With some cars climbing, others Read More

1966 McLaren M1B Can-Am

In 1961, Bruce McLaren applied his design skills to the M1 sports racer, developed at the same time as the Lola T70. The two mid-engine cars would fiercely contest the new Canadian-American race series.

McLaren launched the M1 at the Mosport Grand Prix for sports cars in September 1964, where he led the race until throttle problems dropped him to 3rd. McLaren contested the rest of the season, and the car attracted customers. The first customer car was delivered in Read More