1964 Facel Vega II Coupe

Simon Clay, courtesy of Bonhams

In its relatively short life, the French firm of Facel produced approximately 2,900 cars, all of which were stylish, luxurious and fast. Hand built, they were, of course, necessarily very expensive — the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory — and were bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive. The roll call of owners includes royalty, politicians, diplomats and entertainers: Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner and Ringo Starr — the first owner Read More

A Collector-Car Catechism

At times, the SCM offices resemble an automotive confessional. Emails, texts, Facebook postings, faxes and sometimes even old-school, hand-written letters flood in — each missive asking for collector-car absolution or permission.

“Dear SCM, please forgive me as I have sinned and bought a car over the Internet without seeing it in person… again.”

“Keith, I am offered a great deal on a Ferrari. It’s a 308 GT4, friends tell me they are the last undervalued Ferrari, and they’re sure to Read More

1952 Jaguar C-Type Roadster

Simon Clay, courtesy of Bonhams

Some 54 C-types were manufactured in all, the majority for customer sale, leaving the model rarer than examples of the replacement D-type family. This Ecurie Ecosse C-type has often been listed as having been intended originally for export to a customer in Argentina named Carlos Lostalo. The order was allegedly canceled due to customs difficulties, whereupon the car was delivered instead to Rossleigh of Edinburgh, Jaguar distributors.

In fact the extensive — and beautifully bound — documentation file accompanying XKC042 Read More

1980 Porsche 911SC

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

This is a gorgeous 1980 Porsche 911SC coupe that runs and drives beautifully. This car features a very desirable color combination of ivory with brown leather. Well-optioned, with a factory power sunroof, original chrome wheels, air conditioning, 5-speed transmission and AM/FM/CD player. This is a one-owner, rust-free California car, and it still retains its original California blue plates. With only 15,000 original miles, this car is a very rare find.

1964 Ferrari 250 LM

Michael Furman ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

As Marcel Massini, the pre-eminent Ferrari historian declared, “Ferrari’s 250 LM is one of the most spectacular mid-engined sports cars ever built — a true competition race car rarer than the legendary 250 GTO, and the last Ferrari to win the grueling 24-hour race at Le Mans.”

Chassis number 6107 is the 24th car of only 32 Ferrari 250 LM examples produced, and it is particularly special because its first owner did not have racing in mind when he acquired Read More

Appreciation Replaces Depreciation

Although enthusiasts may argue over the true definition of “classic” as applied to automobiles, perhaps we can all agree on one criterion: If at some point in the car’s lifetime it stops depreciating — its market price stops declining — and the price then levels off and begins to rise, then the market has just declared it a classic. If the price continues to drop, then it’s just another used car.

The Mercedes-Benz 500SL roadster, introduced in 1990 on the Read More

Lawsuit Has a Bearing on Porsche Owners

Since a 2001 Porsche Boxster S resides in the “Legal Files” garage, this letter from noted Porsche authority Pete Zimmermann caught my attention:

Dear Legal Files:

It appears that Porsche has a problem. A really big problem. All because of a bearing, to be exact, an IMS (Intermediate Shaft) bearing. That bearing is an internal engine part, and it fails. Repair cost can range between $3,000 and $20,000-plus.

Unlike past engineering mistakes, Porsche ignored the IMS bearing problem for far Read More

1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB “Competition” Berlinetta Speciale

Michael Furman ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

The 250 GT SWB was an automobile that could be driven to the racetrack, easily decimate the competition, and then be driven home. Although there were detail differences from car to car, the 250 GT SWB was fundamentally a standardized design. However, that did not stop the demand for custom coachwork. Six chassis utilized custom bodies, with four of those being designed by Pininfarina and the other two built by Carrozzeria Bertone.

Offered here is the first Bertone-bodied SWB, chassis Read More

1973 Maserati Bora 4.9 Coupe

Daniele Turetta, courtesy of Bonhams

The highlight of the 1971 Geneva Salon was undoubtedly the sensational new Maserati Bora. With the Bora’s introduction, the great Modenese manufacturer followed other supercar constructors in going mid-engined, while at the same time abandoning its traditional tubular chassis technology in favor of unitary construction.

Named after an Adriatic wind, the Bora was the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design, at least as far as its bodyshell was concerned. The mid-mounted engine was Maserati’s familiar 4-cam V8 in 4.7-liter form, Read More

Grooming the Young Collectors

 There’s no question that America’s love affair with the car has changed dramatically.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal regularly report on the decline of numbers of driver’s licenses among young people, of fewer miles being driven and declining sales figures of new cars.

This lack of interest in driving is even more pronounced in Europe, where tight-knit cities and excellent train systems make having your own vehicle increasingly irrelevant — and expensive, due in part to high Read More