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

Go for Z-Perfection or Nothing at All

It’s almost an axiom of the automotive world that an unloved make or model can gain respectability over time. The reasons for this phenomenon are many —changing tastes and fashions can transform a formerly ugly duckling, or advancing technology and engineering may reveal that a particular car was ahead of its time. But mostly, when all the models around a particular car have appreciated enough, they’ll bring the less-loved units along with them — to an extent, anyway.

That may Read More

Selling “As Is” or As It Should Be?

An SCMer wrote asking about potential liability if he sells his vintage Formula One car and the buyer is later injured as a result of a defect in the car. He knew he could clearly state that the car was being sold “as is” but wondered if that would be sufficient.

He was particularly concerned because vintage parts are not readily available and often have to be built from scratch, creating greater risk of design and manufacturing defects.

One’s first Read More

1964 Chevrolet CERV II

Michael Furman ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “Father of the Corvette,” the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle II is the first known operating example of torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, and it is among the most important Corvette development vehicles in private hands today. Since leaving General Motors, it has only been owned by the Briggs Cunningham Museum, Miles Collier, John Moores and the consigning owner.

The first CERV was completed in 1960, and it was aimed at open-wheel racing. Duntov began work on 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

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pininfarina

Michael Furman ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

The 250 series was Ferrari’s crowning achievement of the 1950s and early 1960s. The high-water marks of this series have defined the “Prancing Horse” in the decades since, and in many ways, the series set the stylistic and cultural tone, which has grown exponentially model after model.

From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spyder, to the Tour de France and, of course, the Series II Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V12 Read More

1961 Alfa Romeo SZ-1 Coupe

Simon Clay, courtesy of Bonhams

Alfa Romeo’s successful Giulietta range debuted in 1954 with the arrival of the Bertone-styled Sprint coupe, the Berlina (saloon) not appearing until the succeeding season. Veloce models with improved performance followed, and the agile Giulietta SV quickly established an enviable record in production-car racing, notable victories including a Gran Turismo class win in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Nevertheless, to fully exploit the car’s potential, lighter and more aerodynamic bodywork was deemed necessary — a requirement which resulted in the ultimate 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.

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