I think we can officially do away with the term “Affordable Classic” when speaking about Monterey. In my opinion, when using the term “affordable,” we should generally be referencing something that the masses could easily afford.
The five rides I’ve chosen are valued from the mid-five digits to the mid-seven digits. That’s affordable, Monterey-style.
Five auction houses replete with hundreds of cars of every marque, age and condition transformed this sleepy peninsula into the world’s largest classic car showroom. I spent six days canvassing this full extravaganza of inventory, and there weren’t more than a handful of deals.
From least to most expensive, here are five sold lots that each owner should be thrilled to now own.
Any of our three international GTs fit in at any setting, and the valet guys just might leave you parked in front
The Monterey Week seems to symbolize all that’s grand, glorious, remarkable and somewhat unattainable in the collector car universe. I won’t repeat Jay Leno’s endlessly quoted line concerning millionaires and billionaires, but you can still cut quite a dash on the roads around the Monterey Peninsula — if not on the Read More
Italian sports cars quickly became successful after World War II — think Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia and Alfa Romeo — but Fiat’s entry-level two-seaters never totally captured the imagination or sales of enthusiasts.
In the 1960s, Bertone and Pininfarina slowly emerged as the top Italian styling houses, and they proved the Italians were particularly good at constructing graceful designs for small sports cars.
Yet, for Nuccio Bertone, the early 1960s were difficult. Fiat had not conveyed any interest in the Read More
When the Porsche Boxster show car debuted at Detroit in 1993, it created a lot of excitement.
The new, smallish, two-place convertible sent writers off to research the joys and frustrations of owning 356 Speedsters and roadsters. When the 1997 Type 986 Boxster finally arrived in showrooms three years later, pent-up customer demand assured their popularity. Road testers were predominantly enthusiastic, while Porsche enthusiasts were of divided opinions — as they always are whenever anything Read More
Ask any classic car enthusiast to name the 10 most significant vintage race cars of all time, and I’d wager that the Jaguar C-type or D-type — or maybe both — would appear on the list. It’s no accident that the XK-SS — the street-variant of the D-type — is one of the finalists in the most recent Sports Car Market March Madness poll.
The two racing versions made their mark in the most important Read More
Aston Martin and its various ownership incarnations have perfected the art of going under — think massive avalanche — and then being saved for another life of making cars.
Anyone familiar with the history of this much-admired, cherished and revered company realizes that Lazarus has nothing on these car builders from the United Kingdom.
The Big Three saviors that I will reference during the “walking on that razor for survival” chapters Read More
Few modern classics offer more performance and visual bang than a Lotus Esprit Turbo SE. Somehow, this softened version — the less-aggressive, non-origami, original shape — has aged gracefully over the past 20 or so years.
Peter Stevens gets credit for this design, with honorable mention to Julian Thompson for the refreshing in 1994.
I’m going to focus on the Esprit SE seen in “Pretty Woman” and ”Basic Instinct” instead of the Roger Read More
Is there such a thing as an affordable classic or a good deal during Monterey auction week? Watching collectors and enthusiasts flock to the numerous auctions searching for a special, once-in-a-lifetime deal is like watching a professional goat rodeo. If you are a chaos junkie, this is for you, but making sense of this madness can be taxing, perplexing and exhausting — even for seasoned pros.
Imagine every dealer, collector, punter, enthusiast and wannabe all gathering under a tent, vying Read More
The 105 Series Alfa Romeos are the cars most non-Alfisti think of when you say “Alfa.” And that’s not surprising, as all of them — coupe (GTV), convertible (Spider) or sedan (Berlina) — offer a level of mechanical sophistication, build quality and pure driving fun which is hard to beat in their price ranges. In addition, any of these Alfas can be used without fear in modern traffic. While your collector-car insurance agency might not appreciate it, these cars could Read More
The last volume-produced traditional British roadster was the Triumph TR6. Even in 1969 when it was introduced, it was obsolete. Magazines such as Road & Track clamored for better, newer sports cars with modern engines, chassis and unibody construction—cars that would finally dispense with antiquated features like lever-action shocks and feeble heaters.
In early 1975, Triumph finally introduced such a car in the TR7, which would be sold alongside the TR6 for about a year. Dubbed in ads as “the Read More