You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone

I’ve been driving something for as long as I can remember. It started with the blue-and-white pedal car my grandfather got me when I was 3 years old.

Soon enough I had a Hawthorne 20-inch single-speed coaster-braked bicycle. We ordered it from the Montgomery Ward catalog and picked it up from their local store — a precursor to the modern-day Amazon locker.

I wore out several stacks of baseball cards by attaching them with a clothespin to the bike frame Read More

Hands-On Experience

I first met Gary Bartlett at a small gathering of Americans participating in the Mille Miglia in 1992.

We were in the small town of Soragna, near Brescia, Italy. Longtime SCMer Joe Tomasetti organized the dinner.

This was before the “MM” became a bucket-list event for wealthy enthusiasts from all over the world. There were few Americans. We were strangers in a strange land as we piloted our old cars across the Italian landscape.

Our little group included Cindy Banzer and Read More

I Missed Monterey Car Week

For the first time in 31 years, I missed Monterey Car Week.

On the weekend before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I can usually be found leading a ragamuffin “Catch Me If You Can” group of sports-car fanatics on a road trip down the Pacific Coast from Portland, OR, to Carmel. It’s SCM’s annual Caravan to Concorso.

Not this year.

I continue to make measured progress from my January stroke — as a dear friend always says, “Slow and steady Read More

Conducting the SCM 1000

Steven Harris was a modern-day Herbert von Karajan, conducting the Bridal Chorus from Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in downtown Baker City, OR. Two by two, he brought forward and arranged the multi-colored array of Porsches outside the Geiser Grand Hotel, which is located on the historic Oregon Trail.

Harris, a noted Porsche collector and New York City-based architect, arranged the front row of 911s the way an artist works with his palette. A vibrant green 1974 Carrera RS 3.0 was his contribution.

Read More

Birth of an Obsession

A red 1972 Chevrolet Impala convertible was the very first car I bought at an auction.

It was 1995. My then-wife Cindy Banzer and I drove seven hours north from Portland to Bob LeFlufy’s AutoClassic auction in Vancouver, B.C. Alexandra, just 4 years old, accompanied us.

“LeFluf,” since deceased, was a classic-car raconteur, the Canadian equivalent of SCM regular Uncle Raymond Milo. When the two of them, both inveterate smokers, got together, the evenings were long, the wine consumption formidable — Read More

Heart vs. Head

There are two cars that always pull at my heartstrings.

The first is a 1956 Mercury Montclair. My grandfather bought one new. I have fond memories of riding in the backseat of that car. It was two-tone Bumblebee Yellow and black. My grandfather loved that car — it was a step up from the Mercury he had owned before, and offered an upscale driving experience.

Some years back, I was working as the color commentator for the Barrett-Jackson auction broadcast. Read More

It’s the Memories That Matter

My son Bradley was 10 when I bought him a 1960 Bugeye Sprite two years ago. I was setting us up to make father-and-son memories together.

I chose a Bugeye because that was my first car. The day I turned 16, I was first in line to take my driving test. An hour later, after shelling out $30, I owned my first sports car.

Getting Bradley a Bugeye was no different than a father wanting his son to play the Read More

The Next Gen Wave

We are in the middle of a sea change in the collector-car world. In my three decades of publishing Sports Car Market, I have never seen anything like it.

Much has been written about the changing of the collector-car guard, with Millennials and Gen Xers rapidly joining Baby Boomers as front-line buyers and sellers.

It’s happening right before our eyes. Take a look at major auction company catalogs.

Up until five years ago, their catalogs pretty much ignored cars built Read More

On the Road to Recovery

January 5 was a crisp and clear Saturday in Portland. I had no inkling that my life, in the blink of an eye, was about to turn upside down.

I ran an easy three miles along the Willamette River that morning. That afternoon I watched the NFL playoffs. The Ravens were playing catch-up to the Chargers. I lost interest and decided to take a shower during halftime.

While in the shower I noticed my left leg getting wobbly, but I Read More

Enthusiast Collectors

Editor’s note: Publisher Keith Martin is making steady, strong progress on his stroke rehab. In fact, he’s back to writing his weekly blog for the SCM Email Newsletter. That said, we’ve invited a few friends to fill in for Publisher Martin’s “Shifting Gears” column until he’s ready to return. This month, Donald Osborne is here to share his thoughts.

On January 17, I moderated SCM’s Sixth Annual Scottsdale Insider’s Seminar at Gooding & Company. Panelists Carl Bomstead; Mark Hyman, owner Read More