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.

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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

The Times, They Are Unchanging

Exactly 20 years ago, I wrote this lead to the “Shifting Gears” column for the March 1999 issue of Sports Car Market:

Would you have bought it anyway?

That’s what we seem to be asked most frequently about our 1964 Ferrari 330 America, pulled from a barn in Butte, MT, last October.

As the bills pile up, and the car remains stationary, that’s a fair question.

Since taking delivery of s/n 330GT5077, we’ve had Nasko of Nasko’s Imports put in Read More

Uncorking Two Top-Shelf Supercars

Irecently had a chance to drive two state-of-the-art supercars — a McLaren 720S and a Ferrari GTC4Lusso T.

The press kits that accompanied each car were full of cutting-edge technobabble. Lightweight turbines capable of 160,000 rpm. Twin injectors improving fuel nebulization. Magnetorheological dampers.

They carry price tags worthy of their prowess. The 720S that I drove stickers at $324,135, while the Lusso is at $347,930.

If this seems like a lot of money to you, you’re probably not a target Read More

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

I grew up in the Parkside District of San Francisco, with a view of the Pacific Ocean from the bedroom in the back of our house.

There was a bakery shop around the corner on Taraval Street. Each day on the way home from elementary school, I would stop in. The baker would squirt some icing into my mouth. I can still recall the sugar high when it hit my taste buds.

It’s no different now when I’m at a Read More