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

Thirty Years, 1,000 Miles

On July 12 of this year, the last of the classic cars on the SCM 30th Anniversary tour arrived at the posh Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland, OR.

For the previous four days, these 1950s and 1960s sports cars, all owned and driven by SCM subscribers, explored the backroads of Oregon. Stops included Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Crater Lake and the lava fields of the McKenzie Pass.

Longtime contributor Ken Gross chronicles his participation in the event on p. Read More