This pandemic sucker-punched all of us. In the past 30 days, the collector-car world has gone from hoping that things might stay the same to realizing they are changed forever. The cancellation of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Queen Mother of all car events, sent a clear signal. Is our future uncertain? Yes. Are we afraid? Yes. But it is okay to be nervous and worried when facing the unknown. Ultimately, we will pull through this and recover, moving towards the New Normal. We are resilient and determined. While our generation has not faced a crisis like this, those before us have. We have lived through — and conquered — the measles, mumps, tuberculosis and polio. This pandemic will pass as well. Defeating a virus does not require black magic. It requires a systematic, scientific approach. We have changed our patterns of social interaction, and will continue to do so until a vaccine arrives.

Moving forward

The hard-working SCM staff is practicing Safer At Home. While we are working remotely, we are also planning for the future. As the collector-car community re-emerges, you can count on SCM to be there. With this issue we begin our new section, “The Road Forward.” In it we check in with industry experts about the present — and the future. It begins on p. 108. We have modified our auction reports to provide more point and counterpoint about cars that have been sold. We are increasing our reporting on online auctions. People have not stopped loving their cars. Digital alternatives to car shows are popping up. The Isolation Island Concours, which you can find on Facebook, is a judged concours for model cars. It already has a dedicated following. SCM is a sponsor and selects the SCM Choice Award for each event. The Petersen Automotive Museum will host a virtual car week in August for its global audience.

Auctions ahead

RM Sotheby’s has made it clear that its Monterey online auction will be, simply put, amazing. Barrett-Jackson is throwing its considerable resources behind online sales as well. I’m sure the midnight Castrol R is burning at Bonhams, Gooding, Worldwide and other auction houses as they pivot to this new way of selling. I have a suggestion. In addition to the detailed descriptions and hundreds of photos we have come to expect with online sales, the land-based companies can offer even more. Why not have staff on-site at the auction who could take their smartphones and look in detail at cars in which bidders are interested? “Can you show me under the hood on that 330 America?” “Please fire up that Lancia Aurelia convertible and let me hear the engine!” With all the cars in one place, and by having bidders make appointments with on-site staff, traditional auction companies could provide a unique service.

SCM is here for you

For 33 years now, you have counted on SCM to be a calm hand on the tiller as we embraced and evaluated the collector-car market. We will continue to rely on our unmatched experts to offer you their opinions as events unfold. We’ll keep an eye on values and trends. We will also rely on your input, as we always have. These are not good times. But they won’t last forever. We will move forward until we come to a place where we can kick tires together. Once again we will be making snarky comments about cars with paint jobs that looked like they were applied by Sunkist, and with door and panel fits more theoretical than accurate. Those times will come again, and SCM will be there with you to celebrate them. ♦

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