We've just returned from a grand three days, participating in the 10th Annual Monte Shelton N.W. Classic Rally. Our '68 Porsche 911L performed splendidly for the 1,000 miles through Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, and never missed a beat until it was three miles from home. We stopped to pick up our daughter at my wife's sister's house, and when we restarted the car, a horrific noise emanated from the engine compartment.
Although we haven't opened the engine up yet, all indications point to the dreaded "chain tensioner collapse" that we've been warned about so many times. Hopefully, by shutting the engine down immediately when we heard the sound, we're only looking at a $500 repair job. However, if the valves have kissed the pistons, we'll need to add a zero to the previous number.
But back to the Rally. A few months back, our colleague Peter Egan at Road & Track penned an insightful article about closed vintage sports cars and their superiority over open cars for daily use. Having grown up behind the wheel of Frog-Eyed Sprites, MGA roadsters and Alfa Giulietta Spiders, our immediate reaction was that Mr. Egan was going weak in the knees and retreating to the closed-car soft underbelly of the collector world, a place where folks who would really rather run the Colorado Grand in a Rolls Corniche, with the cruise control and a/c activated, hang out.
After driving the Monte Shelton Rally in the 911, we've become coupe converts. At the end of each 300-mile day, we didn't have to peel the bugs from our sunglasses or have our hair combed out by a threshing machine. Further, the tautness of the chassis gave the car a solid, predictable feel as we attacked the winding roads of the route. As far as our peformance in the Rally, let's just say that we weren't called to the podium for a top five, ten, twenty or even fifty finish. Maybe next year we'll bring a stop watch.
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ANOTHER
Once the 911 engine has been brought back to life (it's in the capable hands of our resident foreign car guru, Nasko of Nasko's Imports), it's time to send it down the road and look for another classic collectible under $10,000. Our goal is to own and drive two to four of these entry-level sports cars every year, and report our experiences to you.
By advertising the 911 in SCM, we'll also have a chance to find out just how right or wrong our notions of the market are. There's nothing like having your own dollars at stake to give a price guide new meaning.
We'll be asking $7,500 (with new tensioners, of course), and are open to trade plus or minus cash for a decent '67 or earlier MGB-GT or MGB roadster, a chrome bumper TR6, Volvo P-1800, even a Porsche 914/4 2.0 liter - or whatever you might have gathering dust in your garage. If you'd like to talk, call me at 503-261-0333, fax 503-252-5854, e-mail: email@example.com.
We've been pleased by your positive response to our increased photo coverage of events, and look forward to larger spreads. As the typical SCM subscriber seems to be extremely active in rallies, vintage races and concours, we'd like you to send us a photo of your car and a brief description of the event depicted, for use in future issues.
We're also looking for subscribers who are brave enough to tell the world what they actually paid for their cars, to feature in our popular Subscriber's Profile series. Lack of space has precluded a Profile in this issue, but it will be back next issue and every issue thereafter. If interested, please contact Bill Neill at 503-261-0555, e-mail:bneill@ sportscarmarket.com. Share your brilliant buys and your village idiot ones with the SCM family. If any group on the planet will sympathize, it is they.
We'll have a full-color brochure on our upcoming Insider's Tour to Barrett-Jackson in the next issue. Among the featured speakers at the morning seminars will be Don Williams of Blackhawk and Craig Jackson, along with other well-known movers and shakers in the collector car world.
After the brief introductory remarks, we will go into closed-door sessions to have no-holds-barred discussions about the market in general, and the cars to be offered in specific. We will have our well-known "Field Walk," where as a group we look at cars that you might be interested in bidding on, and give you the benefit of our collective knowledge.
Also, we have arranged for an on-site hospitality suite for seminar participants, which will give you a place to escape from the hubbub of the auction activity for a few minutes each day.
To be put on the list for more information about the Insider's Tour, please contact Cindy Banzer at 503-261-0555, fax 503-252-5854, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE COVER
With so many Formula cars being covered in this issue, it seemed appropriate to feature a painting by Argentinean Alfredo de la Maria that depicts these grand cars in action. According to Bill Noon of Symbolic Motors, "This is most likely the International Gold Cup race held on September 17, 1966, at Oulton Park in Great Britain." A 40-lap race that covered 110 miles, the painting shows a red, 36-valve, 3-liter V12 Ferrari 312 F1car in the lead, perhaps driven by John Surtees. The other factory Ferraris are piloted by Mike Parkes and Lorenzo Bandini. Jim Clark is shown in the Lotus on the right hand side, and the eventual winner, Jack Brabham, is in the blue car on the left.
This painting is in the extensive collection of Symbolic Motors (619-454-1800). Mr. De La Maria's exclusive North American representative is Bob Kovaleski (619-558-0568, fax 619-558-6688).