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.

It was the end of the second day of the 2019 SCM 1000. All 40 of the participating cars were parked on a closed-off downtown street. It resembled the staging area for a high-end catalog sale.

It looked like Monterey Car Week had come to Oregon!

This was the second running of the SCM 1000. What started last year as a celebration of SCM’s 30th Anniversary has become an annual event. It is an homage to 1,000 miles of Oregon and Washington back roads.

Seeing the 40 cars outside the Portland Art Museum the Sunday before the event began was like watching the pages of SCM come to life.

Every entrant was a subscriber. Many had brought their cars thousands of miles to be part of this traveling circus of user-oriented enthusiasts.

As incredible as the driving and the roads were, even more so were the free-form “Conversations with Collectors” that were held each afternoon before dinner.

Donald Osborne hosted each conversation. The discussions included longtime SCM contributors Miles Collier, John Draneas and Steve Serio. Each conversation about collecting and the state of the market attracted a packed room.

For enthusiasts who enjoy using their cars, the SCM 1000 has offered a chance to experience the majestic Columbia River Gorge, historic Timberline Lodge and Crater Lake National Park — while capping off each day with answers to the hot-button questions of today’s market.

“How long will the air-cooled 911 boom last?” “Can late-model supercars ever be considered true blue-chip collectibles?” “Will electric cars be the only cars to collect in 30 years?” and more.

For me, last year’s decision to host the inaugural SCM 1000 was fraught with uncertainties. Could we put a route together? How would we deal with all the logistics? Would anyone sign up?

This year, with the tour in the capable hands of Associate Publisher Erin Olson and route-master Neil D’Autremont, the event was as seamless as the one-two shift in a freshly rebuilt G50 gearbox. Further, last year’s and this year’s events were fully subscribed. The event is limited to just 40 pre-1974 cars.

Featured next year are the cars of England and those of Iso. Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 tour at The tour is from July 12 to 16, and the route features the magnificent Oregon Coast.

My road to recovery, part II

I was recovering in good fashion from the stroke I suffered last January when life threw me another curveball. I awoke on April 2 to sharp shooting pains emanating from my sciatic nerve that made it impossible for me to stand.

Over the next four months, a procession of doctors and physical therapists sought the cause of this pain without success. For those 120 days, my life was bleak. I was already recovering from the partial paralysis of the stroke and now was confined to a wheelchair, not knowing when or if I would be able to stand again.

My love for Alex and Bradley kept me going, along with the many well wishes and notes of support from all of you in my SCM family.

I am especially grateful for the unwavering support of those closest to me during my convoluted path to recovery.

Finally, through the thoughtful analysis of an MRI which may be utilizing a radiology ai software, an orthopedic surgeon in Portland, Dr. Daniel Rohrer, found a cyst on my spine. He said it was clearly impinging on my sciatic nerve. It had been growing for years — and was completely unrelated to my stroke.

“Let’s cut it out next week and get you walking again,” were his parting words after my examination.

After a four-hour operation on July 9 to remove the cyst, I was able to stand the next day without pain. It felt like a miracle to rise from the wheelchair after four months.

I am now back in full-fledged stroke recovery, walking with a cane and driving an automatic. My pace is slow and steady. I have a long way to go, but I am approaching it one day at a time. I look forward to seeing you as I return to the concours, auctions and events that have been my lifeblood for the past three decades. (Your comments and thoughts are welcome. I can be reached at [email protected].)

Godspeed, Nicole

Nicole Meguiar, daughter of Barry and Karen Meguiar and founder of the Benedict Castle Concours, died on June 20 at the age of 49. My favorite memory of Nicole is her bubbling with joy when $400,000 was raised for Teen Challenge at the Benedict Concours.

According to her father, “She passed peacefully with a smile on her face.”

She was a positive and sincere force in the car community. She will be missed. My condolences go to Barry and Karen. The family suggests that donations to be made in Nicole’s name. ♦

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