The Martin-Banzer garage is about to get more interesting. It appears that Cindy Banzer, my wife and SCM Executive Editor, has found her blue 308 GTS, and I'm back in the hunt for a GTC/4.
The past few months have been a collector-car dry spell for us, as we've focused on growing the magazine. In August, as SCM faithful are aware, we embarked on a massive newsstand campaign. Plus, responding to your requests, we've expanded our coverage of concours, tours and readers' collections, while refining our profiles and trademark auction reports.
Our circulation is now over 50,000 per month, making us, size-wise, one of the two largest publications in the collector car niche. For those of you who have been with us since our origin 16 years ago as the mimeographed eight-page Alfa Romeo Market Letter, we hope you've enjoyed the ride. We certainly appreciate your continued support.
If you've joined recently, welcome aboard. You can expect to see ever more features in the future, plus a whole host of other exciting stuff. We take great delight here at SCM in coming up with new ideas for what is really your magazine, to help us all enjoy the collector car hobby more fully.
But back to the garage.


For awhile, there was nothing but good stuff passing under our portals. A Lancia Flaminia Zagato, a Healey BJ7, a Ferrari 330 America, a Lotus M-100 Elan, an Isetta and an early 911 were all part of the SCM fleet, albeit in serial fashion.
But recently, our cars have become a kind of motley crew. Setting aside the metallic green 1976 Pacer that Cindy bought me as a surprise Christmas present in 2002 ("What have I done wrong," I wondered), our downwards slide into automotive mediocrity, if not absurdity, began with a 1966 two-stroke Saab 96. SCM legal analyst John Draneas and I plucked it out of a ghost town in Montana, and drove it home to Portland. Or more correctly, drove towards home and got just past Spokane before the motor puked.
Our '73 VW Thing is a terrific beach car, and Alexandra, our twelve-year-old daughter, learned to drive in it last summer. But it's hardly a piece that gives you bragging rights at Pebble.
The trusty SCM '92 Corvette LT-1 six-speed was perfect for the 7,000-mile roundtrip that good friend Bill Woodard and I made up the Alcan Highway to Anchorage and back this summer. But it really taught us everything it could and has now gone off to an SCM'er in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The Corvette was the newest car we've owned, and the most reasonable in terms of maintenance costs. By the time we had repaired the pricey adjustable suspension, replaced the clutch and thrown a new set of tires on it, our total investment was about $14,500. The sale price was $12,500, and the $2,000 we "lost" seems like a reasonable cost for the pleasure we got from the car.
If you'd like to own ex-SCM collector car, we've put a new motor in the Saab and it's smokin' away just like when new. It will be making an appearance on eBay in the near future; sadly, neither Barrett-Jackson, RM, Christie's, Bonhams, Mecum, Silver, Russo and Steele, Artcurial or McCormick were excited about having it as a headliner.


An East Coast SCM'er has been talking with Cindy about his blue 1980 308 GTS, and it appears a deal will be closed by the time you read this.
As our garage will be pretty full by the time her 308 arrives, I asked Cindy if she was thinking that we might sell her trusty 1978 Alfa Spider, that we've owned for nearly twenty years, to make room for the Ferrari.
"Of course not," she replied. "We'll just have to punch out the back wall of the garage and make room for more cars." Yet another reason to love her.
And now it's my turn. I miss having a vintage Ferrari in the garage. The year we spent with our '83 Mondial QV Cabriolet was terrific, but there's nothing that can match the sound of a V12 being fed through multiple Weber carburetors. (Of course, we've also learned that short of off-shore power boat racing or flying a private jet, there's also nothing that can match the cost of a V12 with serious needs.)
A Daytona has its appeal, but the lack of back seats continues to be an issue. It's great fun to take our daughter with us, and at least for the next few years (until she gets her own license and car-she thought the Corvette might be a nice starter car for a 16-year-old), it's 2+2s for us.
Some months back I asked SCM'ers who had GTC/4s for sale to forward me the information, and I received quite a bit of stuff. Thank you.
But the timing wasn't right then to pull the trigger, and now it is. You know what I'm looking for: something decent but not concours, fully serviced, with no bad stories or gotchas. I'd like to be able to fly to wherever it is and drive it home without getting friendly with a flat-bed driver.
If you've got something that you think fits the bill, please e-mail me at [email protected], send mail to 6833 SE Pine Court, Portland, OR 97215, or call me directly at 503.261.0333.
Does this mean we're not looking for anything else of interest? Of course not. It's time to have a decent Series I E-type coupe, a good Maserati 3500 GT has some appeal, I miss the '69 383 4-speed Roadrunner I had a few years back, and I've even developed a hankering for a Pinzgauer to keep at our mountain cabin.
Just like you, I'm always looking for another. The C/4 just happens to be at the top of today's list.

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