We are frequently reminded that there are no constants in the car market. No price is absolutely too high or too low, no deal completely good or bad. A 1966 Triumph TR4 that may only bring $8,000 when dragged out of a garage in Arkansas may fetch $18,000 when fully detailed and offered under the shining lights of the Barrett-Jackson stage. Both prices are correct, and both deals can be called fair.
Private buyers looking for dream fulfillment may pay thousands more for a car than a dealer would. If that buyer is happy with a car, the price they paid is nearly irrelevant. The purpose of the Price Guides and market commentary in SCM is less to critique individual transactions, than to use them to help provide a broad-brush overview of the buying and selling in the collector car world as we see it. Hundreds of transactions a month cross our desk, and from this chaos emerge patterns that can help all of us understand the market.
When we watch someone with $225,000 cash-in-fist try to buy a perfect Ferrari F-40 and after three months fail to land one, we can surmise that the overall market for these supercars is heading upwards. Similarly, when we see 288 GTOs languish month after month at $300,000 asking prices, with no offers tendered, it tells us that the market for these tube-frame 308 lookalikes is still very soft.
By reporting what we observe, and relating it to other sales and purchases that we are aware of, we can provide collectors with information that will can them shape their buying decisions. However, most non-commerical collectors make decisions that are at least 50% emotional, coupled with a smidgen of practicality. All Price Guides and market commentary notwithstanding, a deal is a good deal for an end user if, for the amount paid, the buyer was able to satisfy an emotional need, to acquire a dream, or to fulfill a long-held ambition. Only those looking for a quick turn or an immediate profit need to worry obsessively about "buying right."


We mentioned several months ago that we had committed to expanding SCM's offerings. In addition to having a monthly center color section, we have a new auction calendar at the front of the magazine (please send, fax or e-mail your auction listings to the address on the column), have instituted a monthly subscriber profile, a new column concerned with legal matters and are working on a technical forum. Finally, our color advertising section, "Showcase Gallery," has already been a great success and is chock-full of attractive cars for sale each month. Our goal is to provide, at reasonable cost, a forum for you to present your automobile in the most attractive way possible, to lure motivated buyers your way. Keep sending your photos; nothing would make us happier than to be able to add a second, third, fourth or more pages of color ads for subscribers' cars for sale.
Next on our list is a "Spotter's Guide," which would provide a quick identification chart, in color, for specific marques. For instance, wouldn't it be convenient to be able to look at photos of a Maserati A6/GCS, A6G/2000, 150S, 450S, and later models on a single page? There seem to be any number of marque-specific books that have a great deal of information about various collectible cars, but none has a simple, pictorial identification chart. SCM will remedy this.
As always, we welcome your reaction to these additions, and any further suggestions you have as to what we might provide to enable you to become better informed collectors.


There are some new faces at SCM as well. Richard Carey has joined us as Auction Editor. Rick is the former Editor and Publisher of the Auto Market Journal, and most recently was Commercial Director for Callaway Cars during the building and racing of the Callaway Corvette Le Mans and the Callaway C7. In addition to his keen eye and trenchant style, his location in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, makes it easier for SCM to have a presence at East Coast auctions. Rick also manages AxioMedia, which develops and manages motorsports-based marketing, sponsorship and public relations programs. If you are looking for help in promoting your brand, product or cause through motorsports, AxioMedia may be reached at 860-388-2566, fax 860-388-2567 or email: [email protected].
Have you noticed that SCM is getting to you a little earlier each month? Thank our new Assistant Editor, Bill Neill. A native of Portland, and alumnus of Wesleyan University, Neill was formerly Editor of Car Audio magazine, a Los Angeles-based publication with a 150,000 monthly circulation. He drives one of his collectible MoPars to work when it is raining, and rides either his '75 Laverda 750SF or '76 BMW R75/6 on what we hope will be frequent sunny days coming our way this spring and summer.
Neill is responsible for writing feature articles for SCM, and for pulling together all of the disparate parts that make up SCM, and it is directly through his efforts that we have been able to add so many new components to the magazine while at the same time increasing its timeliness.


Nicholas Watts has captured a moment from the epic battle of the titans, the Porsche 917 / Ferrari 512 joust at Le Mans in 1970, in his painting, "The Power and the Glory - A Tribute." During the race, the Porsche depicted was the Brian Redman / Jo Siffert 917, being pursued by the Jacky Ickx / Clay Regazzoni Ferrari. In the movie "Le Mans" filmed that year at the circuit, the same scene was recreated with actor / racer Steve McQueen piloting the Porsche and Derek Bell in the Ferrari.
Limited-edition signed prints of this painting, signed by Redman, Ickx, Richard Attwood, David Piper, Derek Bell and Nicholas Watts are available for $295. We are told that of the original edition of 500, fewer than one-third are still available. Contact Steve Austin's Automobilia, 503-643-8080, fax 503-643-1302. (Oregon).

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