Gazing Into the Crystal Piston

The continued buoyancy of the market at the top end is proof that America has the largest number of wealthy people of any nation in the world

The Monterey vintage week takes up about four months of every year. There are two months of preparation for it, which at SCM means poring over each auction catalog as it arrives, and placing our bets in the office pool concerning what the grand Read More

Just Be Glad It Runs

The cockpit swathed us in leather-trimmed functionality; ancillary systems like heating and coolant temperature control were just afterthoughts

“Have you noticed the oil streak that runs across the golf course and ends up under your Alfa?”

That was the comment I was greeted with as I ended the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally. A 500-mile, two-day event, it celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

As it is sponsored by the Alfa Read More

SCM at 20-Now a Survivor®

In 1988, I had just finished a stint as a sales manager for Ferrari dealer Ron Tonkin at his Portland Gran Turismo store, and was beginning to sell collector cars, by the container-full, to the then-hot European market.

While at the GT store, I had discovered Gerald Roush’s Ferrari Market Letter, the grandfather of all collector car value publications. Later, a Maserati Mistral I bought and sold had some correspondence in it from Frank Mandarano and a Read More

Do You Know the Way to Monterey?

The Insider’s Seminar is the one time each year that SCMers can come
together to discuss the state of the market and the trends to come

More than 20 years have passed since my first vintage-car-themed Monterey visit. The tale below is now an oft-heard one, repeated by nearly Monterey veteran. Back then the vintage races were by far the most important part of the weekend, with the concours at Read More

Cobras, Cobras Everywhere

“My brother and I just wanted to have a car that would always be the fastest at a stoplight drag race, and it has been”

Driving a 427 Cobra with sidepipes and an open exhaust is a ticket to be the badboy you always dreamed of being in high school. Within seconds of turning the key, you’re revving the engine every chance you get, especially in underpasses and tunnels, and generally Read More

The Shadow of the Internet

It’s a miserable, wet, 45-degree day in Portland as I compose this. And for the first time in a decade, I have missed the 44th annual Always-in-April Portland Swap Meet.

Billed as the largest event of its kind west of the Mississippi River, it claims to have over 4,200 vendor stalls and 50,000 shoppers. An event held at Portland International Raceway, just next door, attracts a large crowd as well.

But as I have said before, swap meets Read More

The Future as History

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As I look at these pictures of my children, Alexandra and Bradley, taken 16 years apart, I wonder what kind of automotive world they will inherit.

We Baby Boomers are the last generation to experience raw, unregulated cars as daily drivers; those built from 1955 through 1974 represent a golden age of motoring. Engineers and stylists answered only to their own whims and the marketplace, with no concerns about government safety and environmental regulations.

Egg-shell bumpers Read More

The End of No Reserve

At times, being at the epicenter of a collector car weekend is like sitting in a command bunker. In Scottsdale, SCM’s boots-on-the-ground team included nearly 20 market analysts, staff, and support crew.

During the weekend, they fanned out to all the events, notebooks and cameras in hand, and began submitting their reports back to HQ. Each sale or no-sale immediately became part of the emerging new market reality. They also engaged in numerous conversations with buyers and sellers, getting a Read More

The Swede Meets the Italian

If I worked in a regular job, I would surely be fired for sending
and receiving so many links about collectible cars for sale

First, I’d like to thank SCMers Craig Wood, of Brighton, Michigan, and Donald Sanders, of Durham, North Carolina, for being so quick to respond. When I wrote in the January issue that I was looking for an Alfa GT Junior or two-headlight GTV, they responded nearly as Read More

Leaving 1990 in the Dust

In my 20 years of writing about the market, I have never seen high-end cars accelerate in value like this

For the first time in two decades, we’re considering pulling a tattered banner out of storage and hoisting it above SCM world headquarters. It bears the fabled words of Monterey Sports Car Auction founder Rick Cole: “You can never pay too much; you can only buy too soon.”

I never Read More