Austin-Healey was really a one-trick pony, a company that produced a single design and a few variations on that theme. From the first svelte, unadorned 100-4, with its graunchy three-speed gearbox and fold-down windshield, to the final ornate and luxurious BJ8, all the models we now call Big Healeys shared the same basic look. But the company of Donald Healey lasted barely more than 13 years.
That’s not very long for a car marque to live. After all, Mercedes Read More
I remember the first time I saw a Ferrari being used to haul lumber. It was in the late ’80s and I was in the midst of rebuilding my front porch. I’d driven my 1983 Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the local lumberyard for a couple of sheets of plywood.
In the parking lot, a fellow in blue jeans and a plaid Pendleton shirt was loading a half-dozen eight-foot 2x4s into his red 308 GTS. One end went down Read More
It was July of 1985, and the Monterey Historics were just a few weeks away. The featured marque was Alfa Romeo, and for the first time in a decade, I didn’t own one. My 1969 boat-tailed Spider with rusty floors had just gone away, and I was desperate.
In those days when my day job was directing the Keith Martin Ballet Company, anything to do with Alfas was a really big deal. And the 75th anniversary celebration was about Read More
It was 18 months ago that SCM Legal Analyst John Draneas and I bought a 1965 three-cylinder, two-stroke Saab 96 on eBay, plucked it out of a barn in Rimini, MT, and tried to drive it home to Portland.
Readers may recall that we covered 400 of the 700 miles with little drama aside from a shredded rear tire, broken ignition key, permanently open air vent that gave sub-zero a new meaning, and windshield wipers that confused streaking with Read More
I recently spent two weeks streaking across Florida in a Mercedes E55 AMG, one of today’s definitive high-performance full-size sedans. From its 469-horsepower supercharged V8 to its crisp-shifting, manually-controllable automatic transmission, the car is a finely-tuned machine that delights in gobbling up vast distances effortlessly.
Aside from its expectedly pathetic navigation system, the E55 is so well set up that after a few minutes of familiarization, you feel as if you could be turning hot laps at the Read More
I like auctions as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably like them a little more than that-a good thing given my day job. But even for me, an hour or so at a time is about all I can take of the cacophonous babble emanating from most auction podiums.
But I put in 15 hours in the Barrett-Jackson tent this year, as part of the live broadcast of its Scottsdale auction on the Speed Channel. Along Read More
Chalk it up to the power of the press.
Two months ago, I mentioned that I was looking for a Ferrari GTC/4. In response to that, SCMer Howard Jacobs, of suburban Cleveland, wrote us advising that rather than a C/4, we should consider a 456 GTA, similar to the one he used as a daily driver. (“You Write,” March 2004, page 14.)
A few days later, as part of a continued e-mail exchange, he dropped this fatally baited hook Read More
We all love cars of such varying types, shapes and accoutrements that it’s hard to generalize what makes a car appealing when new, or to predict whether it will become collectible as it ages.
The North American International Auto Show is a litmus test of attitudes, of each car company’s ability to achieve that hallmark of success, a production car that excites and delights and could one day be parked in a garage next to a ’57 Chevy, Read More
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, Read More
Harold LeMay was a car guy, just like you and me in a lot of ways. He figured out how to use his day job, owning waste-hauling franchises, to help him build his car collection. Myth has it he paid a spiff to garbage collectors who told him about interesting cars they came across on their route.
But where LeMay differed from you and me, and indeed from every other collector on the planet, was the amount of Read More