There’s a lot going on at SCM world headquarters this month, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
There’s been a milestone occurrence in the Martin-Banzer family. Last weekend, our 11-year-old daughter, Alexandra, learned to drive.
Early piloting is a tradition in our family; My grandfather, Tom McDowell, taught me how to operate his early ’50s Ford 8N tractor on our farm in Novato, California, when I was eight years old. He showed me how to set the hand-throttle Read More
“I love you guys. When a new SCM hits my mailbox it feels like a letter from good friends. Seriously. So as your friend, Keith, I want to help you enjoy a Ferrari and NOT LOSE LOTS OF MONEY ON IT. Which can be done despite your last two experiences, with your 330 American and the Mondial. (Recall, I warned you not to buy the 330 America beforehand and only learned about the Mondial after the fact.)
“Cindy, your Read More
Our 1984 Mondial has gone to a new home. For $23,000, a Ferrari enthusiast in Benicia, California, put it into his garage. It seemed a fair-enough price for a 53,000-mile car, in light metallic green, that was in need of its major service.
And then I did something no owner of an exotic car should do.
I totaled up the cost of my ownership and translated it into dollars (not cents) per mile. It’s not a pretty Read More
RAROTONGA, COOK ISLANDS, SOUTH PACIFIC
Oregon’s a nasty place to be in the winter, dismal with gray skies and endless rain. Hence, when spring break comes along and our eleven-year-old daughter Alexandra has some time off, Managing Editor Cindy Banzer (my spouse) and I make sure our annual vacation takes us somewhere very far away and very warm. There are two further conditions: No cars and no auctions.
This year, we made the Cook Islands, our destination. Isolated Read More
Amelia Island, Florida
Rain is the natural enemy of car shows. Carefully manicured golf courses quickly turn to muddy quagmires and cars that have been meticulously cleaned for judging get spattered with grime. Spectators, rather than trying to snap memorable photos, vie to see who can carry the largest umbrella.
All of which makes what happened at the recent Amelia Island Concours the more remarkable.
The weather had looked menacing from the moment we arrived in Jacksonville, Florida. Read More
For the first time in 18 years, there’s a new car with SCM Managing Editor Cindy Banzer’s name on it, heading our way. Well, not exactly brand new, but new to the Martin-Banzer family. A 1999 Mercedes E320 4Matic sedan in champagne with tan leather, it’s currently on a transporter making the journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon.
You might reasonably wonder why we would buy a recent production car 2,000 miles from our home. 4Matics, while Read More
The future of the automobile will be shaped by the collision of grand strategies and the realities of the marketplace. At the recently concluded North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), held at Cobo Center in Detroit, the struggle between car makers to hold and increase market share was palpable and ferocious.
Like gladiators in a Roman coliseum, the manufacturers are squaring off, and not everyone is going to survive.
On the practical side, there is growing recognition Read More
Fifteen years ago, in 1989, the first issue of Sports Car Market magazine rolled off the presses. Or more accurately, the eight pages of the Alfa Romeo Market Letter, as it was then called, spewed out of a mimeograph machine. At the time, we thought we were launching a business. But we were really just starting another road trip, with the final destination still to be determined.
My fascination with sports cars started early. At the age of five, Read More
Somewhere outside of Grenada, Spain, I watched from the passenger seat as Jean Sage ran the engine in his 250 SWB to 6,500 rpm. Accelerating up a short straight on a closed-road hillclimb, he cracked a perfect upshift into third before hitting the brakes, double-clutching back down into second, and pitching the car sideways through the next hairpin.
Manager Editor Cindy Banzer and I were participating in the fourth edition of the Tour de España, a five-day Read More
Leaving Helena, Montana, we passed the Wok ‘N’ Roll sushi house on our way towards the Continental Divide. Our mount was a newly purchased 1965 Saab 96, with a 46-horsepower, 841cc two-stroke engine.
My co-conspirator John Draneas and I found the car on eBay Motors, the result of a late-night Internet search after a few too many glasses of wine. It met our criteria of being relatively interesting, not too expensive, and located somewhere off the beaten path-in this Read More