My Green Ferrari

The car hauler should be pulling up any day now, delivering the newest addition to the Martin-Banzer menagerie. Or is that collection?
It’s a 1984 Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet, in the distinctive color of light metallic green, with a tan leather interior. A birthday present, sort of, it came into my life this past December 22, the day I was celebrating (or ruing) the beginning of my 51st year.
SCM subscriber Harry Hart, of Belmont, California, called to discuss his Read More

Mooners and Masterpieces

January and August are the two busiest months on the collector car calendar, but they are as different as desert and ocean. August in Monterey is a three-day spectacle of disposable wealth, with million-dollar cars selling haphazardly across the Peninsula the way oils are splashed on a Jackson Pollock painting.

January in Arizona is more like a Georges Seurat exercise in pointillism, with hundreds of smaller transactions combining to make the collector car market visible as a whole. Nearly Read More

Shuffling the Deck

It’s a good thing we thrive on change. During the past two months, the Martin-Banzer garage has seen a lot of comings and goings.
It all started back in June when our 39,000-mile 240Z went off to a subscriber in Lorton, Virginia. With a slot in the garage to fill, we were immediately on the hunt.
On July 22, our newest find arrived, a 1963 Lancia Flaminia Zagato, equipped with a 2.8-liter, triple-carbureted V6 engine. But our joy Read More

Where Do We Go From Here?

“As hobbies go, buying, restoring and driving old cars is a harmless-though often expensive-indulgence, far removed from the worlds of global politics and terrorist plots.”
That was the lead sentence for an article I wrote last month for New York Times, exploring the reactions of the collector car community to the terrorist attacks on America.
As our October issue went to press, television screens were filled with horrific images of death and destruction. This month, headlines scream, “US Strikes Read More

A Done Car

For the past month, I’ve been enjoying the company of an old friend. It came into our life in 1988, just after I had left my position as artistic director of Ballet Oregon and become a sales manager for Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo, hawking Ferraris, Alfas, Maseratis and Lotuses.
Cindy was in elected office as a State Representative. I recall that it took all of her formidable political skills to convince me that her buying a green 1978 Read More

Lancias ‘R’ Us

Both nature and car collectors abhor a vacuum.
In July we bid farewell to our 1972 240Z and our 1967 Alfa Duetto race car. The Z went to an SCM subscriber in Lorton, Virginia, and the Duetto to good friends and SCM’ers Doug Zaitz and Portland’s Veloce Motors owner Dan Sommers, who had maintained the car.
This left two empty slots in the garage, space that desperately needed to be filled. Jan Zverina, Senior Manager of Product Communications, Chrysler Read More

Going, Going, Gone Forever

Monterey is a bellwether weekend, as RM, Christie’s and Bonhams & Brooks duke it out. Each is offering a delectable array of first-tier collectible automobiles, and the automotive investment world watches and holds its breath as four-hundred special cars cross the block.
Will collectible autos get caught up in the widespread financial misery reflected by the sinking stock market? Or, as in 1989, will they follow the art market and strike their own path upwards in value?
We predict Read More

It’s All About the Hunt

I venture to hypothesize that SCM readers are always searching for the flimsiest posibble excuse to justify buying another car.
“I don’t have one in that color.” “It’s cheaper to buy this one than restore the one I have.” “I always wanted one when I was in high school.” And the perennial favorite, “At that price, it was almost free.”
The “almost free” reason has led to any number of illogical purchases on our part, of cars that Read More

Do You Know the Way to… Auburn?

We confess. As sports car fanatics, Auburn, Indiana has never been at the center of our radar screen. But as SCM continues to expand its coverage of America’s grand luxury marques, including Duesenberg, Cord and Auburn, a trip to their home city seemed appropriate.
Additionally, Auburn is the location of the eBay/Kruse International complex, so we arranged to take in their spring sale as well. We wanted to see first-hand how the melding of two disparate cultures-the brash, Read More

The General Meets the Snake

Brand heritage has been the rage with new car makers for some time now. “Bentley Returns to Le Mans” trumpets one ad agency, as the now-VW-owned, once-English company attempts to regain some of the glory it covered itself with sixty years ago. The PT Cruiser is a gangster car for the 21st Century while the new Beetle provides an opportunity for today’s youngsters to experience the style of the original Bug, without having to fight a “let’s have a Read More