No Longer The King

It’s painful to watch once high-performing veteran athletes in the last years of their careers, as they try desperately to hold on to their departing glory. We see less of their past brilliance than of their current diminished capabilities.
I thought about this while piloting my ’64 Ferrari 330 America on urban freeways last week. Finally back from a winter at Guy’s Interior Restoration, with a redone interior, newly-rebuilt Koni shocks and fresh clutch, it was time to Read More

The Never-Ending Auction

If I were running an auction company, I’d be paying more than a little attention to the proliferation of cars being sold through the Internet. While much of the hype about the Internet is admittedly overblown, nonetheless there are trends emerging that bear watching.
Amongst the proliferating on-line auction sites, the only one that has reached critical mass is eBay (eBay.com). With seemingly never-ending list of items for sale, and thousands of bidders cruising the site at any one Read More

Bring on the Mosquitoes

Would you have bought it anyway?
That’s what we seem to be asked most frequently about our 1964 Ferrari 330 America, pulled from a barn in Butte, Montana last October.
As the bills pile up, and the car remains stationary, that’s a fair question.
Since taking delivery of S/N 330GT5077, we’ve had Nasko of Nasko’s Imports put in a new voltage regulator ($80), install a new clutch and pressure plate ($1,400) and rebuild the mechanical fuel pump (parts from Read More

They Shoot Pintos, Don’t They?

Although Peter Egan at Road & Track probably doesn’t pen his monthly column just to goad us into philosophical musings about the hobby we share, nonetheless he’s done it again. In a recent column, he writes of stumbling across a derelict TR4 in a barnyard, and making the obligatory $50 offer for it, rationalizing that any Triumph deserves to be saved.
We’re not convinced. To make space for each succeeding generation, animals and plants shuffle off this mortal coil Read More

When Old Cars Were New

“It was a grand time to be writing about cars,” said Car and Driver’s Brock Yates at the recent International Automotive Media Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was referring to the ’60s and early ’70s, when the horsepower race between American manufacturers was in full swing, Ford was locked in its titanic battle with Ferrari over bragging rights to Le Mans, and landmark cars like the Ferrari 275 GTB, the Jaguar E-type, the Porsche 911S and the Lamborghini Read More

A Red Egg for Christmas

Our day started innocently enough. Seven-year-old daughter Alexandra and I headed to a local swap meet in search of a pre-’55 American car to use in Martin Swig’s La Carrera Nevada event. While wading through the rusting junk, a.k.a. valuable restorable collector cars, she pulled suddenly at my sleeve.
“Look Daddy, it’s an Easter Egg car.”
The bright red 1958 BMW Isetta 300 had only 11,500 miles showing (original, claimed the owner), a sunroof, fresh Coker tires and Read More

From the Speedway to Syracuse

Our circuitous, car-filled week started with a trip to the Autofair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, where I was co-host of a Speedvision special, “Muscle Car Mania,” to be broadcast Thanksgiving weekend. The swap meet and car show occupied the entire infield of the Speedway, and presented over 100,000 enthusiasts with the opportunity to fill their little red wagons with vintage Edelbrock intake manifolds and reproduction Hemi-Cuda air cleaners.
Our favorite car was a 1969 Mercury Read More

The V12 in the Driveway

Now that the annual Monterey convention of dealers and stealers, gearheads and tire-kickers, lookie-lous and wallet-flashers is over, it’s time to reflect. For several years, the weekend’s events have overlapped, but this year the congestion was ludicrous. The traffic jam to the track on Saturday rivaled the Bronx expressway on a Friday afternoon before the Labor Day weekend.
Let’s suggest something sacrilegious. How about moving the important races to the preceding weekend, making the focus of that time the Read More

Collapsed

We’ve just returned from a grand three days, participating in the 10th Annual Monte Shelton N.W. Classic Rally. Our ’68 Porsche 911L performed splendidly for the 1,000 miles through Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, and never missed a beat until it was three miles from home. We stopped to pick up our daughter at my wife’s sister’s house, and when we restarted the car, a horrific noise emanated from the engine compartment.
Although we haven’t opened the engine up yet, Read More

Enjoy the Ride

If you’ve been dabbling in collector cars for a decade or more, you’ve been through the meteoric highs and the dismal, depressing lows. Eight years ago, carbureted Ferrari 308s sold for over $70,000, and Boxers passed $250,000. Porsche Speedsters were bringing $100,000, and flat-floor Jaguar E-type convertibles even more. If you were selling, those were pretty good days.
Buyers have been in the cat-bird seat since 1992, snapping up those same 308s for $25,000, Boxers at $60,000, Speedsters for Read More

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