The American collector car auction year has just two seasons. One is the end-of-summer Monterey Historic extravaganza, with six months worth of activities crammed like a pkzipped computer file into 96 crazy hours. The trends we saw in Monterey boded well for the market, with high selling rates from all three companies there (Christie’s, Brooks and RM Classic Cars).
Christie’s, under the leadership of David Gooding, should be acknowledged for continuing to raise the bar at Monterey-each year, they Read More
After twelve years and 144 issues, SCM has gone slick. Printing on coated stock allows us to reproduce black and white photos at a much higher level of quality, and the increased number of full-color editorial pages will enhance the market information in every issue. Even better, we can begin to add select pictorial concours and vintage event coverage, beginning with our photo-essay on the Chrysler-sponsored Louis Vuitton Classic in Rockefeller Center in this issue.
Cindy and I and Read More
From Imogene Pass, snow-covered at 13,114-feet in the Rockies, to the sea-level canyons of Manhattan, it was a busy month. First, taking a break from the world of vintage cars courtesy of Land Rover, I had the opportunity to drive a Range Rover across the Colorado Rockies. We passed through Ouray, Telluride, Gladstone and Old Ophir, names legendary in off-road and Jeep Jamboree lore. Having a ski cabin on the slopes of Mt. Hood requires that we always keep Read More
Monterey this year was a three-day auction-block fireworks show, with 228 of 286 cars that crossed the block selling for a 79% rate and a sales total of just over $45 million. We’ll have a complete report in next month’s issue, but our first reaction is that while the overall sales rate was strong, a reflection of the buoyant American economy, nearly every car that sold fell within an expected price range. This wasn’t 1988, with Aston dropheads going Read More
As you read this, I will be hurtling across the Bonneville Salt Flats in a highly modified 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider, in an attempt to set a few class Land Speed Records. Mike Besic and Craig Beilat will share the driving as we take turns flinging ourselves at a variety of goals in the 150 – 225 mph range.
Built by Alfa-guru Besic and owned by Alfa Annual Publisher Dick Kreines, the Spider has streamlined bodywork, including a full Read More
Isn’t it time to give the Monterey weekend an official name? Let’s get the folks from Pebble Beach, Concorso Italiano, the auctions and Laguna Seca together and keep them sequestered until the white smoke from the chimney indicates they’ve chosen something that encompasses the myriad activities that go on. It doesn’t have to be complicated; Monterey Historic Festival would be fine. As the sum of the events grows far larger than all the parts, it would be fitting to Read More
It has long seemed strange that Los Angeles, the first metropolis in the U.S. shaped by the motorcar, and the birthplace of nearly every automotive trend from hot rods to low riders, should have a paucity of high-end automotive activities. Auction companies have tried and failed to establish a regular foothold, concours have come and gone, and even the high-profile Petersen Automotive Museum has struggled to capture the imagination of the car-loving public.
But the times are changing – Read More
We’ve spent the last five days behind the wheel of an Oldsmobile mini-van, chasing vintage cars. As the host of a television show Martin Swig is producing about the California Mille for Speedvision, my task was to cheerily interview participants first thing in the morning, then criss-cross the route looking for good taping locations, and hope to find the occasional broken down contestant for a quick conversation (“How does it feel to know that you’ve run out of gas?”).
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
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