Shifting Gears

Bring a Trailer’s Big Step

There’s someone I’d like you to meet.” That’s how Martin Swig introduced me to Randy Nonnenberg, co-founder of Bring a Trailer. We were in front of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where the cars for the California Mille were staged. “Randy has created this great website called Bring a […]

Every Car Is a Book

Think of the world of collectible cars as a giant lending library. While every book is different, most have just five chapters. Aware. Acquire. Activate. Exult. Farewell. These are the five chapters that mark the relationship with every collector car that comes into your life. When the last chapter is […]

A Time of Transformation

This pandemic sucker-punched all of us. In the past 30 days, the collector-car world has gone from hoping that things might stay the same to realizing they are changed forever. The cancellation of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Queen Mother of all car events, sent a clear signal. Is […]

The Road Forward

“Despite the challenges we all face today, we believe the Pebble Beach Concours will be able to take place on August 16, as originally scheduled…” The email from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance selection committee arrived like a flashing beacon in my inbox. It was an early sign that there […]

Two-Pedal Mettle

I broke “The Draneas Rules.” Again. Our “Legal Files” columnist, John Draneas, constantly says that you should never buy a car without an inspection — and you should never send money to someone you don’t know (for a refresher, see this month’s column on p. 48). After willfully and intentionally […]

A New Year’s Day Ritual

On January 1, vintage-car tribes gather in the early morning darkness. From snow-covered Montana to sunny San Diego, old-car lovers prepare to “start the new year right” with a cruise in a classic. For more than two decades, the local “Round-Fender Volvo Club” has hosted a New Year’s Day run. […]

Culling the Collection

I’m thinning the SCM collection. My mentor Martin Swig once said, “We don’t choose the cars, the cars choose us.” As I prepare to send these cars on to their next caretaker, I reflect about how each car chose me and came into my life. Why now? I just have […]

Hands-On Experience

I first met Gary Bartlett at a small gathering of Americans participating in the Mille Miglia in 1992. We were in the small town of Soragna, near Brescia, Italy. Longtime SCMer Joe Tomasetti organized the dinner. This was before the “MM” became a bucket-list event for wealthy enthusiasts from all over […]

I Missed Monterey Car Week

For the first time in 31 years, I missed Monterey Car Week. On the weekend before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, I can usually be found leading a ragamuffin “Catch Me If You Can” group of sports-car fanatics on a road trip down the Pacific Coast from Portland, OR, to […]