Why We Do the Things We Do

According to Jerry Tilley, captain of the Aleutian Ballad, a crab boat featured in TV’s “The Deadliest Catch,” the scene in which a 60-foot rogue wave catches his 107-foot boat broadsides and flips it onto its beam end is one of the most-watched excerpts of the hit show on YouTube, with more than 1.45 million views.

Yes, the captain and crew do it for the money — a $1 million payday is not unusual for a good haul — but Read More

Mind If We Gawk?

It was just three months ago when, in this column, I pompously and piously pronounced that I would never again drive at excess speeds on a public highway. I referred to the 140 mph I had averaged testing the Ford GT in 2006.

Two days later the call from Lamborghini came, asking if I would like an extended test of a Huracán. I sensed that my newly-found resolve was going to be tested.

The successor to the wildly successful Gallardo, Read More

Saying Goodbye to the Amazon

It was two years ago that we watched our 1967 Volvo 122S arrive on a car hauler from Madison, WI. And now we’re going to watch it leave.

Owning the Amazon has been a delightful and enlightening experience. It was a good car when it arrived (unlike so many of the cars that I acquire), and we spent two years making it even better.

We took it on tours, to cars and coffees, to Volvo club meetings and more. Wherever Read More

You Can Go Home Again

As you read this, the 2006 Lotus Elise that we sold in May of 2013 is in a car transporter and headed from Connecticut back to SCM World Headquarters in Portland, OR.

We first drove an Elise in 2009; Legal Files contributor John Draneas has one. We were entranced. Weighing just 1,984 pounds, and propelled by a 190-horsepower, 1.8-liter Toyota engine with a Yamaha-tuned cylinder head, the Elise was very quick indeed. The spartan — yet purposeful — interior made Read More

Here Comes the Judge

What do a 1968 Ford GT40 Mk III, a 1967 Porsche 911S, a 1972 4.9 Ghibli Spider SS, a Toyota 2000GT, a 1972 Ferrari 246 GT and a 1968 DeTomaso Mangusta prototype have in common?

These are exotics with 6- and 8-cylinder engines placed in the front, middle and rear of their chassis. The GT40 is a barely disguised race car, and the Dino is a high-speed grand touring car. Imagine the 911 as an extraordinarily original survivor, and the Read More

How Fast Is Too Fast?

It was October of 2004. I was watching the speedometer hold steady at 140 mph as I rocketed down Highway 395 in Nevada headed toward the Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley.

I was reviewing the new Ford GT for The New York Times, and I was the first journalist turned loose with the car without a horde of Ford handlers observing every move.

Accompanying me was SCM “Legal Files” columnist John Draneas. In the review, I wrote, “My co-pilot Read More

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling! (Well, Maybe Not)

“We’ve got to separate the signal from the noise.” That’s what collector car connoisseur Miles Collier says when we are trying to find our way to the core of a challenge.

Miles’ saying refers to tuning a vintage radio, where you adjust the dial until the static disappears and a voice can be heard clearly.

As we sift through the information coming our way about Scottsdale 2016, we’ll find lots of noise — surrounding a very clear signal. This issue Read More

No Regrets in the Morning

I’m now into the restoration of my 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider over $50,000. What I have to show for it is a completely stripped body shell, with all the rust removed and damaged panels repaired. It is ready for paint and reassembly.

As I wrote in my January “Shifting Gears” column, I have been wrestling with the competing paradigms of “don’t erase a car’s history” and “repair the damage and degradation resulting from a half-century of use.”

There is Read More

People, Places and Things

Forty years ago, when I lived in a gritty section of New York City near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, I was happy when the cockroaches didn’t dance on my toothbrush at night. My space was so small that the refrigerator doubled as the headboard of my bed.

I couldn’t have imagined that one day, just a few blocks from my tiny studio apartment at 24 Thompson Street, I’d be looking at cars worth millions of dollars being Read More

Something Lost, Something Gained

My 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce, s/n 390290, left the factory in Arese, Italy, on January 28, 1965. It was one of 1,096 Giulia Veloces built.

It was painted the unusual and highly attractive color of Grigio Mare, with a lipstick red/orange interior.

It was just a nice used car when I bought it for $22,000 in the early 1990s. Bill Gillham of Jefferson, OR, had performed some rust repair, and the car had been resprayed once in its Read More

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