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

From Wide-Eyed to Bugeye

Being a part of the collector car world offers a multitude of experiences, from the grand to the familiar. During the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the absolute high end of the collector car world, which included watching the car-as-art Maserati Boomerang sell as a part of the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille Concours. I’ve also had the opportunity to go back to my personal roots and experience how I got started with Read More

New Players on the Peninsula

Younger buyers want the aspirational cars of their youth

A new set of players ran onto the Monterey Peninsula this August. They were young, cocky, and didn’t give a rip about what we baby boomers thought they should buy or what they should spend. These guys in their 30s and their 40s reminded me of confident baseball players during their first season in the majors. They were going to show their elders a thing or two about playing the game.

Their bidder-paddle muscles rippled as they punched a 2005 Read More

If I Were King of a Concours

One of the magnificent spectacles in the collector car world occurs as the morning mists lift off a concours field. Dozens of rare and important machines that trace the history of the automobile are revealed.

From diminutive Hupmobile roadsters to imposing Cadillac phaetons, our love affair with cars is on display.

But like all aspects of car collecting, concours face challenges in attracting new faces. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in many concours and shows as Read More

A Supercar for the Ages

During the 900 miles I drove a McLaren 650S Spider, my heart only stopped twice.

Once was at a gas station at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde near the Oregon coast.

When you come to a halt in the McLaren, it takes the transmission a couple of seconds to realize you really are stopped, and then it shifts into neutral. But for a brief moment, the car continues to edge forward.

I had taken my eyes off the road, Read More

Modena Cento Ore 2015

It was 6 p.m., and we were driving towards Perugia, the capital city of Umbria, in central Italy. It was 100 degrees, and we were in the thick of rush-hour traffic. Our day had started in Rome, and we had completed four laps at the Vallelunga track as well as three timed hillclimbs on closed roads. The interior of our 1974 Porsche Carrera was stifling, and we were tired and sweaty.

Our group of four cars, including Team SCM in Read More

Bad Driving Is Here to Stay

Cars are safer than ever. The fatality rate per million miles traveled in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available, was 1.1 — a nearly 25% decline since 2004, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Not only do cars handle and brake better than ever before, they are also loaded with safety features including airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control.

However, as cars have become safer, their drivers have become less so.

Some say this Read More

What Were You Thinking?

Having me co-host a television show about cars sold at collector-car auctions is like turning a chocoholic loose in the Hershey factory.

When evaluating cars for “What’s My Car Worth?” a TV show I co-host on the Velocity channel, I find myself slipping from the objective to the subjective. “This ’67 Healey BJ8 drives nicely and will probably sell for $80k” moves all too quickly to: “I’d really like to own this car. It’s been months since I’ve had a Read More

When Cars Become Immortal

The market has redefined itself over the past decade.

We’ve watched it happen from the SCM crow’s nest. From multi-million-dollar catalog auction sales to text-only postings on Craigslist, we keep a finger on the ever-changing pulse of the market.

Prices have soared in the category we follow most closely — sports cars from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Yet, we find a logic to most of these high fliers, and I believe they are indicative of a healthy, thoughtful market.

Read More

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