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
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
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.
It was a weekend to remember.
At 6 a.m. on a Saturday in February this year, my daughter Alexandra joined me on a flight from Portland, OR, to San Jose, CA. We’d bought a 1964 Volvo 1800S last July, and it was time to bring it home.
Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors picked us up at San Jose International Airport, and soon we were at his shop in San Martin, south of San Jose.
The Volvo was better than I Read More
This all started innocently enough. A friend gave me a ride to a Porsche event in her black 993. I hadn’t had a sip of that clattering air-cooled elixir for some time, and it was intoxicating.
I immediately emailed my good friend and Porsche guru Jim Schrager, and asked him for the best buy in late-model air-cooled 911s (the 993 models).
His response was immediate and definite. Forget the 993s. A first-gen 996 turbo with a Tiptronic (automatic) was his Read More
We had just crested the 4,311-foot Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass, crossing from Argentina into Chile. The 1969 Series 1.5 Jaguar XKE we were driving was performing brilliantly.
It was a clear day, and we were surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Andes.
This was the second day of the 26th Annual 1000 Millas Sport de la República Argentina — the premier classic-car rally in South America. SCMer Martin Sucari introduced me to this rally eight years ago. This year, Read More
Our collector car world has four epicenters, and each has its own anchor event.
The vintage car calendar starts with Monterey in August, followed by Arizona in January, Paris in February and Amelia Island in March.
The signature event for the Monterey Classic Car Week is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It follows the auctions, marque shows and historic races. All eyes are on the cars displayed on the 18th Fairway that Sunday.
Five months later, and now nearly upon Read More
There are many stock phrases in the vocabularies of car collectors.
They range from “that’s one of one” to “wonderful patina” to “I never should have sold it.”
The one that seems to get me in the most trouble is, “Well, I’m not really looking, but…”
You know the drill. You have a vague interest in a certain car. In my case, it was a Volvo P1800, the sports coupe Roger Moore drove in the television show “The Saint.”
Not Read More
At the highest level of the U.S.-based catalog-sale collector car auctions, Gooding & Company and RM Auctions are the major players, with Bonhams now a hard-charging, fast-rising contender.
All three of these companies are now going toe-to-toe in Monterey, Scottsdale and Amelia Island. There will be no shortage of high-dollar fireworks as billionaires compete for delectable multi-million dollar collectibles.
That’s not to say that there aren’t other important, high-end players including Barrett-Jackson, Auctions America, Mecum, Russo and Steele, and Worldwide Read More
Is it fair to say that we love our cars? Over time, we develop relationships with them based on the things we have done with them — from changing spark plugs to repairing upholstery to going on tours and rallies.
In a way, a favorite car is like a faithful Labrador retriever. It sits and waits for us, and when we turn the key, it jumps to its wheels and wags its exhaust pipes. Our favorite cars exist to be Read More