Another Roadside Attraction

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

Crowdsourcing Our 911 Turbo

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

To Patagonia and Beyond In an E-type

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

Barrett-Jackson is the Pebble Beach of Arizona

Tony Piff

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

I’m Not Really Looking, But…

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

Priced Fresh Daily

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

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

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

From GTO to Mercer in 72 Hours

It was late on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was hoisting the Coleman tent and sleeping bags onto the roof rack of our Defender 90 in preparation for the weekend’s vintage Land Rover tour. Then the phone rang.

It was Jamie Knight, Group Director of the Bonhams Motoring department.

“Hello Keith,” he said. “It’s Bonhams’ 25th anniversary, and we’re having a little dinner to celebrate it at our London headquarters. I hoped you and your daughter would be able to Read More

The Perfect Pairing

As the SCM fleet continues to grow, I am beginning to wonder just why we need so many old cars.

We currently have eight collector vehicles, ranging from a 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce to a 2000 Viper GTS ACR. That means eight insurance bills, eight parking stalls, eight sets of maintenance records, eight battery chargers and more.

The cars spend most of their time sitting, like a faithful dog looking out the window hoping his master will soon be home Read More

Does Value Change with Price?

I recently came across a photo taken just after the 1992 California Mille. It showed me in a Ferrari PF cabriolet S2, along with my grandmother, Dorel McDowell.

I recall exactly how she came to be in that car. When I finished the tour, in my 1958 Giulietta Spider Veloce, one of the participants asked if I’d like to take his PF cab for a drive. I said yes, went to the family home on 20th Avenue in San Francisco, Read More

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