Shifting Gears

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tony Piff

Barrett-Jackson is the Pebble Beach of Arizona

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 […]