12 Years of SCM — Searchable Online

We expect instant gratification from our computers. Type in “How many times have Ferraris won at Le Mans?” “Nine,” Wikipedia answers instantly.

How many Corvettes have been sold since 1953? More than 1.3m, you learn after a few keystrokes. What’s the current wheel-driven land speed record over one mile? You’re an instant expert as your computer spits back, “470.444 mph, set by Don Vesco at Bonneville in October of 2001.”

SCM Read More

From Car Show to Concours

In the course of a year, I attend at least 30 car shows, ranging from the Beaches Cruisin at Portland International Raceway to maximus supremo, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Despite wildly varying locations, audiences and car offerings, I have come to recognize that the shows have more in common than they have differences.

As fascinating to me as the cars on display is the back end of the shows. Deciding on classes, inviting cars, recruiting and training judges, Read More

Sometimes You Just Say No

Whether it’s a cheap car or a million-dollar one, some elements of the buying decision are the same. And sometimes, even though a car is priced right and is in excellent condition — in fact, it is just what you have been looking for — saying no and walking away is the absolute right decision.

Being in the hunt for a car is like having an itch that needs to be scratched. Some cars pop onto my radar because I Read More

Two Coasts, Two Weekends, 5,000 Cars

“To Infinity, and Beyond!” That’s how I felt as I left Scottsdale, AZ, where 2,694 cars had crossed the block, and headed to Kissimmee, FL, where another 2,326 consigned vehicles were looking to find new owners.

For 25 years, attending the January auctions in Scottsdale has been a fixture in the SCM calendar and in my personal life. A detective could easily determine my profession by looking at my Outlook calendar — there, Read More

The Future of Collecting

Dear Mr. Martin,

I’m a 20-year-old college student from Dallas, TX. I’ve been a car guy since birth. A few years ago I stumbled upon television coverage of Barrett-Jackson and Mecum, and that’s when I discovered my passion for the collector car market.

However, whenever I watch televised car auctions, I notice that the majority of the crowd is composed of middle-aged and older men. I rarely see young guys my age. And that seriously worries me.
Although I’ve Read More

The Anatomy of a Buy

Chances are good that you are preparing for the Scottsdale five-ring circus while you’re reading this. You’ve pored over the SCM Arizona supplement and used the digital edition to instantly link to the auction company web sites.
You’ve probably hooked up with a transport company, insurance company and even a finance company so that you’ll have your ducks in a row when you get there. Your bank letter of credit has been issued, and you’ve made arrangements to have Read More

Successful Collecting? Trust the Force

“I’ve never owned a collector car, and I’d like to get into the hobby. How should I start?”

It’s a question we hear often. The path to collector car happiness is relatively straightforward; regular readers of SCM are familiar with our maxims. But this, our first issue of the new year, is a good time to revisit them.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you start your search for your first collector car, and to revisit if Read More

BMWs at Buttonwillow

I’ve been to a variety of driving schools, with instruction ranging from cursory to custodial. When the opportunity came for my daughter Alex and me to attend a two-day BMW Car Club of America high-performance driving school in Southern California, I thought I knew what to expect.

I’d be in the advanced class (of course — after all, I have my vintage license), lollygag around at a fairly high speed, and mostly feel good about myself. Read More

From Carlisle to Carousel

The collector car summer goes out with a roar. For me, it was a blur of events that included Fall Auburn, the Kirkland Concours, Funfest, Fall Carlisle and a visit to the Milhous Collection.

My airline status for next year is assured; I’ll always be the one who gets asked first whether he wants the spinach lasagna or the shrimp chef’s salad. Travel has its rewards.

What all these events have in common is that they celebrate our passion for Read More

Monterey Millions

This issue offers the most complete and incisive coverage of the Monterey weekend, with 75 pages of comments and analyses. More than 220 collector cars are discussed in detail. Million-dollar cars sold like there was no tomorrow, with no fewer than 31 going to new homes. In short, Monterey 2011 was a particularly good time to be rich.

For a car enthusiast of means, the vagaries of nearly all other forms of investment mean that front-rank, blue-chip collectible cars look Read More