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

The Demise of the SCM Ponton

It happened in the blink of an eye. I was standing in the repair shop, VISA in hand to pay a $4,500 repair bill, and the next moment I watched as my 1959 Mercedes 220S rolled backwards down a ramp from the second floor, sans brakes, and slammed into another car.

This was our second ponton. Deciding that the best SCM family car would be this classic Mercedes model, due to its attractive shape and robust mechanicals, we bought Read More

A “B-Ticket” Ride

Old cars are admission tickets to old car events. You can’t go on the Mille Miglia unless you have a pre-1958 car similar to one that was raced in the event. Pre-1968 Alfa convertibles are the preferred ride for the local Alfa Club’s annual “Old Spider Tour.” Think horses for courses.

So when the National MG Register announced that its annual convention would be in Reno, 600 miles away, and a local MG group decided they would caravan down with Read More

Compelled to Collect

With Monterey just around the corner, collectors’ thoughts have shifted from the restore-and-refurbish activities of winter to the buying and selling of summer. While car transactions happen year round, there’s no doubt they attract more attention in the warm months—and the most attention of all in August.

For me, there was a time, more than 30 years ago, when Monterey in August meant getting together with a group of Oregon-based Alfa fanatics, and caravanning the 700 miles to the Monterey Read More

The Season of the Road

Buzzing like a multi-colored swarm of bees, the cars of the California Mille cruised through Bodega Bay on California Highway One. It was the morning of day four, and Wendie and I had pulled over for a quick espresso and to stretch our legs.

This was the 21st running of the Mille, an event created to pay homage to the original Mille Miglia Storico in Italy. I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of this event more Read More