Imagine 40 classic cars — many of them Alfas — hitting redline as they climb to historic Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Or after a day cruising the wide-open landscapes off Highway 97 past Fort Rock, gathering again to drive around crystal-clear Crater Lake. We’re just a couple of months away from the Sports Car Market 30th Anniversary tour. All 40 positions sold out quickly, but there is room on the waiting list (www.sportscarmarket.com/anniversarytour). We’ve already starting putting the pieces together for the July 14–19, 2019, tour — with Porsche as the featured marque. Eligible cars are pre-1967 and continuation. Other marques are welcome, but the air-suckers from Stuttgart will have preference. In addition to this year’s spectacular route, we’re going to have discussions each night about the dynamics of collecting. I’m looking forward to having Donald Osborne, Miles Collier and the director of the Portland Art Museum, Brian Ferriso, talk about the evolution of automotive style. SCM’s legal expert, John Draneas, will join me for a session about the changing tax laws — and the simple things you can do to enhance your chances of a successful buy/sell transaction. I know nearly every one of the participants. There is a 1900 Zagato coming from Italy and a 1750 Zagato from Arizona. On the non-Alfa side, the Ferrari 275 GTB/C that Gooding & Company sold last August is entered. To allow participants to get to know one another better, there will be a daily “scavenger hunt” with questions about the cars on the tour — and a nightly score sheet. I think it’s safe to say that all the entrants are Type A personalities and looking for a challenge — wherever they can find it. The tour begins on Sunday, July 8, in downtown Portland. The cars will be on display in front of the Portland Art Museum from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum is just two blocks from our host lodgings — the famous Heathman Hotel. We will get a private tour of the just-opened museum exhibit, “The Shape of Speed.” Longtime SCM Contributor and friend Ken Gross is curator of the exhibit. If everything comes together, a very special Alfa, a 1942 6C 2500 SS Bertone one-off designed by Mario Ravelli de Beaumont and owned by noted collector Corrado Lopresto, will be making its U.S. debut. The tour concludes with a breakfast on Friday, July 13, back at the Heathman Hotel. After covering 1,000 miles, there’s still more in store for those who can’t get enough of being locked in a clothes dryer on spin cycle. The Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance (www.forestgroveconcours.org) takes place the Sunday after the tour ends. There is a concours wine tour on Saturday, July 14. There is also a concours dinner that night. There will be a special class at the concours for cars that have participated in the SCM Tour. You will have the option of Judged or Display. Alfa Romeo is the featured marque this year, and we understand there will be several cars with significant Pebble Beach history on display.

Northwest Passage

The SCM Summer starts earlier. From June 21 to 24, the Oregon Region of the Porsche Club of America is presenting its annual NW Passage. SCM has been a sponsor of this event for a decade. Because it is geared toward modern Porsches, those of us pedaling vintage cars have to keep our throttles wide open to stay apace. Two years ago, Miles and Parker Collier joined us, and we drove the SCM Duetto, GTV and Giulia Super. As we arrived at the hotel each evening in a cloud of Italian smoke, the well-rested Porsche drivers stepped out of their air-conditioned spaceships and applauded our Milanese circus as it pulled up. Given that all of the SCM Alfas will be on the SCM 30th Anniversary tour, I’m leaning towards taking our 2006 Lotus Elise. As long as our luggage will fit into a postage-stamp-sized case, we’ll be fine. I haven’t had the Elise out on a long drive since we bought it back two years ago, and it’s time. There will never be another car like the Elise, with a sophisticated modern suspension and drivetrain along with a bare-bones interior. It’s the best vintage car ever made.

Caravan to Concorso

Our final summer odyssey will be the SCM “Caravan to Concorso.” (www.sportscarmarket.com/caravan2018). This is a Martin-Swig-style free-for-all. Everyone is welcome. We’ll make our own hotel and eating arrangements. We go cowboy-style, with no sag wagon or support vehicle. We’ll meet in Portland on Saturday, August 18, and head south. We’ll hit Eugene, OR, and then head for the coast — and wind our way to the first night’s stop in Eureka, CA. The next day we’ll pass through Fortuna on the way to the Lost Coast, go through the Redwood Forest and end up in Novato. Monday will be an easy trek to Monterey. I’ll be driving the SCM Giulia Super. Alfa 4-door sedans are featured this year at Concorso. After Monterey Car Week, I’m going to have my Alfa shipped back to Portland by commercial carrier and fly back. If you’re interested in joining this madcap group on any of these adventures, drop me a line at keith.martin@sportscarmarket.com. Between the NW Passage, the SCM 30th Anniversary Tour and the Caravan to Concorso, we’ve all got a lot of joyous two-lane roads ahead of us this summer. It really doesn’t get any better, does it? ♦

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