Fifteen years ago, in 1989, the first issue of Sports Car Market magazine rolled off the presses. Or more accurately, the eight pages of the Alfa Romeo Market Letter, as it was then called, spewed out of a mimeograph machine. At the time, we thought we were launching a business. But we were really just starting another road trip, with the final destination still to be determined. My fascination with sports cars started early. At the age of five, I clearly remember sitting in the back seat of my grandparents' cherished bumblebee yellow and black 1956 Mercury Montclair, looking out the window onto a rain-swept Bayshore Freeway. Suddenly a small white car, probably a TR3, came up beside us. Its top was down, and the driver drenched. I'll never forget the wide smile he had on his face. I watched him pull his cap down a little tighter, and accelerate away. I didn't know what a Triumph or even a sports car was. I just knew that the driver looked like he was having a hell of a good time, and I wanted a car like his when I grew up. And more or less, the day I turned 16, I got one. On December 22, 1966, I got my driver's license and bought my first car. I went directly from the DMV office near San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to a friend's house on 18th Avenue and Irving, where I purchased his already-decrepit 1960 Bugeye Sprite for $30. I couldn't afford the additional $10 for the factory hard top; I still regret not getting it. Soon, the Bugeye gave way to an MGA. When filling the crankcase with 90-weight gear oil no longer muffled the clattering connecting rods, I rebuilt the engine. Good friend Jay Minkler and I set out to drive to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a long trip for two teenagers in a ten-year-old MG. A rod exploding through the side of the block outside Twin Falls, Idaho, changed our plans. I heard the thump underhood ("What was that?"), then we coasted silently to the side of the road. We gazed in amazement at a 5-inch hole in the block, underneath the SU carburetors. Sticking out was a piece of connecting rod. It didn't seem like a can of STP and a strip of duct tape would get us back on the road. We found a used engine in Salt Lake City and had it trucked to Twin Falls. The installed cost was $450. I had paid $250 for the whole car. The rear main-seal on the used engine was bad, causing us to lose a quart of oil every 50 miles. Then the water pump died, sending the fan through the radiator, just outside Roosevelt, Utah. When the generator pulley disintegrated as we passed through Kremmling, Colorado, our itinerary changed once again. While we didn't make it to Chicago, we were never discouraged.We were young, in a convertible English sports car, and far from home. We were participating in the ultimate fantasy of sports car fanatics, a Road Trip. The MG eventually got us back to S.F. A few weeks later I sold it and moved up to a 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Normale. And perhaps that's where the road trip that led to Sports Car Market really began. The Alfa Romeo Market Letter eventually grew into Sports Car Market magazine. Through the continued support of loyal subscribers like you, we have been able to expand the magazine, adding features that we hope are both entertaining and useful in your collecting. We believe our crew of auction analysts, led by David Brownell, David Kinney and Richard Hudson-Evans, to be unmatched in the industry. Each month, the team of SCM reporters, more than a dozen, fans out to all corners of the globe to bring you incisive, first-hand reports on cars that cross the block. Our marque experts, including Jim Schrager (Porsche), Gary Anderson (English cars) and Mike Sheehan (Ferraris) share, in their monthly columns, their near-encyclopedic knowledge with SCM readers. With my wife and partner in SCM, Cindy Banzer, I'd like to thank each and every one of SCM's readers for your continued subscriptions, and for your pointed and thoughtful comments on how we can make SCM more relevant. We look forward to another 15 years of this publishing road trip, bringing you straight talk about the market, the condition of the cars we examine, and our thoughts on the prices they make. We'll also continue to marvel, along with you, about the passion these old cars elicit, the dreams they inspire, and the fantasies they fulfill.


It's time to have something new in the garage, which means that something old has to go. Consequently, our 1963 Healey BJ7 is now available. It's an honest car, and completely sorted. We've priced it at $26,500/offer; there's an advert in this month's Showcase Gallery. And we're thinking that it's time to have another V12 Ferrari, which means our beloved 1984 Mondial Cabriolet, a solid, no-stories, original-paint, 53,000-mile car, has to move on. We'd like to fill its slot with a 365 GTC/4. Steve Serio, Mike Sheehan and Jean Sage agree that the C/4 would be an ideal family car, providing prodigious performance along with a backseat for our daughter, Alexandra. We're asking $28,000/offer for the Mondial, and are open to trades up/down/sideways, with the Healey possibly part of the mix. If you have any interest in the above, or a very nice C/4 to sell, contact me at [email protected], 503/261-0333. (OR)


"Yankee Clippers" is the title English artist Barry Rowe has given this painting of two Cobra Daytona coupes. They are shown competing in the 1965 Nürburgring 1000, with #54, CSX 2601, driven by Bob Bondurant and Jo Schlesser, finishing seventh overall. Number 55, CSX 2602, driven by Jack Sears and Frank Gardner, finished tenth. Rowe grew up in Coventry, England, home of Jaguar. He studied graphic design and became an advertising art director and then an artist. In 1994 his portrait of race driver Juan Manuel Fangio won the coveted Sotheby's Art Award. In the years that followed he has been invited to show his work in prestigious shows all over the world, winning numerous awards and securing many private commissions. Rowe is one of SCM's favorite artists, and his work has appeared on our covers numerous times. He lives in Devon, England, but often appears at the American Cavallino and Monterey events. He was a featured speaker on the SCM Goodwood Revival Tour last September, and his painting of a 250 GTO was the pictorial symbol of the tour. While the original of "Yankee Clippers" has been sold, prints from an edition of 250, sized 25 by 17 inches and signed by Bob Bondurant, are available through Steve Austin's Automobilia. Regularly priced at $150, mentioning that you are an SCM subscriber will fetch you one for just $130, with shipping included free. 800/452-8434 or 503/266-4079 (OR),

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