On July 12 of this year, the last of the classic cars on the SCM 30th Anniversary tour arrived at the posh Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland, OR.
For the previous four days, these 1950s and 1960s sports cars, all owned and driven by SCM subscribers, explored the backroads of Oregon. Stops included Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Crater Lake and the lava fields of the McKenzie Pass.
Longtime contributor Ken Gross chronicles his participation in the event on p. 72. His co-driver was Brian Ferriso, the executive director of the Portland Art Museum — our event partner.
Our lineup of sponsors was impressive, including WeatherTech, Hagerty, Reliable Carriers, Bonhams and Marchesi Vineyards. They have all renewed for three additional years, and RM Sotheby’s and Putnam Leasing will be joining them as well.
The week began with a display of the tour cars in front of the Portland Art Museum, celebrating the Gross-curated exhibit “The Shape of Speed.” About 5,000 people visited the museum that day.
Seeing three Alfa Romeo SZ-1s flanking an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato and a Ferrari 275 GTB/C in the museum plaza was a gearhead’s fantasy come to life.
As the week unfolded, longtime SCM contributors Donald Osborne and John Draneas engaged subscribers in conversations about the market and related topics.
The tour brought SCM to life. The cars (a complete list is on p. 75) were the types of sports cars that we grew up with.
Given the enthusiasm of the participants, we have made the SCM 1000 into an annual event. We will always limit it to just 40 cars. The roads will be invigorating — and the evenings will feature fine food, great wines and freewheeling discussions about the market and where it is headed.
The dates for next year are July 14–19. All sports cars from 1973 and earlier are welcome; the featured marque will be the cars of Porsche. Go towww.sportscarmarket.com/tour-registration to submit your application.
Alfa Zagato and Ferrari Bertone
All six of the SCM Alfas were on the tour, and each one completed the 1,000 miles without a hiccup. Well, the headliner in the Sprint Speciale collapsed on the driver and co-driver at 80 mph. We’ll call that just a small burp.
My car collection had reached stasis. There was nothing I needed to buy, and nothing I needed to sell — until I went to the Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention in Olympia, WA.
I’d had a subliminal longing for a Junior Zagato for a decade or so, but I never found the right car. Either the condition, the color or the price just didn’t work for me.
Then I found one.
Through some unknown chicanery, this non-U.S.-legal Alfa had been imported to the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s. I’d known about it since former Alfa Club National Director Gordy Hyde acquired it in 2005.
It was a tasty — although not correct for a Junior Z Alfa — red/orange. It had had a 1,750-cc engine professionally installed. The original 1,300-cc engine came with the car. While it was being judged on the lawn at the convention concours, it presented perfectly.
Gordy had talked about selling s/n 18000605 for the past couple of years, but he wasn’t in a hurry to move it on, and I wasn’t in a hurry to buy.
That day I asked him what his plans were for the car. He said he had decided to sell it and had consigned it to Authentic Motorcars, a dealer in Redmond, WA. (authenticmotorcars.com).
That made it easy. I walked over to the dealer and asked the price. It was $59,990, which seemed right to me. I bought the car without dickering.
My initial impressions are that it is perhaps the best-driving Alfa I own. It’s lighter than the GTV and more nimble. The 1750 engine provides plenty of power, and the interior is spacious and airy.
I hadn’t really had a chance to digest that purchase before my bank account was attacked by another tantalizing morsel.
I’d owned a Ferrari 308 GT4 30 years ago, and I enjoyed the seating position, the handling and the performance of the carbureted 3-liter quad-cam V8. The diminutive 911-style rear seats provided useful cargo space.
Fantasy Junction had one for sale. It had covered 217,000 miles, and came with documentation from the original owner to the present. A 1975 model, it had no sunroof, a gold cloth interior and the a/c wasn’t working. The color was a period Nocciola (hazelnut) over Boxer Black.
The asking price at Fantasy was $49,500, and after a little good-natured haggling with owners Bruce and Spencer Trenary, the car became mine. Bradley and I are flying down to Berkeley to drive it 1,000 miles up the coast to Portland. What could possibly go wrong?
To help fund this transaction, our 2003 911 has gone to a new home in Tampa, FL. It was a terrific car in every way, but you can’t keep them all. We paid $21,000 for it a year ago. We had put $3,000 into it, and sold it very near our asking price of $24,000.
I can say with certainty that the SCM collection is now complete. We don’t intend to be buying or selling anything in the foreseeable future.
If you come across a nice Iso Lele with a Chevy 350-ci V8, 5-speed and in a good color with working a/c, I could be interested. It would make a perfect pairing with the Bertone Ferrari. ♦