The fifth annual SCM 1000 is in the books. I have many memories to savor.
To start, I’ve never seen anything like 45 classic cars dwarfed by the majestic presence of the Grand Coulee Dam. It was certainly a tribute to engineering prowess.
Speaking of which, I watched Grand Marshal Mitch Silver’s mechanics diagnose closed points on Irv Kessler’s 1953 Siata 208S and bring the car back to life. It was like a scene from a vintage road race.
I was also happy to witness five-time SCM 1000 participant Gregg Blue leading the “Dunkin’ Drivers” as they continued their tradition of finding a lake to leap into on each tour.
When we stopped for lunch in Metaline Falls, WA, the locals proudly welcomed us with homemade sausage. The mayor even came out to greet us, declaring it “SCM 1000 Day.”
Behind the scenes
As I looked down on Idaho’s Old Spiral Highway, watching all the classics climbing the hill, I thought about how we got into this business of staging collector-car tours.
When SCM approached its 30th anniversary five years ago, we decided to celebrate by launching our own 1,000-mile tour. We did it again in 2019, and after a year off because of the pandemic, we were back in 2021. Last year we even held an extra event, the AMG Invitational, in addition to our annual SCM 1000 for classic cars.
Every driving event, from one-day club runs to the Peking-to-Paris marathon, has its own distinguishing features.
For us, the SCM 1000 will always be about driving. There are four full days of it, with great routes that give you the opportunity to exercise your car in a comfortable fashion. While there will be plenty of two-lane twisties, you won’t be so exhausted from the day’s journey that you fall asleep at dinner.
The tour is for cars built before 1975, the premier years of the classic sports car (although we sometimes grant exceptions by application). We limit the number of cars entered to 45.
We have decided on a permanent date for the tour. The SCM 1000 will always be the second week in June. That is the last week before school gets out and roads get more crowded. Temperatures are moderate, and we are well ahead of the bacchanal of Monterey Car Week.
We will stay based near our home in the Pacific Northwest, to take advantage of the empty winding roads and our region’s unique cultural opportunities. We look for upscale hospitality opportunities, from boutique hotels to exclusive lodges, spas and local restaurants.
Our sponsors are some of the top names in the collector-car hobby. This year they included Hagerty, Putnam Leasing, Rallista, Reliable Carriers, Silver Auctions and WeatherTech. These companies don’t just write checks, but send representatives to drive on the tour and get to know our participants.
Perhaps most noteworthy, the SCM 1000 is a hub-and-spoke-style event. You stay at one hotel for six days and five nights. “I’d rather be driving than packing,” said a participant of our most recent tour.
We supply on-course mechanical support, with experienced technicians and flatbed trucks. Old cars fail, but as they are analog, many times a simple fix gets them back on the road.
There are no fears of being left behind by the group and missing out if your car has a problem. It is easy enough to get a return ride to the hotel in time for dinner. This year our “courtesy car” was an Aston Martin DBX, provided by Park Place Ltd. of Bellevue, WA.
The SCM 1000 is an immersive, all-inclusive event, with organized activities each evening ranging from panel discussions to presentations by collector-car luminaries to on-site evaluations of cars by market experts. Every day’s route includes a “cultural moment” where local rangers and docents share unique characteristics of the area with us.
Our 2023 event was by far our most successful. We are combining great roads, fine hospitality and interesting people. It’s this last point that I wish to emphasize. SCMers are the most engaged collectors and some of the smartest people in the hobby, full of knowledge, curiosity and enthusiasm. Getting so many of you and your cars together for a week truly makes the pages of the magazine come alive.
We invite you to learn more about the 2024 SCM 1000. It will be held at the Running Y Golf and Spa Resort in Klamath Falls, OR, from June 9 to 14. Go to www.scm1000.com to add yourself to our list for updates.
With so many of us classic-car fanatics in one place, why not join us? ♦