In less than four weeks, tens of thousands of the world's automobile community will sharpen their focus on all the activities that comprise Monterey Classic Car Week that runs from Aug. 11-20. Since assuming control of historic racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in late 2009, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) is poised to usher in its eighth edition of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in spectacular fashion and kick-off the entire week on Friday evening, Aug. 11, with its racecar show on Alvarado Street.
Bernie Ecclestone, the flamboyant former owner of the Formula One racing franchise, has simple advice for those who want to make money in classic cars: “Buy cheap.”
Historically, that hasn’t been easy; big-ticket vintage cars such as Ferraris and Bentleys have surged in value over the past five years, in part because of an ultraloose monetary policy that’s encouraged speculators to look into niche asset classes. But this year the market shows signs of slipping. Lackluster demand was evident in June at an auction held at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the annual celebration of chrome and Castrol held at a sprawling British estate.
A New York auto body shop owner was recently indicted on a dozen felony counts for stealing a 1978 Porsche 911 from a dead man. Patrick Torpey, 53, was repairing the vehicle when the customer died unexpectedly. After the deceased man's wife started looking for the car, the shop owner made a great effort to hide it and falsified paperwork by creating a new title for the 911. Some people will do anything to get their hands on a vintage 911.
Ron Hackenberger said it was time to sell his collection of more than 700 vehicles.
The Norwalk, Ohio, collector always wanted to put them in a museum, but it never came to fruition.
"At my age (81) it's time to do it," said Hackenberger. "If I was 50 years old, I wouldn't even think of it. If I had to restore all these cars for a museum, I'd have to live to be 300 years old," he said laughing.
"I never sold one car," he said proudly.
In mid-June, Larry Edsall shared his experience as a young sportswriter on the day Bruce McLaren died at the age of 32. He’d been the youngest driver ever to win a Grand Prix race, and later only the second to win an F1 event in a car he’d built. He had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He built the cars that dominated the Can-Am series.
Not long after his death, McLaren’s team won Indy, and also the F1 championship, and then they did it again. He’d also begun work on a sports car not for the race track but for public roadways.