Jim’s Blog: Car Spotting at Portland Transmission

Here in Portland, car season kicks off with a pair of huge swap meets in early April. About a month later, on the Saturday before Mothers’ Day, the city’s car people wake up all their classics and head out for the inner east side of town, where all gather for the annual Portland Transmission show.

This is a free event that tends to sprawl out from its epicenter at the Portland Transmission Warehouse, taking over blocks and blocks of street Read More

Jim’s Blog: Are Engine Swaps OK?

Small block, big block, and LS Chevrolet V8s tend to find their way into all kinds of classic cars. Should they?

I’m all about making a vintage car more drivable — from steering and brake upgrades all the way through the addition of modern fuel injection. All of these things can make a classic car more usable in today’s busy traffic world. But what about that engine?

I’ve been talking with ACC columnist Jay Harden about this at length Read More

Jim’s Blog: 1957 Chevrolet — Buy, Sell, or Hold?

The 1957 Chevrolet is probably the most iconic American classic car of all time. But with interest in 1950s cars cooling thanks to a changing demographic in the classic car world, is it still the collector car it once was?

The Chevrolet fin may not have been the biggest or boldest design of the rocket era, and in fact, it wasn’t really planned from the beginning. The story is the 1958 Chevrolet’s design took too long for a 1957 implementation, Read More

The New Wave

Each week, my extended family gets together on Sunday to have dinner together at a place I like to call the Pickering compound — a flatroof house in Portland’s West Hills, built by my great grandfather, grandfather and dad in 1959. It’s full of family heirlooms and history.

The grandkids all run around and play, my brother-in-law uses his professional chef skills to impress everyone around the table, and my mom, aunt and sister all talk about the weekly challenges Read More

Jim’s Blog: ACC Question of the Month — What Car Should You Have Bought?

Jim’s Blog: ACC Question of the Month — What Car Should You Have Bought?

We’ve all been there: A great car comes up at a great price, but you just aren’t in a spot to do anything about it. Maybe it’s a lack of funds, maybe it’s a lack of parking places. Either way, the deal slips away, quickly becoming one of your car person regrets.

What car deals have you missed, and what were they? A 427 Cobra for Read More

Jim’s Blog: Check Those Rivets

Spring is here, and for a lot of us, that means it’s time to either wake up our classic cars — or to go to auction and buy something new to use through the summer.

Say you’re buying something new. You know to check for rust, and to look for previous damage, and to run whatever numbers you can find to be sure that the car you’re looking at is actually original. But have you thought to check the VIN Read More

Jim’s Blog: I Hate Gas Cans

This week, I became the guy I never wanted to be. I ran my ’66 Chevy out of gas in my own driveway.

OK, so I’ve been busy working on another C10 project lately, and I’ve needed the space inside my garage for photo work to support that project. So in and out the ’66 goes — regardless of weather. Or temperature. Or fuel level.

I knew the car was low on gas, and I had planned on running it Read More

The Next Collectible

After years of watching the market at SCM and ACC, once thing has become clear: change is the only constant.

Scottsdale’s numbers are in. In total, the 2019 auctions brought $247m, which was pretty close to last year’s total of $249m. Combine that with Mecum’s $94m Kissimmee sale, and January 2019 kicked off with $341m in collector car sales. That’s good news for the market, but what can we learn from it?

In truth, the big numbers do tell a Read More

Jim’s Blog: An American in Paris

Here at ACC, we’ve been talking about the rise in truck and SUV prices for years now. At auctions like Mecum and Barrett-Jackson, regardless of location, yesterday’s worker bee rigs have taken on a new life as coveted collectors items, with prices to match. In fact, it seems like those prices are inflating at every stop along the American auction calendar.

This was fresh in my mind as I boarded a plane for Paris in early February, bound for an Read More

Jim’s Blog: Sights from Arizona

ACC’s staff just returned from a week in the desert, just in time to build our Arizona results issue. By now the auctions have all ended, but numbers are still tricking in as post-block deals come together.

We’re working on our complete coverage of the Scottsdale and Kissimmee weeks now — you’ll be able to read our complete analysis in the March/April 2019 issue of American Car Collector, due out in February. In the meantime, here are some of my Read More