About This Website
This website is for classic car enthusiasts who enjoy adventure, travel, conversation, and culture as much as their interest in cars — about preparing our classics and ourselves for adventure and travel without the exclusivity of Marque worship and the overhead of a car club. My hope is that readers will be motivated to organize their own small groups of enthusiasts to drive their classics to interesting events or destinations and invite younger people along for the ride. All photos on this website were taken by me unless otherwise noted and my wife is the webmaster. I appreciate your comments and suggestions so please contact me or communicate with me via my blog.
For some, restoring classic cars is a hobby. For me, it was a passion. Since 1970, when I took a job with an auto restoration shop to finance my education at the University of Michigan, I've been committed to the concept of restoring cars to their original beauty and performance then driving them. I am particularly proud of my role in the restoration of a Rolls Royce Springfield Silver Ghost (which took top prize at the 60th anniversary Alpine Tour reunion at Beaulieu), J-175 Duesenberg Murphy Dual Cowl Phaeton, and a 1930 V16 Cadillac Cabriolet while I was a student.
Though my education led me in the direction of aerospace, then geology, remote sensing, digital imaging and mapping, my interest in cars never waned. As a partner in a high-tech company I helped develop and sell new image data exploitation concepts and capabilities in remote sensing and digital image processing, and I patented several related inventions and visited space and mapping agencies in Europe and Asia. Sometimes I would come home with car parts and occasionally I bought a British or Italian sports car.
In my 1965 Jaguar E-Type Coupe (2012)
Photo by Ben Colman
I was a member of the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance Car Selection and Events Committees, a judge at the Italian Concorso d'Italia, and volunteered many hours in support of local and regional vintage car events. My cars have been invited to the Meadowbrook Concours d'Elegance, Concours d'Elegance at Cranbrook, Eyes on Design Automotive Exhibition and numerous other club events across the U.S. I also attend vintage motor sports events in the U.S. and Europe as time permits.
In my 1948 MG-TC with
canine pal (1998)
In 2000, I founded an online discussion group for Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Guilia Type 750 and 101 cars that now has over 900 members around the world. My desire to better network classic car enthusiasts in Southeastern Michigan led to the co-founding and naming of the Points and Condenser Preservation Society (PCPS) at a storage facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I also developed an automobile restoration program at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor and taught there for five years until staff changes, politics and WCC's lack of academic focus curbed my enthusiasm.
Although I was born in Germany and started school there, my collection does not include a German car. I prefer the jaunty looks of the 1948 MG TC that I rescued from a field and boxes during college; the elegance and sophistication of my pair of 1958 Alfa Romeo 750 Giuliettas that I am restoring — a Spider Veloce and Sprint; the haute couture of my 1963 Maserati Vignale Spyder; and the outrageous E-type Jaguar, also represented by both a coupe (1965) and a roadster (1966). The TC recently immigrated to New Zealand.
In my 1966 Corvair Corsa at
Willow Run Airport (2013)
Photo by Ben Colman
The cost of significant German sports cars and Ferraris always included a high premium for snob appeal that I didn’t want to pay for. In retrospect I was a fool. A 250 Ferrari GTO had just left the restoration shop I joined in 1970 then sold for $12,000 (compared to about $35 million today). I could have owned Tom Paine’s FIA 289 Cobra for $7,000. Instead I saved my money for tuition, rent, and food.
Finally in 2006 I acquired that "cool domestic" — a black on black Corvair Corsa coupe from Arizona with factory air conditioning. This is exactly the car I wished I had driven on the Monte Carlo Winter Challenge through the mountains of France instead of a two-cycle Saab which twice ceased its crankshaft bearings. David E. Davis made it obvious I couldn’t pass up a good Corvair to round out my collection. It constantly amazes, the design is timeless, is very pleasant to drive, and it tells an important story about American business management.