I've just returned from the 2021 SCM 1000 Classic, hosted by Keith Martin and Sports Car Market Magazine. Our five days together featured epic roads, 45 amazing cars and even better people. It was a blissful recipe and I am thankful for being there. I thought I’d bring you along by sharing a few of my experiences that will stick with me forever after spending a week experiencing the best that Central Oregon roads have to offer!
The Ultimate Summer Camp for Car Folks
Remember heading off to camp as a kid where your entire job was to have fun? That’s the SCM 1000 in a nutshell. The SCM team did a masterful job of organizing our time so participants could relax in a way that is quite rare. They planned out each day, and kept us fed, entertained and informed. Just like yesteryear as a child, I also made some great memories and new friendships while learning about regional art, seeing fossil beds and obsidian flows, and experiencing raptors so close that their wingtips brushed your head in flight. Awesome job, SCM staff!
The Birth of a Beast
Of particular excitement for me, was that this was the very first run in my 1956 Maserati 350S tribute, a project which was four years in the making. The builder, Nestor Salerno, was the last of a generation that raced in the ‘50s and ’60s with Fangio, Moss, Behra, Hill, Shelby and many, many more. Having raced the 300S in period, his insights give this car a particular connection to the period in how it was built to period-correct methods as well as how it drove. The great crew at Vintage Underground worked hard to have the car ready in time, so big thanks to them.
Seeing people react to the 350S is what it’s all about. To be able to give folks the rare opportunity to experience a car of that era -- with its curvaceous aluminum body and thunderous exhaust -- is thrilling. I was able to give some guests rides, but my favorite moment was when a 5-year-old named Eve sat in the driver’s seat with a mile-wide grin!
Twisties and Open Roads Like You Dream About
The fantasy you have when owning a classic car is taking it on challenging mountain passes, wide open two-lanes through forests and deserts, and downshifting into S-curves through a canyon or along a river. Check, check and check! What makes Bend special is that it lies at the intersection of the High Desert and the Cascade Range, offering endless options. We enjoyed perfect weather and unique environments each day. The roads were truly epic and precisely what these cars were built for. (Except the British cars, they were good with the roads but really didn’t like it when the temps got over 90F!)
But Really, It Always Come Down to the People
It’s a cliche, but this gathering gave me an opportunity to hang out with some amazing people. My co-driver was my friend of 25+ years who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. I met some great car collectors and folks involved in the selling, insuring, financing and restoring of cars. There were fathers and sons, husbands and wives, combat fighter pilots, veterans, journalists, financiers, entrepreneurs, police officers, surfers, restaurateurs, and others who gathered because these old cars have meaning to us.
It was a memorable week, and I look forward to staying in touch with new friends and doing it again next year!