Three Takeaways From the SCM 1000

We’ve just completed our fourth SCM 1000, a thousand-mile tour for pre-1975 cars.

There will be more about it in upcoming issues of SCM. But with my bags barely unpacked and the SCM cars still being put away, here are the highlights.

First, riding with SCM contributor Ken Gross and Amelia Island founder Bill Warner in a 1971 Citroën DS21 is not likely to be an experience I will ever repeat. What we all found most amazing about the car was the fact that, due to its aerodynamic design, you could roll the windows down at 75 mph and have a conversation. It covered the entire 1,000 miles with no drama.

Second, my 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12 coupe is a splendid grand touring car for this type of event. The Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic is perfectly suited to the effortless torque produced by the 5.3-liter engine. While cruising at 75 mph in the DS21 pushed its 2.1-liter pushrod engine, at that speed the Jag was ready for more.

Further, the a/c fitted to Jag blows ice-cold. Perhaps it is a byproduct of reaching my maturity, but in the hot Oregon summers I am finding a nicely cooled interior to be a thing of joy.

I was also reminded that not mixing old and new sports cars is critical to the flavor of the event. It just sets a tone that I believe is essential to the event.

The same can be said to limiting the event to 45 cars. It’s just enough to have a visual impact, without being overwhelming. And we all fit into a reasonably sized room for dinner.

But what I will remember most is the smile on the face of my 15-year-old son Bradley. He was the navigator on day four in the Kevin Blount 1952 Allard J2X. Brutal is too mild a word to describe riding in that car.

Yet at the end of the day, including 10 parade laps at Oregon Raceway Park, the smile on his face stretched from horizon to horizon.

“Dad, next year I’ll be driving one of your cars on the SCM 1000. I can’t wait.”

Neither can I.