Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


MY ENTHUSIASM FOR classic cars is enhanced each month with the arrival of Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market, aptly subtitled “The Insider’s Guide to Collecting, Investing, Values, and Trends.” The magazine’s speciality is auction reports that are informative, instructive, and often witty. For example, among other topics in the October 2020 issue, there are auction summaries from RM Sotheby’s Online Only: The European Sale; Barrett-Jackson’s Online July 2020 Sale; H&H Auctioners A-B-C Live Online; and the Vanderbrink Auction’s Ken “Pinky” Seefert Collection in Stillwater, Minnesota; plus a personality piece on a young lady who knows classic cars as well as classic wines. Here are tidbits gleaned from each of these.

RM Sotheby’s 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 Six-Door Pullman. Pierre Hedary says, “This writer has been itching to inflict his commentary on the importance of preserving the originality of the Mercedes W100, so if you have bad taste or are easily offended, you are my target audience.” He offers “a list of sacrilegious acts against the W100,” one of them, “Just like you would not bathe with a real Monet hanging in your shower, these cars must be taken seriously and preserved with dignity.”  

This particular Mercedes-Benz 600 was delivered new to the Ivory Coast for President Felix Houpouët-Boigny. These and other images from Sports Car Market, October 2020.

Our subject car,” Hedary writes, “doesn’t just represent the best money can buy—it is a part of the African independence movement, a culmination of Mercedes’ greatest era and a relic from a significant period of world history.” The car sold at RM Sotheby’s on June 11, 2020, for $299,587.   

Barrett-Jackson’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. John Boyce describes the car as “A first-rate ’57 Chevy, complete with fuzzy dice and tissue dispenser (note to Detroit… how about bringing them back for anti-bacterial wipes? Please send my royalty checks c/o SCM).”

This 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible sold at Barrett-Jackson for $77,000. “Well bought,” Boyle said.

Back in the late ‘50s, I had New Jersey kin with a Chevy Bel Air hardtop. I recall a cousin driving me into Manhattan on an adventure.

H&H’s 1964 Morris Mini Moke. Paul Hardiment comments, “RHD, Odo: 50,000 miles. 848-cc I4, 4-sp. Repainted blue from original green, including the wiper motor.” 

1964 Morris Mini Moke, sold for $16,856 at H&H’s.

“At the price paid, this was strong money for condition,” says Boyle, “although it’s eminently usable.”

I’ll agree to that. I drove my Moke FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA.

Vanderbrink’s 1923 Buffalo Springfield Road Roller. B. Mitchell Carlson offers some marque history: “To correct assumptions that this name was dreamed up by some hippy-dippy pop group in the 1960s, Buffalo Springfield was created by the merger of Buffalo Pitts and the Kelly-Springfield Road Roller Company…. By the early 1920s, they were the nation’s leading maker of steam-powered road-bed compactors.”

This 1923 Buffalo Springfield steamroller sold for $26,400 at the Vanderbrink Auctions.

“New owner must be really committed,” says Carlson. “Buying any steam engine in the 21st century is like buying a Formula One Car: The purchase price is the cheapest thing you’ll have.”

On the other hand, as I learned at the COOLSPRING POWER MUSEUM, early machinery has a distinct charm.  I’d say “well bought.” 

Meet Cici Muldoon. Elana Scherr introduces us to Dr. Cecilia Muldoon, spectroscopy expert, balletomane, car collector, and oenophile. A current favorite in her hands-on hobby is Froglet, her Triumph TR3, and she also has a 1974 Ferrari Dino.

Dr. Cecilia Muldoon—Cici to her friends—and some of her favorite cars.

“Which wine would you pair with your Dino?,” Scheer asks. 

Cecilia’s response: “Amazing question! That’s so funny. I think of the Dino as quite pimp, so what is a really pimp drink? She’s going to be a more female wine, isn’t she? If you’re thinking about her punchiness and the fact that she’s Italian I would say an Amarone. Because Amarone is very much in your face. it’s very high alcohol. It’s big tannins, very raisin-y and powerful…. But I think she’s more a cocktail. Not gin and tonic. That’s too prim and proper. Oh, she’s a Negroni.”

There’s a lot to be gleaned from Keith Martin’s Sports Car Market. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2020   


  1. Andrew G.
    September 10, 2020

    Far out, man!✌️Thanks for exploring the source of Buffalo Springfield.

    I thought Dr. Muldoon and her Dino looked familiar. They were recently featured on Petrolicious:

    • simanaitissays
      September 10, 2020

      Thank SCM’s B. Mitchell Carlson for the Buffalo Springfield research. And, agreed, Dr. Cici is neat-o.

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