Editor’s Note – February 2018


I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days…that I’m glad to see again….

This is a personal note to start, if you will indulge me.

Some of you know I live in Summerland, California, a sweet, strange village sandwiched between opulent and extraordinary Montecito and wonderful and eccentric Carpenteria. We are part of that near-idyllic cluster of towns from Carp through Summerland, embracing Montecito, reveling our way through Santa Barbara, and finally enjoying and moving beyond Goleta. These are the towns and a city that interrupt your drive northbound from L.A. along the coastline before you get to the breathtaking Gaviota Coast on your way up or down the Southern California coast. You experience this stretch on your way from the car races and auctions in Monterey (and oh, by the way, heading to or from that pretty interesting city a bit further north called San Francisco). Or, you encounter us on your drive down to LAX, where you catch your flights in and out of there.

We also are part of that area that endured California’s largest uncontrolled fire in its recorded history, consuming nearly 282,000 acres across two county lines and, for point of reference, burning nearly 440 sqaure miles, more than the entire area of greater New York City. It took two lives, one was a resident and the other a fire fighter. He was part of crew that had come from San Diego – which had it’s own horrible experiences all too recently.

This fire consumed nearly 1,000 structures (making us small-time compared to the fires in Sonoma in October 2017, that…ohh…inhaled entire towns including 2,800 homes, as some of our readers know far too intimately.)

But then, when we fools breathed a sigh of relief, the hoped-for, waited-for January rainstorms arrived.

At my scantly insulated cottage in Summerland I awoke at 03:36 a.m. on January 9 to the sound of the skies flushing their toilet on my home.

I looked out my front door that faces the Pacific Ocean. My front porch has a motion-sensor light. And with it illuminated I saw rain falling down, blowing left and right. And blowing up. The nearby fire station had a rain gauge that reported 0.54 inches of rain. In five minutes.

By the time this “squall” was done it had dropped 0.84 inches in its 17-minute duration.

Yes. Nearly one inch in a quarter hour.

The fire cost two persons their lives. By the end of the first day of rain, rescuers had saved more than 500 individuals and recovered 13 who didn’t survive. That, however, was only the first day…umm…count. It did get worse and the number grew. But that is not was Road Scholars Magazine is about.

Virtually every part of the United States and every country and region of Europe and Asia where we have readers has experienced similarly challenging and debilitating weather. And don’t worry: my note here is not about to become some climate change harangue.

It is only an invitation to each of you, our readers who have become my anonymous friends, to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. And then to get out and enjoy your lives, whether in Porsches or on foot on beaches, or on ski slopes in skinny or fat skis, or in the peace and quiet of your homes.

Life is short. One of Road Scholars’ co-founders can attest to that as he fought – and “beat” – cancer in the past year. Every moment from yesterday and last week and a year ago proves it, and shortens it. No one can guess how long that is. Pull that cherished treasure out of your garage, and warmly invite the cherished treasure(s) in your life to take a ride with you.

Inside this issue we have, in brief, Kevin Watts’ commentary on the January Arizona auctions, an introduction to an east coast perfectionist Stephen Grisanti and his superb 1970 Adriatic Blue Typ 914-6, and a review of sales prices and no-sale bids from Arizona.

Thank you for indulging me. And thanks – again – for reading us. Spring is coming; go drive.

Randy Leffingwell


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