An Insider’s Guide to Marin’s Car Club Community

Jaguar car at CB Skyshare
Lewis Specker's 1953 Jaguar XK120 as seen at CB SkyShare in Novato (photo by Jay Watson)

Shot on location at CB SkyShare, Novato. 

Marin’s car club community is a tight-knit group of enthusiasts, and when it comes to their autos, a deep-rooted sense of pride is a given. Meet four Marin residents whose love of vintage vehicles spans the decades

Lewis Specker in his 1953 Jaguar XK120
Lewis Specker (photo by Jay Watson)

Lewis Specker

1953 Jaguar XK120
Fixed Head Coupe
City: Greenbrae


What did you do before you retired?
 

I was a dentist, researcher and international lecturer. 

How long have you had the car? 

My father purchased the car new in Philadelphia in 1953.

Fun facts?

However, he didn’t maintain the car, so I did the restoration in 1968 — body, paint, electrical, wood refinishing and mechanicals. The car has been in many 1,000-mile rallies since 1995, especially the California Mille.

Are there other cars in your collection?

Yes, a 1966 Jaguar E-Type open two-seater (I’ve had it since 1980, and it is one of nine cars built for the 1967 Geneva Auto Show) and a 1968 MGB-GT. I’m the original owner.

Any advice for someone who wants to buy a vintage car or start collecting? 

Know the true value and potential appreciation, and then add the cost of a new engine to determine if this is what you really want.

What is it about your cars that brings you the most joy?

Knowing everything about how the car works.

Any can’t-miss car events?

The only get-together I look forward to is Biscotti and Cars, which takes place the first Saturday of every month at Poggio’s in Sausalito. It’s a great group of gearheads.

If you could have any car that you want what would it be?

I had my dream car — a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB — for many years and I sold it.  

Susan Royce standing in leather jacket
Susan Royce (photo by Jay Watson)

Susan Royce

1955 Ford Thunderbird
City: Novato 


What do you do for a living?
 

After working for two major financial printing firms in San Francisco for more than 15 years, I decided to start my own business, Royce Printing, in 1997. Still going strong, we primarily serve the public finance industry by electronically posting and printing municipal bond issues.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

In 1975, I got my pilot’s license. The next year, my mother — who started flying airplanes in the mid-1960s — and I competed in the last Powder Puff Derby, an all-women air race, from Sacramento to Wilmington, Delaware. In 1978, we competed in the Angel Derby, another all-women’s air race, from Dallas to Freeport, Bahamas. I currently own and fly a Cherokee 180.

Any curious facts about the car?

The car was stolen back in the late 1950s and recovered in Nevada. When located, the police department wrapped a chain around the back bumper and towed it back to the station. The scratches on the back bumper are still there.  

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering buying a vintage car?

Be prepared to spend lots of money on repairs and have a backup vehicle if you really need to get somewhere.

What do you love most about your car?

Hearing the V-8 engine fire up, the dual exhaust and just driving her.

Dream ride?

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing in silver.

Royce's 1955 Ford Thunderbird (photo by Jay Watson)
Dan Macdonald sitting in his red 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster
Dan Macdonald (photo by Jay Watson)

Dan Macdonald

1957 Porsche 356 Speedster
City: Novato


What do you do?

Architect

How long have you had the car?

I’ve owned this car for three years. Although I have a 1959 Porsche 356A coupe that I have had for 48 years, and a 1965 Porsche 356C coupe. 

Any fun stories about the car?

This Speedster was turned into a race car around 1966 by Peter Buschbaum. He enlisted the help of a well-known Bay Area Porsche shop, Lukes and Shorman, to build the car. Peter raced all over California and in 1967 he won the SCCA Regional Championship in E production. He then sold the car to Robert Herman, who raced the car throughout 1968. With this Speedster, Herman and a fellow driver, Harry Shorman, won the very first event ever held at Sears Point Raceway in 1968.

Any advice for a budding collector?

Buy the car of your dreams, and get the best one you can afford.

What do you enjoy most about your car?

Driving it. I love the early Porsche engineering: air-cooled engine, unibody construction, torsion bar suspension, low center of gravity. It’s made for going around corners. 

Any can’t-miss car events?

We always attend North Meets South. The old Porsches gather in San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Paso Robles or Morro Bay once a year. The cars from Southern California meet up with the cars from Northern California for a few days of camaraderie, a Concours d’Elegance, fun drives, and good food and drink.  

Macdonald's 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster (photo by Jay Watson)
Lisa leaning on her 1973 BMW 2002
Lisa (photo by Jay Watson)

Lisa 

1973 BMW 2002
City: Novato


Day job? 

Car enthusiast

Fun piece of trivia about you

I was on Jay Leno’s Garage with my 1967 BMW 1600 in 2017.

What drew you to this car initially? 

I love the design of these cars. They are simplistic, yet intrinsically engineered. The design of the car is timeless and the driveability is a thrill!

Tell us more about your car. 

The name of this car is “Tesoro,” which is a term of endearment meaning “treasure” in Italian. This particular build has a dozen or more treasures, such as the Hirschmann Red Tip Antenna; the original BMW Recaros, which have been refurbished in Ferrari leather and Porsche Alcantara suede; custom BBS wheels; original Euro dash. It was featured on Petrolicious, where I am driving through the backroads of Marin. It has won multiple first place awards at the Legends of the Autobahn during Monterey Car Week. Tesoro was also one of the exhibits at the BMW Museum in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as a BMW ICON vehicle.

Do you own any other vintage automobiles? 

A 1965 BMW R60/2 motorcycle with sidecar and a 1967 BMW 1600. 

Annual auto events? 

There is the Bay Area 2002 car show every year in Brisbane where 2002s from all over the states gather. I also love the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance. Others include Monterey Car Week, Carmel Concours on the Avenue, Legends of the Autobahn and the Pebble Beach Concours.

1973 BMW 2002
1973 BMW 2002 (photo by Jay Watson)