All posts by Bob Golfen

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle.He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs.A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

Russo and Steele debuts new online bidding at Newport Beach

A 1932 Ford street rod will be sold during the Private No Reserve Collection sale | Russo and Steele photos
A 1932 Ford street rod will be sold during the Private No Reserve Collection sale | Russo and Steele photos

Russo and Steele heads back to Southern California for its fifth annual Newport Beach sale June 2-4 at the Newport Dunes Waterfront resort, where more than 250 collector cars are scheduled to cross the block.

The California auction will introduce a new online bidding platform, according to Russo and Steele, with real-time bidding, video streams, online catalogs with direct highlighted lot notifications, and mobile apps available through iTunes and the Google Play Stores. Continue reading

Event roundup: Greenwich readies double-dip concours weekend

A 1932 Studebaker President won last year's Greenwich Concours best of show | Green Concours
A 1932 Studebaker President won last year’s Greenwich Concours best of show | Greenwich Concours

The Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is actually two separate concours events, one for American brands dating to the dawn of motoring and the other for European sports and luxury cars. Each event has its own class, people’s choice and best of show award winners.

A total of 250 vintage cars, classics and modern supercars will be on hand, with 125 cars and motorcycles on the field for each concours day at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. Continue reading

Mecum back in Vegas with another motorcycle auction

THe 1931 Indian flat tank four is a featured bike from the Ernest 'Bud' Cox collection | Mecum Auctions photos
THe 1931 Indian flat tank four is a featured bike from the Ernest ‘Bud’ Cox collection | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum launches its inaugural summer motorcycle auction in Las Vegas this weekend, with about 600 vintage collector bikes consigned for the three-day event. The sale takes place at the South Point Casino, Hotel and Spa, with a preview day Thursday and motorcycles crossing the block on Friday and Saturday.

The sale is the second motorcycle auction held by Mecum in Vegas this year, the other one taking place annually in January, a longstanding event that the auction company continued four years ago when it acquired MidAmerica Auctions. Mecum also holds a motorcycle auction during Monterey Car Week in conjunction with its collector car auction in Monterey, California. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1966 Sunbeam Tiger

The Sunbeam Tiger is powered by a Ford V8
The Sunbeam Tiger is powered by a Ford V8

During the 1960s, British automaker Sunbeam was known for its cool but modestly powered Alpine sports cars that competed with MGBs and Triumph TR4s. But the Rootes company that owned Sunbeam had higher aspirations for its little roadster, so it called upon the leading expert in shoehorning American V8s into little British sports cars: Carroll Shelby.

Having just shown tremendous success with the Shelby Cobra, which was essentially an AC Ace with a small-block Ford engine under its hood, Shelby and his crew managed to coax a 260cid V8 into the engine compartment of the diminutive Alpine. The resulting Sunbeam Tiger was a roaring success, although the production cars ended up being produced by Jensen. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 Ford Mustang ‘Bullitt’ custom

The Ford Mustang has been restored to look and perform like the one Steve McQueen drove in 'Bullitt'
The Ford Mustang has been restored to look and perform like the one Steve McQueen drove in ‘Bullitt’

How many times have you watched Steve McQueen romping over the hills of San Francisco in the movie Bullitt and said to yourself, “I gotta get a Mustang just like that”? Plenty of times, I’d bet.

The best-known car chase in movie history – some might say the weirdest, what with the chased Dodge Charger losing about seven hubcaps and the cars roaring through the same intersection a number of times – focused lovingly on the sharp-looking Mustang, which roused longing and lust for the pony car in an entire generation of gearheads. Continue reading

James Bond and barn finds: Aston Martin sale hits $6.46 million

An Aston Martin DB5, the favored ride of 007, was the auction's highest seller | Bonhams photos
An Aston Martin DB5, the favored ride of 007, was the auction’s highest seller | Bonhams photos

James Bond magic lifted the sale of a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, the same model driven by the fictional British spy, to £561,500 ($725,600) to top Bonhams 18th annual Aston Martin auction, held Saturday at the automaker’s ancestral home at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, UK.

The sale achieved more than £5 million ($6.46 million), with all reported results including auction fees. The overall results include 25 Astons sold of the 42 cars offered, plus nearly all of a huge selection of Aston Martin- and Lagonda-related automobilia, parts, artworks, clothing and literature. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1934 Lincoln KB town car

The Lincoln KB looks clean despite being restored a half-century ago
The Lincoln KB looks clean despite being restored a half-century ago

Hollywood actor Ned Sparks is not much remembered today, but he was a popular character actor from the 1920s through the 1950s, famed for his perpetually grumpy expression and wry one-liners.

His crotchety look was so tied to his acting career that he was reputed to have taken out an insurance policy for $10,000 with Lloyds of London during the 1930s in case anyone should get a photo of him smiling and publicize it. Continue reading

First car ticketed for speeding to appear at British concours

The 1896 Arnold Benz that received the world's first speeding ticket | Concours of Elegance
The 1896 Arnold Benz that received the world’s first speeding ticket | Concours of Elegance

Walter Arnold was driving four times the legal speed limit when he was pulled over in Paddock Green, Kent, in the UK. The policeman who chased him down was riding a bicycle.

The year was 1896 and Arnold was hurtling through Kent in his Arnold Benz Motor Carriage at the highly illegal speed of 8 miles per hour, flagrantly defying the British law that limited speeds of the newfangled horseless carriages to 2 miles per hour, with each vehicle required to have a man walking ahead of it waving a red flag. Continue reading

Collector car market shifts toward affordability, experts say

The compact Ford Bronco has risen in value and popularity | Barrett-Jackson
The compact Ford Bronco has risen in value and popularity | Barrett-Jackson

Affordability seems to be key in the current collector car market, with buyer interest shifting down market while values of high-end classics and exotics stagnate or even decline slightly, according to the latest findings from Hagerty, the classic car insurance and valuation company. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Oldsmobile 88 custom coupe

The Oldsmobile's trim has been cleaned up and the chrome polished
The Oldsmobile’s trim has been cleaned up and the chrome polished

The Pick of the Day is a gorgeous cover girl, a dream machine that graced the front cover and centerfold of the November 4, 1991, edition of Hot Rod Mechanix magazine, under the headline, “My Blue Heaven.”

The coupe is painted in an attractive shade called Crest Blue
The coupe is painted in an attractive shade called Crest Blue

The 1950 Oldsmobile 88 coupe has been tastefully transformed into a period-style custom cruiser with a cleaned-up nose, grille and rear deck, and painted a luscious shade called Crest Blue. The Olds is powered by its original, rebuilt 303 cid Rocket V8 and three-speed automatic, with new brakes, tires, springs, shocks and battery, according to the Brainerd, Minnesota, dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading