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.

‘Ultimate sports car list’ to be offered by Gooding in Scottsdale

The 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra has been fully restored | Brian Henniker/Gooding
The 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra has been fully restored | Brian Henniker/Gooding

Four cars from Italy, England, Germany and the United States make up what Gooding & Company calls its “ultimate sports car wish list,” to be presented during its January auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The cars – a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and a 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra – are landmark designs that carry pre-auction estimates ranging into seven figures. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1976 Porsche 912E coupe

The Porsche 912 shows and drives like a new car, the seller says
The Porsche 912E shows and drives like a new car, the seller says

The Porsche 912 came back to life after a six-year gap for the 1976 model year only, something of a stop-gap measure to serve as the entry-level model after the mid-engine 914 went away and before the front-engine 924 came to market. Basically a four-cylinder variant of the flat-six-powered 911, the 912 was appreciated for its nimble handling and, with 90 horsepower, enough pull to work as a credible Porsche sports car.

The Pick of the Day is apparently a time-warp 1976 Porsche 911E in what’s described as near-pristine condition with just 19,135 miles on its odometer accumulated by its fastidious sole owner. Continue reading

1968 Corvette L88 coupe to be auctioned by Russo and Steele

The Corvette L88 was designed to be ready for competition | Russo and Steele
The Corvette L88 was designed to be ready for competition | Russo and Steele photos

Only 80 Corvettes with the high-performance L88 package were built for 1968, part of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s surreptitious way of getting all-out competition Corvettes into the hands of customers despite General Motors’ ban on corporate racing participation.

Ostensibly big-horsepower Vettes built for the street, the L88 cars were packed with track gear, notably the tweaked 427 cid engine rated conservatively at 430 horsepower but with output actually reaching 560 with the stock exhaust system. Along with that were a Muncie M22 four-speed manual transmission, special heavy-duty suspension, Positraction rear end and heavy-duty power brakes. Continue reading

Coveted 1963 Jaguar E-type ‘lightweight’ racer set for auction

The Jaguar E-type Competition Lightweight racing in period | Bonhams archive
The Jaguar E-type Competition Lightweight racing in period | Bonhams archive

In 1963, Jaguar built just 12 of its celebrated “lightweight” E-type race cars, and today they are considered something of a Holy Grail of British competition cars.

One of those original factory lightweight cars will be auctioned at Bonhams’ Scottsdale sale in January, the 10th one produced. The auction house describes the car as an “exceedingly well-preserved and documented championship-winning example.” Continue reading

Driven: Acura ILX Tech Plus

The Acura ILX is a premium but affordable sports sedan | Bob Golfen
The Acura ILX is a premium but affordable sports sedan | Bob Golfen photos

The Acura ILX is a satisfying sports sedan that doesn’t cost a boatload of money, but looks cool enough to garner admiring glances (especially from young guys in tuned Hondas) while providing practical, economical transportation.

Sadly, ILX falls victim to one of the most pernicious trends in today’s automobiles, the demise of the manual transmission. No more can you purchase the agile Acura sport compact with this most-engaging form of sports car driving, which seems to be going the way of carburetors and breaker points. Too bad, as a generation of millennials grows up not getting what it’s all about. Or caring, apparently. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1959 Ford Ranchero

The Ford Ranchero was repainted in its blue-and-white factory colors
The Ford Ranchero was repainted in its blue-and-white factory colors

Model year 1959 was the unmitigated height of rococo styling for American automakers, who produced imaginative creations with towering tailfins and loads of chrome details. Over at Ford, the full-size Fairlane and upscale Galaxie 500 adhered to the trend in their own square-rigged fashion.

One grand recipient of all this ebullience was the once-humble Ranchero pickup, which for 1959 emerged with the full-bodied style of the Fairlane/Galaxie models, complete with their complex grille design, chrome accents and Ford’s unique interpretation of tailfins. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1962 Chevrolet Impala convertible

The gold Impala is nicely outfitted with narrow whitewalls and spinner hubcaps
The gold Impala is nicely outfitted with narrow whitewalls and spinner hubcaps

Well, sure, in the northern half of the U.S., the weather has turned winter nasty and the last things on the minds of the inhabitants thereof would be top-down cruising. Interest has turned more toward skiing, snowmobiling and just plain surviving.

Still, it pays to plan ahead, which is why the Pick of the Day is a sweet-looking 1962 Chevrolet Impala convertible in mostly original condition, which would heighten your anticipation of the spring thaw. Park it in the garage and await that glorious day when you can lower the power top and let the sunshine in. Continue reading

Mecum Auctions winds up year with Kansas City sale

A fully restored 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible is a Mecum headliner | Mecum Auctions photos
A fully restored 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible is a Mecum headliner | Mecum Auctions photos

About 700 collector cars are expected at the Kansas City Convention Center for Mecum Auctions’ final sale of the year December 1-3.

One of two auctions held in Kansas City annually – the first one happened in March – the event has gained a reputation for its accessible collector car offerings, typically averaging around $25,000, as well as some premier classics from Midwest collections. Continue reading

What Bob would buy at Silver’s fall Arizona auction

A 1940 Lincoln Zephyr stands among the collector car selections at the Silver Auction | Bob Golfen photos
A 1940 Lincoln Zephyr stands among the collector car selections at the Silver Auction | Bob Golfen photos

Three times a year, Mitch Silver brings his laid-back collector car auctions to the Fort McDowell Casino in Arizona: In January during the famous Classic Car Week in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, in March as the snowbirds prepare to fly back to their northern homes, and in November to catch the snowbirds as they return for the sunny winter season.

The fourth annual Arizona in the Fall auction is happening this weekend with the goal of providing a cool set of fun wheels for the out-of-town folks to enjoy over the winter, and possibly re-sell at Silver in the spring. But it’s also just a fun, local sale in which old-car fans can engage without spending a whole lot of money. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Nash Metropolitan convertible

The Nash Metropolitan is a Series 1 convertible in preserved condition
The Nash Metropolitan is a Series 1 convertible in preserved condition

The little car that made a career out of being fundamentally cute, Nash Metropolitan was a U.S. design built on the mechanicals of an Austin A40 with seating for two (the back “seat” was unfit for human habitation) as the automaker worked to convince 1950s American drivers that compact-car economy was the way to go.

The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Nash Metropolitan convertible, a so-called Series 1 model powered by a 1,200 cc four-cylinder engine that supplied 42 horsepower, making it a stylish city car and directed mainly at women. Continue reading