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.

‘Top-down fun’ offered by Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach sale

A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos
A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos

Barrett-Jackson holds four auctions every year and each one has its own character, with certain types of collector cars hitting the spot among bidders and spectators depending on the venue.

At the Palm Beach, Florida, auction, the focus is on convertibles, popular in the relaxed atmosphere for cruising along the coastline. The upcoming sale in West Palm Beach, which takes place April 6-8, has stocked a boatload of open-air pleasure craft among about 500 collector cars that will cross the block, all of them at no reserve. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1952 Jaguar XK 120

The Jaguar XK 120 was owned and driven by  John Lesseter who co-wrote and directed the animated film 'Cars'
The Jaguar XK 120 was owned and driven by John Lesseter who co-wrote and directed the animated film ‘Cars’

What could be more wonderful than the most-voluptuous of all 1950s roadsters, gorgeously restored and ready to drive? How about one that was owned, driven and loved by the man who created the most-celebrated animated films about cars?

The Pick of the Day is such a roadster, a gleaming black 1952 Jaguar XK 120 properly fitted with spats on its rear wheels and hunkered down in purposeful glory, and formerly owned by John Lassetor, who co-wrote and directed Cars and Cars 2. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 all-wheel-drive

The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos
The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos

The road from Phoenix to Durango, Colorado, is pretty long, but at least it passes by some quality Southwest scenery, such as Monument Valley, and some improbable landmarks, such as Four Corners, the only place in the U.S. where four states touch – Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

There’s also a place where you can pull off the road and see actual dinosaur tracks imbedded in the ancient stone surface, always with some random Navajo youngsters on hand to show you the way, for a fee. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1922 Stoughton Fire Engine

The Stoughton Fire Engine is from the first year the Wisconsin company produced fire trucks
The Stoughton Fire Engine is from the first year the Wisconsin company produced fire trucks

Antique firetrucks are wonderful things, flashy and brassy and honoring brave firefighters who rush into burning buildings to save people. There is a small but dedicated niche of firetruck enthusiasts who love and collect these mammoth pieces of Americana. They all have one thing in common: lots of storage space.

Here in Phoenix, we have the Hall of Flame museum, which despite its quirky name is one of the most-significant collections dedicated to vintage firefighting equipment. It’s open to the public and worth a visit. Continue reading

Oldest Vespa scooter currently offered in online auction

The oldest Vespa is a prototype of the iconic scooter built in 1946 | Catawiki photos
The oldest Vespa is a prototype of the iconic scooter built in 1946 | Catawiki photos

The world’s oldest Vespa scooter, the third prototype built by Piaggio in 1946, is currently being auctioned on the online bidding site Catawiki, with an expected result of $250,000 to $300,000.

That might seem like a whole lot for a simple Italian scooter, but consider this example as a historic artifact from the effort to provide cheap, efficient transportation for a nation devastated by World War II. With many millions produced, the Vespa scooter became emblematic of a youthful Neapolitan lifestyle, and were highly popular around the world. Continue reading

Iconic California customs set for HVA displays in Washington

The McGee Roadster is the embodiment of early hot rod design | Historic Vehicle Association photos
The McGee Roadster is the pure embodiment of early hot rod design | Historic Vehicle Association photos

Three iconic pieces of California custom-car culture take center stage next month on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as the Historic Vehicle Association displays the latest vehicles to be commemorated and recorded in the HVA National Historic Vehicle Register and archived in the U.S. Library of Congress.

The privately owned cars will be shown at separate times during the month in the HVA glass case on the walkway between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art for passersby to see and admire. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible

The Ford Falcon Sprint convertible is said to still wear original paint
The Ford Falcon Sprint convertible is said to still wear original paint

Spring has sprung, so it’s time to dust off the ragtop and go cruising. What, still covered in snow? Be patient because the warm weather will come. It always does.

The Pick of the Day is an homage to spring and rebirth, a baby-blue 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible that’s about certain to make you feel young again. And this car’s youthful appearance is genuine; it is a 53-year-old survivor still wearing its original glossy paint and with just 51,500 miles on its odometer. Continue reading

British cars score top bids at Bonhams’ Goodwood auction

A 1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT competition coupe sold for $682,629 | Bonhams photos
A 1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT competition coupe sold for $682,629 | Bonhams photos

British cars played well on home court Sunday during Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting auction, which scored an 80 percent sell-through and £5,624,147 (nearly $7 million at the current exchange rate) in total sales. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1991 Toyota Supra Turbo

The Toyota Supra Turbo is said to be in like-new condition, driven just 16,000 miles
The Toyota Supra Turbo is said to be in like-new condition, driven just 16,000 miles

The other day, a friend expressed some regret that he hadn’t bought a Toyota Supra Turbo back when they were cheap and unappreciated, before The Fast and the Furious and before collector cars from Japan hit the mainstream.

The Pick of the Day, an ultra-low-mileage 1991 Toyota Supra Turbo in apparently excellent original condition, would not be out of place today at a Mecum or Barrett-Jackson auction, or even one of the higher-end sales. Car collectors no longer turn up their noses at great Japanese performance cars, and this one looks special indeed. Continue reading

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance photo gallery, part 2

The flamboyant 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer that was custom-built for silent-film comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle | Bob Golfen photos
The flamboyant 1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer that was custom-built for silent-film comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle | Bob Golfen photos

(Editor’s note:  This is Part 2 of The Daily News @ ClassicCars.com photo gallery from the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida.  For a full report on the event and the first half of the gallery, see Part 1.)

The show must go on, so when the weather forecast called for rain Sunday, the organizers of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida took the unprecedented step of moving the whole shebang ahead one day. Continue reading