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.

Thousands crowd into Carmel for Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance

A 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost lead an  Aston Martin and Jaguar into Carmel-by-the Sea | Bob Golfen photos
A 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost leads an Aston Martin and Jaguar into Carmel-by-the Sea | Bob Golfen photos

Once a year, the picturesque and upscale village of Carmel-by-the-Sea becomes the absolute center of the known universe for collector car folks, and their friends, families and dogs. Usually a sleepy little burg where local folks and tourists come downtown to eat and shop, that all changes on the Thursday that the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance rolls into town.

The Pebble Tour, as it’s known, is the best deal on the Monterey Peninsula during car week, when most of the exceptional vintage cars from the greatest concours in America drive onto Ocean Avenue and park while the drivers and passengers stop for their catered lunch. Continue reading

Family-heirloom Ford Speedster at Carmel Mission Classic

Stephanie Brower at the wheel of the 1914 Ford Model T Speedster built by her father, lost and found again | Bob Golfen photos
Stephanie Brower at the wheel of the 1914 Ford Model T Speedster built by her father, lost and found again | Bob Golfen photos

Stephanie Brower’s red-and-brass 1914 Ford Model T Speedster would be a sunny piece of car history even without its heartfelt back story. But it does have one, a moving tale that explains how she happens to possess a sporty little Model T that’s more than a century old.

This is Brower’s own antique flivver, and she drove it to show Wednesday at the Carmel Mission Classic, held at the historic San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel, California, a laid-back respite during the hectic Monterey Car Week. Continue reading

What Bob wants to take home from Russo and Steele in Monterey

Russo and Steele's colorful head honcho Drew Alcazar creates an 'action-packed' experience | Larry Edsall
Russo and Steele’s colorful head honcho Drew Alcazar creates an ‘action-packed’ experience | Larry Edsall

The high-energy Russo and Steele collector car auction launches its 17th annual Monterey sale Thursday with more than 200 cars crossing the block over three days in “what is undisputedly the most action-packed event anywhere on the Peninsula,” according to a company news release. Continue reading

Porsches reign but Ferrari wins at Carmel Concours

A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos
A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos

Porsches, Porsches everywhere. The booming popularity of nearly everybody’s favorite German sports car was powerfully evident Tuesday at the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, California, an event considered to be the launch of Monterey Car Week.

Definitely the most-represented marque by far, Porsches packed the shady streets of the upscale burg – 911s by the score, including many intriguing customs and all-out race cars, plus an impressive collection of the earlier 356 models, with a gaggle of Speedsters, plenty of coupes and cabriolets, and an absolutely stunning 1951 356 coupe in dark maroon, a survivor from the early days of Porsche. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Volvo S90 Inscription, V90 Cross Country

The new Volvo S90 T6 Inscription shows the new design language for the Swedish automaker | Bob Golfen photos
The new Volvo S90 T6 Inscription shows the new design language for the Swedish automaker | Bob Golfen photos

I was a Volvo fan back when they were boxy and quirky, and we had a couple of kids to cart around. The favorite was a funky 245 wagon, the ultimate brick on wheels, yet actually fun to drive, partly because of its four-speed manual transmission with electric overdrive, which activated with a “clunk.”

The all-new 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 wagon seems stunningly futuristic compared with our old Volvo 245 wagon of decades ago. Gone are the funk and the clunk, replaced by sleek styling, refined drivability and a brilliantly sophisticated interior dominated by a large, computer-tablet-like command center in the center of the dashboard. Continue reading

All-women car show hosted in Carmel by Prancing Ponies

The Prancing Ponies members at their home base in San  Francisco | Michael Troutman
Prancing Ponies members at their home base in San Francisco | Michael Troutman

In the male-dominated realm of collector cars, one group is conducting a new car show during Monterey Car Week that’s by women and for women.

The Prancing Ponies Car Show is open to all female owners and co-owners to present their vintage and exotic cars in a casual, first-time event that takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m, on Wednesday, August 16, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1951 Ford F1 pickup truck

The Ford F1 pickup looks to be in fine, restored condition
The Ford F1 pickup looks to be in fine, restored condition

Ford recently celebrated another milestone, the 100th anniversary of its first work truck, the Model TT. Essentially a big-boned version of the Model T automobile, the TT set the stage for generations of purpose-built workhorses that continue through today’s F-Series pickup, for many years the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.

The Pick of the Day is a 1951 Ford F1 pickup, one of the Dearborn automaker’s post-war redesigns as the economy got booming again and tradespeople sought out trucks that were not only job worthy but modern and stylish. Continue reading

Ferrari loses rights to Testarossa name in Germany

A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson
A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson

In a surprise decision, a German court has ruled that Ferrari does not have exclusive rights to the name Testarossa, allowing a toy company to use the famed moniker for a number of its products.

As a result, the long-held Ferrari nameplate -– Italian for “red head” as in the crimson color of the cars’  valve covers –- could soon appear in Germany on a variety of consumer products, from electric shavers to bicycles. So one might shave in the morning with a Testarossa, then drive a Testarossa into the office. Continue reading

Winged Mopars lead $20 million Mecum auction in Harrisburg

A low-mileage 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird was the star of the show | Mecum Auctions
A low-mileage 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird was the star of the show | Mecum Auctions

Led by a pair of Mopar “winged warriors,” Mecum Auctions claimed $20 million in sales (not including auction fees) from its collector car sale this past weekend in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which included a Gone Farmin’ auction of vintage tractors and equipment.

The collector car auction boasted a 74 percent sell-through rate with 636 vehicles going to new homes. American muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s dominated the results, with seven of the top 10 sellers coming from the muscle era. Continue reading

Monterey’s incredible array of collector car events

A 1936 Pierce-Arrow 602 roadster rolls through the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance | Bob Golfen
A 1936 Pierce-Arrow 602 roadster rolls through the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance | Bob Golfen

The week leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is so loaded up with car shows and concours that it’s nearly impossible to attend them all. A great problem to have, considering that each is pretty special and, with few exceptions, could be a standalone event anywhere else.

But Monterey Car Week is the great gathering of the collector car clan, and there is enough interest and participation to maintain this high level of events, and to make them some of the best in the country. Whatever the special niche of your collector car universe, there’s likely to be something here that will scratch that old-car itch. Continue reading