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.

Honda celebrates 50th year of roadster that started it all

The Honda S800 would go 100 mph despite its pint-size engine | Honda
The Honda S800 would go 100 mph despite its pint-size engine | Honda

The first four-wheeled Honda seen in Great Britain was a roadster very much in line with the small sports cars made famous in the UK by the likes of MG and Triumph. Never officially imported to the United States, the S800 was nonetheless the first Honda seen here that was not a motorcycle.

Honda celebrates the 50th anniversary of the S800’s debut outside Japan with the restoration of a red 1967 model that is to be ready for the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2017. The refurbishing project, which Honda says will be done with respect for the roadster’s age and patina, is now under way at Le Riche Automobile Restorers in Jersey. When completed, the car will be added to Honda’s heritage press fleet for display at British events. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition

The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition
The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition

There’s something about these little beach cars that get people excited. The Fiat Jolly, with its wicker seats, cutaway doors and fringe top, is the sunny poster child of this quirky collector car niche, but there are a few other European models that have been fashioned into seaside cruisers. It’s easy to see why. What could be more fun?

The Pick of the Week is a rare find, what is said to be a totally authentic and documented 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition. The vast majority of VW Things were of the standard setup -– strange unto itself -– while only around 400 Acapulcos were built during a three-month period in 1974, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

They’re at it again: Hagerty crew to build Ford Model A with parts found at Hershey Swap Meet in just four days

The Ford Model A chassis is pushed out of its resting place, headed for Hershey | Hagerty photos
The Ford Model A chassis is pushed out of its resting place, headed for Hershey | Hagerty photos

The idea of Hagerty’s Swap to Street Challenge sprouted from a simple concept often heard at the Hershey Swap Meet, that you could build an entire car from the used parts found on the grounds of the sprawling event.

Last year was the maiden voyage of Swap to Street. Starting with a decrepit 1946 Ford half-ton pickup pulled out of the Michigan mud, a team of four Hagerty employees took on the task of getting the truck back on the road, the challenge being to accomplish the feat during the four days of the AACA Fall Hersey Swap Meet and locating the needed parts at the meet. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s highlights historic Duesenbergs at Hershey auction

The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton is known as the 'Mexican Duesenberg' | Darin Schnabel / RM Sotheby's photos
The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton is known as the ‘Mexican Duesenberg’ | Darin Schnabel / RM Sotheby’s photos

RM Sotheby’s holds its 10th annual auction in Hershey, Pennsylvania, next month in conjunction with the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division Fall Meet. The sale is headlined by a pair of significant Duesenbergs owned by the same family for more than 50 years.

One of those Duesenbergs, a 1930 Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton that is one of only three of the open cars originally bodied by coachbuilder Walter J. Murphy, is the highest valued car at the auction, estimated at $1.6 million to $2 million. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1940 Ford Tudor veteran of WWII

The Ford Tudor was stored in a barn after serving an Army general during wartime
The Ford Tudor was stored in a barn after serving an Army general during wartime

This old Ford two-door sedan is truly a veteran, not just as an original survivor and bona fide ‘barn find,’ but as an actual Army veteran of World War II. It was owned by an Army general who used it in the U.S. during the war, and in occupied Germany after the conflict.

The Pick of the Day, a 1940 Ford Tudor, still wears the coat of Army Green paint that the general ordered for his official wartime wheels. Obvious clinkers are the added-on bright-yellow wheels and whitewall tires that no self-respecting military man would ever wear. The next owner would be wise to tone them down in keeping with the car’s otherwise original condition. Continue reading

Barn-find recovery of Jaguar E-type recorded in photos

The Jaguar XK-E coupe sits in the barn where it has been parked for more-than 40 years | H&H Classics photos
The Jaguar XK-E coupe sits in the barn where it has been parked for more-than 40 years | H&H Classics photos

The extraction of an early Jaguar E-type 3.8-liter coupe from a sodden wooden barn in the English countryside, where it had languished for four decades, was captured beautifully in photographs taken by H&H Classics, which will auction the car next month in England. Continue reading

Ferrari 275 GTB/C alloy racer sold by RK Motors for $10.3 million

The Ferrari 275 GTB/C is a competition car with a lightweight aluminum body | RK Motors
The Ferrari 275 GTB/C is a competition car with a lightweight aluminum body | RK Motors photos

RK Motors, a collector car dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina, recently celebrated its biggest sale ever, that of a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C for $10.3 million.

The Ferrari, chassis number 09067, is one of just 12 competition versions of the 275 GTB produced, with lightweight aluminum bodies designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. The GTB/C helped continue Ferrari’s strong record of racing victories as the replacement for the iconic 250 GT. Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Nissan Maxima Platinum

Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo
Nissan Maxima has been upgraded with more-dramatic styling, larger interior and improved driving dynamics | Bob Golfen photo

The winding, tree-lined roads in and around Monterey and Pebble Beach, California, are like a carnival ride for people who want to hunker down and drive. Indeed, the legendary road race near Pebble Beach Lodge started in the same year as the famed Concours d’Elegance that marked its 66th anniversary this year.

I was driving those same roads recently as I helped cover the Monterey Car Week car shows and auctions for ClassicCars.com. The 2016 Maxima loaned to me by Nissan seemed at first like an unlikely craft for such fun duty, being a fairly large sedan loaded up with luxury features, but the Japanese automaker’s promise of a “4-door sports car” turned out to be not so far off the mark. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder Beck replica

The Porsche 550 Spyder is an affordable replica
The Porsche 550 Spyder is an affordable replica

Last week, Bonhams auction announced the stunning sale of an original preserved 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder for $6.1 million, a world record by far for the mid-engine roadster made famous by the demise of actor James Dean in his “Little Bastard” on a Southern California highway.

So there goes yet another cool collector car sailing out of sight for most of us. But if authenticity is not key to your enjoyment of this most memorable of early Porsche road/race cars, there is another, less-painful way to obtain a reasonable facsimile. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Velorex 16/350 cyclecar

The Velorex 16/350 cyclecar has a fabric and weighs less than 700 pounds
The Velorex 16/350 cyclecar has a fabric body and weighs less than 700 pounds

Basic transportation could hardly be more basic than the Pick of the Day, a three-wheeled Czechoslovakian cyclecar. Modeled in the 1930s after the three-wheeled Morgan of Great Britain, the tiny 1969 Velorex 16/350 features a button-on fabric body, a two-cylinder two-stroke engine and an unladen weight of 683 pounds. Continue reading