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.

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

Unique Porsche 918 Spyder leads Mecum in Anaheim

Th e Porsche 918 Spyder was by far the high seller at the Anaheim auction | Mecum Auction photos
The Porsche 918 Spyder was by far the high seller at the Anaheim auction | Mecum Auction photos

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder that crossed the Mecum auction block in Anaheim, California, had everything going for it: a one-of-a-kind version ordered from the factory without paint but with exposed carbon fiber and matte black wrap; Nomex lightweight Alcantera bucket seats; the Weissach performance package; and just 1,977 original miles on its odometer.

The highly sought-after modern exotic earned its due with the high sale at the auction last weekend, hammered at $1,475,000 (figure does not include auction fee) to lead results for the three-day event, in which 308 cars and 221 pieces of Road Art were sold for a total of $11 million. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible

The Corvette Stingray convertible wears the desirable Bronze paint color
The Corvette Stingray convertible wears the desirable Bronze paint color

For 1970, Corvette buyers had the option of a Bronze paint hue that turned out to be a one-year-only color for the C3 generation. Later generations brought back a similar shade, but the1970 Bronze color became sought after for its richness and depth, and because it set off the car’s curvaceous lines so well.

The Pick of the Day is a perfect example, a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible in that glowing color, offered on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Concord, North Carolina. The transplant of a bigger V8 engine and a big-block hood add to this one’s allure. Continue reading

Driven: all-new 2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac pushes the styling envelope with the design of its new XT5 | Bob Golfen
Cadillac pushes the styling envelope with the design of its new XT5 | Bob Golfen

Picture an alien spacecraft approaching above a dark highway and you get the idea of the styling of Cadillac’s latest midsize crossover SUV, the XT5. This exotic-looking SUV, which introduces a new chassis and new nomenclature for the GM luxury brand, replaces the SRX for 2017.

XT5 is a flashy rendition even by Cadillac’s usual extroverted standards, a showy look-at-me crossover patterned after the division’s other SUVs and sedans, including its biggest and most high-profile product, Escalade. The lighting up front, with the flowing LED strips running down the fenders, are certainly distinctive, and everybody will see you coming, especially at night. Continue reading

Jaguar Classic unveils brand-new 1957 XKSS roadster

The Jaguas XKSS was re-created with a dedication to authenticity | Jaguar Classic photos
The Jaguas XKSS was re-created with a dedication to authenticity | Jaguar Classic photos

While the world’s auto manufacturers prepare to show off their latest creations at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jaguar was busy a few miles away at the Petersen Automotive Museum rolling out something completely different, a spectacular piece of its motoring heritage made new again.

Jaguar Classic, the automaker’s heritage division, unveiled the first of its completely new 1957 XKSS roadsters built to the exact specifications of the six-decade-old design, what Jaguar calls a “new original” re-creation of what’s considered to be the first post-war supercar. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1952 Allard K2 roadster

The Allard roadster has a Mercury flathead V8 under its hood
The Allard roadster has a Mercury flathead V8 under its hood

Long before Carroll Shelby dreamed up the idea of shoving an American V8 into a British roadster, Sidney Allard created fantastic sports cars for street and competition with a similar formula starting in 1948. Only a few more than 100 were produced, and they are revered today by collectors, rallyists and vintage racers.

The Pick of the Day is a 1952 Allard K2 roadster powered by its original Mercury flathead V8 engine, one of just 12 built with that powerplant; most of the K2s used Ford, Cadillac, Chrysler and Oldsmobile engines. Continue reading