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: 1966 Ford Mustang GT

The 1966 Ford Mustang GT coupe has been rotisserie restored, the seller says
The 1966 Ford Mustang GT coupe has been rotisserie restored, the seller says

Coming down from the dreamscape of the Arizona collector car auctions, many of us are craving something we can actually buy without taking out a second mortgage, especially something that’s all ready to drive and enjoy. Nothing fancy, just a solid car that will deliver plenty of pleasure with a minimum of fuss.

The Pick of the Day could fit that bill, an attractive 1966 Ford Mustang GT coupe in Lakeland, Florida, that is said to be totally restored from a car that was rust free and never in an accident. Continue reading

Shelby magic again lights up Barrett-Jackson auction block during the ‘Super Saturday’ sale in Scottsdale

The 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra is rolled off the Barrett-Jackson block after selling for $797,500 | Matt Fink
The 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra is rolled off the Barrett-Jackson block after selling for $797,500 | Matthew Fink

Cleo Shelby’s bright-blue eyes began tearing up as she watched one of her late husband’s landmark creations, a 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra, rumble onto the auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s busy Saturday sale in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“It’s very nostalgic for me,” she said in her rich British accent. Continue reading

Sale of unique Alfa Romeo Buano coupe in Scottsdale refocuses question of restoration vs. preservation

The coachbuilt 1955 Alfa Romeo 3500C SS coupe was first shown at the Turin Motor Show | Bob Golfen photos
The coachbuilt 1955 Alfa Romeo 3500C SS coupe was first shown at the Turin Motor Show | Bob Golfen photos

Once again, the Gooding & Company auction presented some interesting “barn find” European sports cars at its Scottsdale sale, including one of the signature cars of the event, a one-a-kind 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Coupe Speciale, in distressed yet picturesque condition.

With evocative coachwork by Buano created for display at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, the Alfa was a center of attention at Gooding, even with a cracking repaint in an incorrect red color and some rough-looking dents on top of the alloy right-front fender. Continue reading

Bob’s favored few from the Silver auction in Arizona

Checking under the hood of a custom Dodge pickup during bidding at the Silver auction | Bob Golfen photos
Checking under the hood of a custom Dodge pickup during bidding at the Silver auction | Bob Golfen photos

Compared with the five other Arizona collector car auctions going on this week, Silver’s Fort McDowell sale is way out in right field, both in location and substance. While the other auctions are situated within the Scottsdale/Phoenix metro hub, Mitch Silver has planted his event northeast of town at the Fort McDowell Casino and Resort in the Yavapai tribal community.

And while the other auctions try to outdo each other in the splendor of their sales, Silver remains a laid back and easily accessible affair for the everyman enthusiast, with most of the collector cars on the docket readily affordable. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Ford Fairlane custom

The 1955 Ford Fairlane is outfiited with old-school custom accessories
The 1955 Ford Fairlane is outfiited with old-school custom accessories

With all the nosebleed prices that will be kicking around this weekend at the Arizona auctions, which can be pretty depressing for us regular folk, I thought it would be a good idea to present a Pick of the Day that is quite affordable while still being cool and desirable.

This 1955 Ford Fairlane is described by the Whiteland, Indiana, classic car dealer as fully restored, and it’s outfitted with retro accessories that should appeal to old-school cruisers. This look has come back strong among younger hobbyists who embrace the rockabilly culture, as well as older nostalgic collectors. Continue reading

Will Porsche 911 overabundance ding prices in Arizona?

A long lineup of Porsche 911s are parked at Bonhams' auction in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen
A long lineup of Porsche 911s are parked at Bonhams’ auction in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen

The Porsche 911 seems to have it all – evocative styling, sparkling performance, competition history, a remarkably long-lived heritage – and there are plenty of them to go around. Since they hit the ground running in 1963, 911s have occupied a special space in the hearts of millions of enthusiasts of every stripe.

Porsches seem to be everywhere at the Arizona auctions this week, especially the 911 and its variants that have seen such a run up in values in the past few years. Bonhams has 21 Porsches out of its total of 115 collector cars being offered at auction today in Scottsdale. Sixteen of those cars are 911s, most of them lined up in a row that repeats the iconic form like an arcade mirror. Continue reading

Bob’s six picks at Bonhams auction in Scottsdale

The coachbuilt 1936 Hudson Stratton Sedan wears the best grille in the business | Bob Golfen photos
The coachbuilt 1936 Hudson Stratton Sedan wears the greatest grille in the business | Bob Golfen photos

Bonhams has been around for a while, founded in 1793 in the U.K. before people ever dreamed that we’d be able to drive to Starbucks without horses. Now the horses are all under the hood, or bonnet as the British like to call it, and Bonhams has mounted its fifth annual collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, which also did not exist in 1793. Continue reading

Arizona Concours tour stops off for free Scottsdale show

A 1954 Cadillac Co0upe de Ville parked on Marshall Way in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen photos
A 1954 Cadillac Co0upe de Ville parked on Marshall Way in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen photos

Marshall Way in an upscale retail area of Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona, is usually a bit sleepy on a Monday afternoon. But this Monday it was packed with spectators who lined up to see the vintage automobiles from the Arizona Concours d’Elegance as they rolled in and parked along the tree-lined street for a free public display. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1970 Datsun 240Z

The 1970 Datsun 240Z represents the first year the Japanese sports coupe was imported to the U.S.
The 1970 Datsun 240Z represents the first year the Japanese sports coupe was imported to the U.S.

An undervalued darling of the recent run-up in collector car values, the Datsun 240Z has become one of the few mass-produced Japanese cars to gain any notice. After watching the boom in prices for such things as production Porsche 911s, collectors began eying early Z-cars as strong candidates for get-in-on-the-ground-floor investment.

The expected boom has been more of a gradually rising tide, but 240Zs have taken their place as bona fide collector’s items, as well as enjoyable sports coupes for vintage car rallies and Sunday drives, and are often seen these days at collector car auctions and in classic car sales listings.

The Datsun is described by the seller as totally restored
The Datsun is described by the seller as totally restored

The Pick of the Day is an early-production model, a 1970 Datsun 240Z that has been restored to original, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com. The price tag of $30,000 shows the increased value of nice Zs, and this one from the first year of import to the U.S. could look like a bargain not too many years down the road. Continue reading

Five George Barris customs on Barrett-Jackson block

The 1966 Dodge SuperVan is outfitted as a mini discotheque | Barrett-Jackson photos
The 1966 Dodge SuperVan is outfitted as a mini discotheque | Barrett-Jackson photos

George Barris, the legendary King of  Kustomizers, left us late last year at the age of 89, but the many unique custom cars that he and his crew created over the decades remain as testimony to his innovative and often quirky imagination.

Five cars with the George Barris touch will be up for sale at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction January 23-31, including a fanciful custom Dodge van and a mink-lined 1970 Corvette built for actress Farrah Fawcett. Continue reading