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: 1950 Hudson Pacemaker Brougham

The Hudson Pacemaker was a  unibody car with 'step down' design
The Hudson Pacemaker is an innovative unibody car with ‘step down’ design

If not for the Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car, which was reborn in the animated movie Cars, Hudson would be a largely forgotten brand outside of hardcore enthusiasts. The financial turmoil at the Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana, Indiana, reported yesterday on ClassicCars.com, seems to highlight the fate of this once-great car company.

The Pick of the Day is a 1950 Hudson Pacemaker Brougham, a two-door coupe in green metallic paint that shows the forward thinking of the automaker after World War II. An early unibody car with “step-down” design that made the interior roomier and the center of gravity lower, Hudsons made their mark in NASCAR and other racing venues in the early part of the 1950s. Continue reading

Italian cars, bikes from J Geils estate to be auctioned by Mecum

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 is among the J Geils collection | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 is among the J Geils collection | Mecum Auctions photos

Just about everybody knows J Geils as the leader of the rock band that created such popular hits as Centerfold, Freeze Frame and Love Stinks. But not so many know that Geils, who died in April at 71, was a car guy who founded KTR Motorsports in Carlisle, Massachusetts, to service Ferraris and other mostly Italian exotics.

John “J” Geils also was an avid car collector who focused on his passion for Italian cars and motorcycles after the band broke up. In August, eight of the vehicles from his estate will be auctioned by Mecum at its sale in Monterey, California. Continue reading

Rare and spectacular, 1913 Rolls-Royce going to Bonhams sale

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is specially fitted for fast distance running | Bonhams photos
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is specially fitted for fast distance running | Bonhams photos

A rare “colonial spec” 1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer will highlight Bonhams’ autumn sale in Philadelphia.

The grand luxury Silver Ghost was specially configured as a London-to-Edinburgh car, differing from other models with larger carburetors, higher compression and gearing, and a higher-positioned radiator. As a colonial-specification car, the Rolls is fitted with an enlarged radiator and fuel tank for traveling in remote areas. Continue reading

Elton John-owned Ferrari Daytona in Silverstone auction

The Ferrari Daytona was owned by Elton John from 1973-75 | Silverstone Auctions photos
The Ferrari Daytona was owned by Elton John from 1973-75 | Silverstone Auctions photos

British pop star Elton John, fresh off the success of his breakthrough album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, went right out and bought a Ferrari Daytona. Or so the story goes.

What is documented it that the singer of Rocketman zoomed around in his 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona from 1973 to 1975, no doubt enjoying the music of its 352-horsepower V12 engine. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO clone

The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8
The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8

Ever since I wrote about the 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 COPO coupe at Mecum’s upcoming Denver auction, I’ve been thinking about ’69 Camaros with big-block engines. The authentic ZL1 is the featured highlight of the auction, expected to go for north of a half-million dollars.

The COPO Camaro is a legendary creature, a back-door effort by gearhead insiders at GM to defy the corporation’s racing ban and create a handful of cars with outlandish performance capabilities. Just 69 COPO Camaros were built in 1969, with only a few remaining in original condition. Continue reading

Rare ’69 Camaro ZL1 highlights Mecum’s Denver auction

The Camaro ZL1 has its original aluminum 427 V8 and four speed | Mecum Auctions
The Camaro ZL1 has its original aluminum 427 V8 and four speed | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum expects 1,000 collector cars to cross the block July 20-22 during its third annual Denver auction at the Colorado Convention Center, where the docket features an array of muscle cars, sports cars and classics.

Leading the list is a bright-orange 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe, No. 30 of 69 produced that year. It also is one of the few surviving examples with its original all-aluminum 427cid ZL1 V8 linked with the factory four-speed manual transmission. Original equipment also includes heavy-duty suspension, brakes and other performance components. Continue reading

Rolls-Royce Phantom belonged to famed speed-record holder

A 1933 Phantom once owned by Malcolm Campbell was named by Rolls-Royce for the exhibit | Rolls-Royce
A 1933 Phantom once owned by Malcolm Campbell was named by Rolls-Royce for the exhibit | Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has revealed the third car in its exhibition of The Eight Great Phantoms, which will be shown July 29 through August 2 at Bonhams’ salesroom in London. Seven of the cars are vintage models representing each of Phantoms’ seven generations, while the eighth is the upcoming 2018 Phantom that will debut at the show. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1988 Yugo GV

The Yugo GV was originally sold when new for less than $4,000
The Yugo GV originally sold when new for less than $4,000

OK, when was the last time you saw one of these anywhere, much less for sale and in apparently decent condition?

The Pick of the Day is a “rare for a reason” 1988 Yugo GV hatchback, a tiny critter derived from the ubiquitous Fiat 128 and built in Yugoslavia, which doesn’t exist anymore. The same for 99 percent of these cars, which tended to disintegrate on American highways. Continue reading

Concours and events: Hillsborough’s 61st consecutive year

Last year's Hillsborough Concours best of show winner was a 1958 BMW 503 Cabriolet | Hillsborough Concours
Last year’s Hillsborough Concours best of show winner was a 1958 BMW 503 Cabriolet | Hillsborough Concours

The Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in Burlingame, California, in the Bay area, is one of the oldest in the U.S., holding its 61st annual classic car weekend July 15-16. That’s just a few years short of the granddaddy of them all, the Pebble Beach Concours that marks its 67th year in August.

But Hillsborough claims the prize as the longest continually running concours in the world, never missing a year since its founding in 1956. Pebble has missed several years along the way due to inclement weather. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Toronado gleams in Bimimi Blue paint
The Toronado gleams in Bimimi Blue paint

Following solid sales and critical success for the Buick Riviera, General Motors came out with a groundbreaking design for its next “personal-luxury” car, radically styled and with the first front-wheel-drive system for an American car since the Cord 812 nearly three decades earlier.

The Pick of the Day is a 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado from the second year of the jet-age hardtop with its wildly flared fenders and hideaway headlights, another piece of Cord lore (although predated by the Corvette Sting Ray). The highly original design from Oldsmobile stylists earned awards and accolades, but the look was controversial from the start, a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. Continue reading