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.

Eye Candy: Carmel Mission Classic car show

The Carmel MIssion provides a stunning setting for the annual car show | Bob Golfen photos
The Carmel MIssion provides a stunning setting for the annual car show | Bob Golfen photos

The Carmel Mission Classic might not be among the biggest or best-known events of Monterey Car Week, but it ranks right up there for the beauty of its venue. Set in the courtyard of the historic San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel, the show combines cool cars with the lovely, peaceful mission atmosphere, along with wine tasting from local vineyards and music by a retro soft-jazz ensemble.

There were some stars in this show, such as the 2016 feature car, a 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom limousine was owned by dance icon Fred Astaire, and lent to the mission event by the Petersen Automotive Museum. At the other end of the spectrum was the appearance of a 2016 Ferrari 488 that show organizers said is the first one in the U.S. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Concours on the Avenue in Carmel

A 1958 BMW 507 roadster is greeted on stage by emcee Donald Osborne | Bob Golfen photos
A 1958 BMW 507 roadster is greeted on stage by emcee Donald Osborne | Bob Golfen photos

The Concours on the Avenue in Carmel by the Sea hit its 10th anniversary Tuesday, still the same enjoyably unpretentious car show that crowded the picturesque downtown streets with yet another terrific selection of vintage vehicles and many thousands of spectators.

The concours also retains its role as the kickoff event for the greatest collector car week of the year, which culminates Sunday with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Continue reading

Japanese collector cars making inroads at Monterey auctions

A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company
A 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport will be offered at the Gooding auction at Pebble Beach | Gooding & Company

Japanese collector cars are kind of a new thing, with some of them making it into the higher echelons at auctions and private sales, and being included in museum collections. While much of the interest has been spawned by the latest generation of car collectors just coming of age, those special cars of the 1960s and ’70s have taken on a new luster for older enthusiasts.

The limited-production Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, built from 1967-70, has become a solid player among the high rollers, flirting with million-dollar bids at auction. To a lesser extent, the quirky and exotic Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S also has hit the big time, with the limited-edition rotary-powered sports coupes built from 1967-72 typically going well into six figures at auction. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1964 International Scout pickup

The International Scout has been lavishly restored into a showpiece
The International Scout has been lavishly restored into a showpiece

Vintage SUVs have become hot items for car collectors, especially 4X4s that hold the promise of outdoor adventure. The Toyota Land Cruiser has led the way, with such contemporaries as the original Ford Bronco and the International Scout pulling up close behind.

The Pick of the Day is a gloriously refurbished 1964 International Scout, the boxy little ute that pulled plenty of farmers out of the mud, helped legions of mail carriers slog through and conquered rough terrain around the world. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1988 Yugo GV

The 1988 Yugo appears to be in amazingly clean and intact condition
The 1988 Yugo appears to be in amazingly clean and intact condition

With Monterey Car Week coming up, and all the crazy-money collector cars that entails, I was inclined to choose something suitably opulent for Pick of the Day.

But my contrarian nature took over and I’m going in the other direction with the least-likely car to be found on the lawn at Pebble Beach, a 1988 Yugo GV in glowing appliance white. OK, there is the Concours d’LeMons that also happens next week, which celebrates the very worst in automotive shlock. Continue reading

Stunning 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster set for Gooding auction

The highly desirable 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster was designed by Jean Bugatti | Gooding & Company photos
The highly desirable 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster was designed by Jean Bugatti | Gooding & Company Photos by Mathieu Heurtault

One of the most-beautiful cars at Pebble Beach this year, a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, won’t be seen on the grass at the famous concours d’elegance but at the nearby Gooding & Company auction tent.

The Bugatti, which competed in Italy’s iconic Mille Miglia in 1932, is among the leading stars of the top-end Gooding auction. The sleek roadster, described as being in immaculate restored condition, naturally commands a towering price tag, in this case a pre-auction estimate of $10 million to $14 million. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature

The Mazda CX-9 was completely revamped for 2016 | Bob Golfen
The Mazda CX-9 was completely revamped for 2016 | Bob Golfen

During the past decade or so, Mazda has marketed its vehicles in a certain way, as the sporty alternative to the normal run of practical cars and SUVs. “Zoom-Zoom” has been the quirky tagline, which was a risky gambit if the Mazdas didn’t deliver the driving performance as advertised. Mockery might have ensued.

Fortunately, Mazda has upheld its promise to deliver vehicles with responsive drivability. Well, most of the time. There have been a few misses. But starting with the pure sports-car pleasure of the MX-5 Miata, the Japanese automaker has imbued its lineup with a certain elan that sets them apart. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1951 Ford Deluxe convertible

The 1951 Ford is described as being in immaculate preserved condition
The 1951 Ford is described as being in immaculate preserved condition

With all the attention given to so-called barn finds and other such derelicts from the past, how great is it to discover an all-original, preserved classic that’s old enough to apply for Medicare yet shows remarkably low mileage, looks wonderful and is ready to drive.

The Pick of the Day, a 1951 Ford Deluxe convertible, has just 39,127 on its odometer and is described by its seller as a “spectacular survivor that runs and drives like new.” Continue reading

Prototype Porsche 356/912 ‘missing link’ at Mecum auction

The Porsche 356/912 was one of six prototypes built for the upcoming 912 model | Mecum Auctions photos
The Porsche 356/912 was one of six prototypes built for the upcoming 912 model | Mecum Auctions photos

Porsche prices have been on a dramatic rise in recent years, especially for those cars with special performance features, racing history or celebrity provenance. Mecum’s auction in Monterey, California, presents yet another rare and unusual example, essentially a “missing link” between the original 356 models that established the brand and the subsequent four-cylinder 912 versions of the iconic 911.

The factory-documented 1965 Porsche 356B/912 coupe prototype is one of six cars built to test the automaker’s plan to create a less-expensive edition of the 911, which was introduced in 1963 to great acclaim but also some trepidation about its relatively high price. The idea behind the 912 was to market a sports car with the new look of the six-cylinder 911 but with the mechanical components of the beloved 356. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

The 1960 Chevrolet Impala is one of the desirable 'bubble' hardtop coupes
The 1960 Chevrolet Impala is one of the desirable ‘bubble top’ coupes

The Pick of the Day, a 1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe, is an audacious spaceship of a car. With chrome-plated rockets shooting along its flanks, compete with vapor trails, and a bubble-top roofline that’s more glass than steel, the Impala seems to be swiftly flying low even when parked at the curb.

And those tailfins, like a pair of actual wings (rumor was that at high speeds, they could provide some treacherous lift). They were inherited from the 1959 model year Chevy, of which the ’60 model was seen as a toned-down version of that baroque design. As all Chevy folk know, the unique tailfins disappeared for ’61, never to be seen again. Continue reading