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.

First car ticketed for speeding to appear at British concours

The 1896 Arnold Benz that received the world's first speeding ticket | Concours of Elegance
The 1896 Arnold Benz that received the world’s first speeding ticket | Concours of Elegance

Walter Arnold was driving four times the legal speed limit when he was pulled over in Paddock Green, Kent, in the UK. The policeman who chased him down was riding a bicycle.

The year was 1896 and Arnold was hurtling through Kent in his Arnold Benz Motor Carriage at the highly illegal speed of 8 miles per hour, flagrantly defying the British law that limited speeds of the newfangled horseless carriages to 2 miles per hour, with each vehicle required to have a man walking ahead of it waving a red flag. Continue reading

Collector car market shifts toward affordability, experts say

The compact Ford Bronco has risen in value and popularity | Barrett-Jackson
The compact Ford Bronco has risen in value and popularity | Barrett-Jackson

Affordability seems to be key in the current collector car market, with buyer interest shifting down market while values of high-end classics and exotics stagnate or even decline slightly, according to the latest findings from Hagerty, the classic car insurance and valuation company. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Oldsmobile 88 custom coupe

The Oldsmobile's trim has been cleaned up and the chrome polished
The Oldsmobile’s trim has been cleaned up and the chrome polished

The Pick of the Day is a gorgeous cover girl, a dream machine that graced the front cover and centerfold of the November 4, 1991, edition of Hot Rod Mechanix magazine, under the headline, “My Blue Heaven.”

The coupe is painted in an attractive shade called Crest Blue
The coupe is painted in an attractive shade called Crest Blue

The 1950 Oldsmobile 88 coupe has been tastefully transformed into a period-style custom cruiser with a cleaned-up nose, grille and rear deck, and painted a luscious shade called Crest Blue. The Olds is powered by its original, rebuilt 303 cid Rocket V8 and three-speed automatic, with new brakes, tires, springs, shocks and battery, according to the Brainerd, Minnesota, dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

Three 1920s sports classics offered by Bonhams at Greenwich

The Stutz Model M Dual-Cowl Speedster is a rare sport/luxury car | Bonhams photos
The Stutz Model M Dual-Cowl Speedster is a rare sport/luxury car | Bonhams photos

Three sporty 1920s classics will be among the early automobiles offered during Bonhams’ auction in  Greenwich, Connecticut,  on June 4th at the waterfront Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. Continue reading

Event roundup: Datsun 1600 pickup wins class at Texas concours

The Datsun pickup on the red carpet receives its concours award | Concours of Texas
The Datsun pickup on the red carpet receiving its concours award | Concours of Texas

It might seem surprising that such a high-end event as the Concours d’Elegance of Texas would have a truck category. But the class winner was an even bigger surprise: a preserved 1972 Datsun 1600 pickup truck nicknamed “Sweet Pea.”

Lovingly maintained by its original owner, Marvin Askew, the simple Datsun was nestled in among about 125 classics and sports cars, as well as other trucks in its class, at the Concours of Texas, which was held April 23 at Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1961 Pontiac Bonneville

The 56-year-old Pontiac Bonneville seems to be in remarkably preserved condition
The 56-year-old Pontiac Bonneville seems to be in remarkably preserved condition

Named for the famous speed-record Salt Flats in Utah, Bonneville was Pontiac’s luxury/performance car done on a grand scale. Bonneville hit its stride in 1959 as the brand launched its big wide-track models, and it led the division for the next decade.

The Bonneville sports a 'bubbletop' roofline
The Bonneville sports a ‘bubbletop’ roofline

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville hardtop, with a roofline so trim and its front and rear glass so broad that it’s called a “bubbletop,” a great look also offered at the time by the other GM divisions. More than 18 feet long and fully loaded with features, the 3,900-pound Bonneville is a monumental automobile that helped launched the muscle-car era of the 1960s. Continue reading

First prototype Ferrari 275 GTB/4 heads to London auction

The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was unveiled in Paris in 1966 | Coys photos
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 was unveiled in Paris in 1966 | Coys photos

The factory prototype Ferrari 275 GTB/4, unveiled at the 1966 Paris Motor Show in the debut of one of the most-beautiful and best-performing GT coupes of the era, will be offered May 18 during Coys’ London auction at the Royal Horticultural Halls.

The 275 GTB/4, powered by a 300-horsepower four-cam V12 engine, was a game changer for Ferrari, boosting the power and performance of the Pininfarina-styled coupe that combined racecar design with a comfortable touring car of uncompromising elegance. Continue reading

Arizona Concours d’Elegance rides into the sunset

The Arizona Concours was held on the inner lawns of the Arizona Biltmore Resort | Ken Bryant
The Arizona Concours was held on the inner lawns of the Arizona Biltmore Resort | Ken Bryant

After a four-year run, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance has been called off, the concours directors announced Friday. The upscale event, while praised for its selections of rare and historic automobiles and its striking venue on the inner lawns of the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, has not received the financial support required to continue, the directors said.

The Arizona Concours was organized by a steering committee of volunteers, with net proceeds and donations benefiting Make-A-Wish® Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that provides wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“In the beginning, we set out to achieve a word-class concours and an event that would positively impact the lives of children in need,” said Kevin Cornish, the executive director of the Arizona Concours. “The group of people responsible for the Arizona Concours take great pride in what has been achieved, and we thank all of those who worked so hard to make this, our dream, a reality.

“As Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it is ending… be happy because it happened!'”

A spectacular Bugatti Atlantic won best of show in January | Larry Edsall
A spectacular Bugatti Atlantic won best of show in January | Larry Edsall

Following is the news release announcing the closure of the concours:

Four years ago, the Arizona Concours d’Elegance debuted as a high-quality automotive event designed to start up Arizona’s annual Car Week in style. Staged in the magnificent Art Deco setting of the historic Arizona Biltmore Resort’s inner lawns, the Concours has received wide critical acclaim for its exceptional presentation of some of the world’s greatest vintage automobiles.

The Arizona Concours outdid itself each year, spurred on by a dedicated band of volunteers, covered by international media, and supported by its entrants, judges, sponsors and spectators. Best of all, the Arizona Concours raised $300,000 for its charity, Make-A-Wish® Arizona, enabling more than 30 wishes for young people battling life-threatening illnesses.

However, the long-term success of such events as the Arizona Concours is built on sustained corporate support. Although the Concours has been a critical success, it unfortunately has not established the financial foundation necessary to support it sustainably into the future.

Not wishing to compromise the quality or the integrity of the event, the directors have decided to retire the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. The Concours scheduled for January 2018 will not take place.

The all-volunteer members of the Arizona Concours steering committee and board of directors thank the many people whose hard work have made this unique event so wonderful, and which has benefited such a worthy cause as Make-A-Wish® Arizona.

Pick of the Day: 1969 Mercury Cougar

The Cougar has been enhanced with performance upgrades
The Cougar has been enhanced with performance upgrades

Mercury Cougar was Ford Mustang’s higher-achieving but less-successful sibling. Basically, it was a decked-out Mustang with suitable luxury trim and signature features – including hideaway headlights and sequential rear turn signals – for the more-upscale Mercury customers.

Cougar never reached Mustang’s level of sales, nor its iconic image, not by a long shot, which makes it rarer than the ubiquitous Ford pony cars, although generally not as valuable nor as high profile. Continue reading

Preserved, low-mileage 1967 Corvette 427 convertible at Mecum

The Corvette convertible boasts a tri-power 427 V8 | Mecum Auctions photos
The Corvette convertible boasts a tri-power 427 V8 | Mecum Auctions photos

A pristine, all-original 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/435 hp four-speed convertible with fewer than 24,000 documented miles, in still-gleaming original black paint with a red hood stinger and Bloomington Gold Benchmark certified.

As Sam Spade said in the Maltese Falcon: “The stuff that dreams are made of.”

Only this Vette is real, and it comes up for auction during Mecum’s 30th anniversary Indianapolis sale from May 16 to 21. Continue reading