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.

Diverse Mecum auction in Denver hits $11.4 million in sales

A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos

In case you needed evidence that Mecum brings a diverse selection of collector cars to its auctions, just take a look at the five top sellers from the Denver sale last weekend.

The highest sale was that of a modern exotic, a 2016 Ferrari California T convertible sold for $165,000 (Mecum results do not include buyer fees). The Ferrari was followed by a vintage vehicle from the opposite end of the spectrum, a 1960 Volkswagen 23-window Samba microbus that went for $120,000. Continue reading

Game-changing ’33 Graham inducted into Historic Register

The Graham Blue Streak parked at the home of the designer Amos Northrup | HVA photos
The Graham Blue Streak parked at the home of the designer Amos Northrup | HVA photos

A groundbreaking automobile that abruptly changed the styling direction of American cars of the 1930s, created by a design genius known as a leading pioneer of automotive streamlining, both of them largely unsung and forgotten today.

Such was the fate of the game-changing 1932-34 Graham Eight Blue Streak and its brilliant designer, Amos Northup. The revolutionary enveloping body, unique chassis and aerodynamic shape, not to mention “Pearl Essence” paint made with fish scales, set the Graham Blue Streak apart from the boxy mainstream cars of its era, and established the trend for the coming decade. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S

The Mazda Cosmo sports unique styling that sets it apart
The rotary-engine Mazda Cosmo sports unique styling that sets it apart

One of the fun things to watch in today’s mercurial collector car market is when certain old cars rise from obscurity and gain in value as collectors and investors latch onto them. Recent winners in the collector car lottery range from certain antiques from the earliest days of motoring to postwar classics from Ferrari and Porsche.

Japanese collector cars hit their stride a few years back, led by such limited-edition sports cars as the Toyota 2000GT and the Nissan Skyline GT-R. But as the overall market has cooled, Rising Sun classics settled down from their high prices, although Japanese Home Market cars that were not imported to the U.S. still draw plenty of interest from younger enthusiasts. Continue reading

On board a 77-year-old DC-3 making an around-the-world trek

The Breitling DC-3 took a break from flying around the world at Scottsdale Airport | Bob Golfen
The Breitling DC-3 took a break from flying around the world at Scottsdale Airport | Bob Golfen

The smooth, comforting thrum of twin Pratt & Whitney radial engines rolled through the cabin as we soared over Scottsdale, Arizona, in a 77-year-old airplane. The beautifully restored DC-3 and its crew were taking a break from their daring task of flying around the world, with the goal of making it the oldest plane on record to accomplish such a feat.

I was invited to hook up with the Breitling DC-3 World Tour during its stop in the Phoenix area, and to enjoy the experience of vintage air travel. The airplane is named for its sponsor and wears the logo of the luxury-watch company emblazoned on its hull. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10

The Dodge Viper is a low-mileage survivor said to be in excellent condition
The Dodge Viper is a low-mileage survivor said to be in excellent condition

Now that we know Dodge Viper production ends after this model year, the Pick of the Day goes back to the roots of the V10-powered roadster with one of the first-gen models in low-mileage survivor condition.

This 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 has been driven only 13,090 miles in its 23 years by just two owners, according to the dealer in Hailey, Idaho, advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

Another unique slate of special classes for Amelia Island Concours

The BeatNik Bandit custom roadster was Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth's most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos
The Beatnik Bandit custom roadster was Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida is well-known for its imaginative and sometimes quirky special classes – Cars of the Cowboys, Beach Cars, and Orphan Concept Cars come to mind – and the lineup for March 2018 stays true to form.

Eleven special classes have been revealed by the concours for its 2018 show, most of them featuring classic era, sports cars and motorsports icons. But the organizers, led by founder and chairman Bill Warner, always have a few unexpected themes thrown into the mix. Continue reading

Events: Concours, Cadillacs and motorsports champions

The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours
The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours

The 39th annual Concours d’Elegance of America, which actually comprises a weekend of 15 events, will host about 300 rare collector cars from around the world from July 28 through July 30 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Featured marques for the main-event concours, which takes place on Sunday, July 30, are Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and Shelby Cobra, while the featured coachbuilder is Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena and the featured body styles are boattail classics, hypercar exotics and Jet Age Juniors. Continue reading

Pebble Beach concours to celebrate Isotta Fraschini

The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be at this year's concours | Pebble Beach Concours
The 1995 Pebble Beach best of show, a 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS, will be shown at this year’s concours | Pebble Beach Concours

Isotta Fraschini, the greatest luxury brand of pre-war Italy, will be celebrated with three full classes at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 20.

Among the opulent cars that will be present on the grass at the 67th annual Pebble Beach Concours will be the marque’s first chassis ever built, a 1901 prototype, and also the last one, a 1948 cabriolet. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored
The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored

Now that we know Mustangs are the most-searched-for collector cars in the U.S., here’s a roaring example of the Ford pony car as pure muscle.

The Pick of the Day is a 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 coupe, the beneficiary of a ground-up restoration and powered by its correct Cleveland 351cid, four-valve V8 with Toploader four-speed manual transmission. All the ingredients needed for a hot trip down the quarter mile, on a straight-ahead back road or, if unlucky, to traffic court. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Volkswagen Beetle

The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle
The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle

Here’s the kind of thing that makes VW fanatics flip out, an accurately restored Type 1 from the first year they were brought into the U.S.

New York dealer Max Hoffman, the automotive impresario who also was the early importer of such European brands as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, believed that the American public would accept the odd-duck Volkswagen despite its minimalistic size, accommodations and performance. Hoffman was right, in spades. Continue reading