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.

Bonhams features French classics at Retromobile auction in Paris

This 1958 Talbot-Lago T14 America Coupe was the last car built before the company closed | Bonhams photos
This 1958 Talbot-Lago T14 America Coupe was the last car built before the company closed | Bonhams photos

French classic automobiles are fittingly featured at Bonhams’ Paris auction, which takes place February 9 during the Retromobile celebration of vintage vehicles. The annual sale will cover 101 years of motoring history, Bonhams says.

The auction, named Grandes Marques au Grand Palais, will include offerings from French brands Bugatti, Citroën, Renault, Delage and Talbot Lago, among others, in an international sale held during one of Europe’s most flamboyant automotive festivals. Continue reading

Inaugural auction at famed Fairplex in Pomona readied by Mecum

A 1968 Dodge Dart LO23 Super Stock drag racer is one of the auction headliners | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1968 Dodge Dart LO23 Super Stock drag racer is one of the auction headliners | Mecum Auctions photos

The Fairplex in Pomona, California, is a fabled location for legions of motorsports and hot rod fans, the site of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, drag-racing competitions, gigantic swap meets and scores of car-club shows.

This month, the Fairplex will host a new Mecum Auctions collector car sale, with around 600 American muscle cars, hot rods, classics and Corvettes crossing the block during the two-day event February 17-18. Continue reading

Custom ’36 Packard is America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

A Packard named the 'Mulholland Speedster' was picked at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show | AMBR photos
A Packard named the ‘Mulholland Speedster’ was picked at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show | AMBR photos

Low and long, and emulating the great coachbuilt cars of the 1930s, a custom 1936 Packard called the “Mulholland Speedster” was selected as America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

The winning Packard special, built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods and owned by Bruce Wanta, was selected at the culmination of the three-day show that featured more than 1,000 hand-built street rods and custom cars. More than 40,000 people attended the show. Continue reading

Reborn Alvis to be on display at London Classic Car Show

The 1935 Bertelli-bodied 4.3-litre Alvis Sports Coupe is being replicated | Alvis Car Company photos
The 1935 Bertelli-bodied 4.3-litre Alvis Sports Coupe is being replicated | Alvis Car Company photos

Fifty years after it stopped building cars, the famed British brand Alvis has returned with a series of continuation models that celebrate the marque’s road and racing successes of the past. These cars, and the historic originals that inspired them, will be shown February 23-26 during the London Classic Car Show.

Among the vintage Alvis cars on display will be a stunning 1966 Graber-bodied TF21 and a 1937 4.3 drophead coupe (convertible) with Lancefield coachwork. Both of these cars are being replicated for Alvis customers. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II

The Plymouth Belvedere packs a 440 cid big-block V8
The Plymouth Belvedere packs a 440 cid big-block V8

The Pick of the Day is a classic piece of big-block Mopar muscle, a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II hardtop that looks like it just rolled off a ’60s drag strip. Powered by a 440cid V8 with performance tweaks, and its body and interior in stock trim, this Plymouth looks ready to blow the doors off all comers.

The midsize Belvedere has a great look for a no-nonsense performance car, with its razor-sharp body design and stark roofline. The unadorned style only adds to the implied message of massive power lurking within. Continue reading

Big Bentley ‘Bobtail’ racer set for RM Sotheby’s Florida auction

The 1928 Bentley 'Bobtail' wears a body designed by Vanden Plas | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1928 Bentley ‘Bobtail’ wears a body designed by Vanden Plas | RM Sotheby’s photos

One of the mammoth factory cars raced by the Bentley team as the Roaring ‘20s drew to a close, the famed 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans Sports “Bobtail” that competed twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be offered for sale during RM Sotheby’s auction at Amelia Island, Florida, in March.

The Bentley Bobtail, chassis No. KM3088, raced at Le Mans in 1928 and 1929, placing third overall in the latter race. It also finished second overall at the 1929 Brooklands Double Twelve at an average speed 81.39 mph. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1953 Nash Healey roadster

The Nash-Healey looks like a solid restoration candidate
The Nash-Healey looks like a solid restoration candidate

Barn-find classics continue to be fascinating outliers in the collector car market, the romantic lure of a desirable car presented in as-found condition seeming to trump common sense. What used to be ratty restoration candidates have become collector’s items.

One such car sold during Arizona Car Week was a derelict 1958 Porsche 356 A Speedster all primered up with a rat’s nest interior that went for an amazing $341,000. This was not a car with a lovely patina that you could drive in shabby-chic glory but something you’d want to rush off to the restoration shop ASAP. Yes, Porsche Speedsters are crazy valuable, but that price was a stretch. Continue reading

Top Porsche models at no reserve in RM Sotheby’s Paris auction

The all-black is a 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 one of just 17 built  | RM Sotheby's
The all-black is a 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 one of just 17 built | RM Sotheby’s

The Porsche parade moves on to Paris as RM Sotheby’s auctions off 13 sports cars from the German marque, part of a private collection representing a variety of years and types, all at no reserve. The Porsches are the first wave from a 42-car Swiss collection that the auction house plans to dole out at various auctions this year.

With Porsche values remaining in the upper atmosphere, RM Sotheby’s has scheduled a significant number of them for its February 8 sale that takes place during the famed Retromobile festival. Besides the 13 cars from the collection, the auction will feature a 1970 Porsche 917/10 prototype endurance racer with competition history. The car is valued between $5 million and $6 million. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1938 Dodge pickup truck

The Dodge pickup is a three-quarter-ton long bed restored to original
The Dodge pickup is a three-quarter-ton long bed restored to original

As demonstrated again last week during the auctions of Arizona Car Week, old pickup trucks are hot commodities these days, especially those that have been restored to original. It’s hard not to feel nostalgia at the sight of a shapely classic truck, which often were handsomely styled despite their utilitarian purposes.

While most vintage pickups you see preserved or restored are Fords or GM trucks, the Pick of the Day is an unusual 1938 Dodge pickup. Pre-war Dodge trucks are fairly rare, and this heavy-duty, three-quarter-ton long bed usually would have been subjected to rough hauling duties and unlikely to have survived, but this lucky one lives on. Continue reading

Super-sized Barrett-Jackson is bucket-list auction that has it all

All eyes and cameras were turned toward Justin Bieber instead of his Ferrari 458 Italia  | Bob Golfen photos
All eyes and cameras were turned toward Justin Bieber instead of his Ferrari 458 Italia | Bob Golfen photos

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale is a collector-car auction like no other, as brassy and oversized as a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, as crowded with passionate fans as a political convention, and as packed with popular attractions as a state fair. There’s no Ferris wheel, but there should be.

From barbecued turkey legs to the most pristine of vintage automobiles, Barrett-Jackson excels in what it does best: attracting the most folks to the collector car hobby. It does so by way of a grand, sprawling spectacle that attracts 200,000 ticket holders each year to the Scottsdale venue as well as what has become a global audience of millions of TV watchers. Continue reading