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.

Mecum heads to Southern California for collector car auction

A lavishly customized 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille is an Anaheim feature | Mecum Auction photos
A lavishly customized 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille is an Anaheim feature | Mecum Auction photos

Mecum Auctions rolls into Southern California on Thursday for its annual three-day sale at the Anaheim Convention Center, with about 750 muscle cars, customs and classics offered for bidding. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1961 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

The Cadillac Coupe DeVille shows off its sharp-edged styling
The Cadillac Coupe DeVille shows off its sharp-edged styling

As excessive as the 1961 Cadillac seems today, it was actually quite toned down from the wildly ebullient 1959 Cadillac with its towering rocket fins. Sure, there are some serious tailfins here, but General Motors’ new knife-edge styling brought them down to earth.

The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Cadillac Coupe DeVille said to be a two-owner California car in beautiful condition behind a partial restoration. The DeVille is incredibly long, stretching out 18-and-a-half feet, with the strongly horizontal body contours making it look even more so. Continue reading

An amazing Carroll Shelby relic, a 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 used in his driving school, for sale with a seven-figure price tag

The GT350 fastback is one of three used at Carroll Shelby's driving school in the 1960s | Dynamic Motorsports photos
The GT350 fastback is one of three used at Carroll Shelby’s driving school in the 1960s | Dynamic Motorsports photos

The remarkable legacy of Carroll Shelby has many twists and turns, many deviations from his history as a successful racecar driver and Le Mans team leader to the visionary who combined a British roadster with a Ford V8 to create one of the greatest sports cars of all time, the Shelby Cobra.

One of Shelby’s sidelines after heart issues ended his racing career in 1961 was operation of the Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving, considered to be America’s first competition-driving school. Shelby ran the innovative school at Riverside International Raceway in California, where his students included racing stars, movie stars, fashion models and an assortment of the rich and famous. Continue reading

American muscle drives Mecum’s Dallas auction to $24.6 million

A 1965 Shelby GT350 sold for $410,000 i Dallas | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1965 Shelby GT350 sold for $410,000 i Dallas | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions sold 756 collector cars during its four-day sale in Dallas last week, posting $24.6 million in transactions and a 73 percent sell-through rate. American muscle cars were a top draw, mostly filling the list of top-10 sellers. Continue reading

Driven (briefly): A conquering Titan, plus off-road wagons 

The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category |  Mark Elias Media Services photos
The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category

(Editor’s note: Our staff recently did a series of brief drives — either around 30 miles on pavement or on a short but challenging off-road course — in several cars during the media day at the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle awards program held in the Phoenix area. Here are Bob Golfen’s impressions of four of the vehicles he drove during that program.)

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Pick of the Day: 1948 Ford resto-rod convertible

The Ford convertible looks like what might have been seen at a '50s drive-in
The Ford convertible looks like what might have been seen at a ’50s drive-in

This is the kind of old-school street rod that appeals to me: a nicely restored classic that’s lowered though not slammed so much that you can’t get in your driveway, wheels that are appropriate and not too flashy, and completely usable since it’s powered by the ubiquitous 350 cid Chevy V8 with automatic.

The Pick of the Day is a 1948 Ford convertible advertised on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Cleburne, Texas, who described it as “fully restored.” The information with the ad is pretty skimpy although the photos tell the tale. I believe the model would be a Super Deluxe. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1963 Buick Riviera

The Buick Riviera is in remarkably good original condition, the dealer says
The Buick Riviera appears to be in remarkably good original condition

The Buick Riviera debuted in October 1962 to tremendous acclaim, its uniquely beautiful “knife-edge” styling – penned by General Motors stylist Ned Nickle under the legendary GM design director Bill Mitchell – still recognized as a milestone in automotive design (it was officially pronounced so by the Milestone Car Society). Continue reading

Historic 1952 Ferrari race car set for Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction

The Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider raced at the1952  Mile Miglia and LeMans 24 | Bonhams
The Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider raced at the1952 Mile Miglia and LeMans 24 | Bonhams

A spectacular piece of racing history has been consigned for Bonhams’ January auction in Scottsdale: A 1952 Ferrari 340 America Vignale Spider that was the factory team entry for the 1952 Mille Miglia and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Continue reading

Now there are seven: Worldwide announces Scottsdale auction

An early 1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A Cabriolet will be among Worldwide's no reserve offerings | Worldwide Auctions
An early 1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A Cabriolet will be among Worldwide’s no reserve offerings | Worldwide Auctions

Worldwide Auctions has announced that it is adding its gavel to Arizona Auction Week, with a sale of about 80 collector cars set for January 18 in Scottsdale’s Old Town district.

That will bring to seven the number of auctions that take place in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area during the annual old-car festival, more than any similar cluster of collector car sales in the U.S.; the Monterey, California, area hosts five auctions during Pebble Beach Concours week. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1930 Ford speed-record-style street rod

The 1930 Ford is streamlined for cheating the wind in speed-record attempts
The 1930 Ford is streamlined for cheating the wind in speed-record attempts

The Bonneville Salt Flats is the coolest place on earth during Speed Week, when a marvelous assortment of racers vie to beat records in what seems like an endless variety of classes. One of the most fascinating facets of this top-speed motorsport is that so many of the teams celebrate vintage forms of hot rodding, from belly tanks to roadsters, that sprang up shortly after World War II.

The Pick of the Day is a street rod built to emulate the streamlining efforts from those early days, a custom 1930 Ford five-window coupe designed to cut through the air with a minimum of effort at a maximum velocity. As it is, the rod is more about dramatic flair than for racing at Bonneville, although one most certainly could run it on the salt. Continue reading