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.

Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 marks 50 years of roadster joy

An early Alfa Romeo Spider 1600, this one coming to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction | Barrett-Jackson
An early Alfa Romeo Spider 1600, this one coming to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction | Barrett-Jackson

For many Americans, their first recognition of the Alfa Romeo Spider was at the movies when they watched a young Dustin Hoffman driving one, top down, as he sped after his beloved in the 1967 film, The Graduate.

In bright red with its classic roadster proportions and evocatively rounded tail, the newly minted Spider designed by Pininfarina seemed like a joyous entry in the freewheeling world of diminutive sports cars dominated in the U.S. by such British brands as MG, Triumph and Austin Healey. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1924 Ford Model T custom pickup

The 1924 Ford 'Tall T' custom pickup was created from a stock-body Model T truck
The 1924 Ford ‘Tall T’ custom pickup was created from a stock-body Model T truck

Texans ride tall in the saddle, they say, although this is probably not what they had in mind. The Pick of the Day might look like an odd custom-bodied creation, but the street rod actually was built from an authentic 1924 Ford Model T pickup, lofty roofline and all. Continue reading

Amelia Island Concours to host 11 motorsports trophies with the winning race cars in special class

Harry Hartz and his 1932 Indy 500-winning Wetteroth/Miller race car are dwarfed by the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy | Amelia Island Concours
Harry Hartz and his 1932 Indy 500-winning Wetteroth/Miller race car are dwarfed by the Wheeler-Schebler Trophy | Amelia Island Concours

Eleven of the greatest trophies in motorsports, and the racing cars the won them, will be presented in a special class called “The Great Trophies and Cars” at the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida in March.

The Indy 500’s famed Borg-Warner Trophy, the early-era Vanderbilt Cup, two separate year trophies from the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 Perpetual Trophy and the French Grand Prix trophy of 1914 will be among those tracing the history of world auto racing. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Nissan Titan XD pickup

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X off-road version of the new diesel pickup | Bob Golfen
The 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X off-road version of the new diesel pickup | Bob Golfen

The market-share graph shown by the Nissan folk during an introduction to the newly redesigned 2016 Titan pickup told the sorry tale of the truck brand’s struggle for success in the U.S. marketplace.

In bright colors, the graph of full-size trucks sold in recent years showed the dominance of Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the United States, followed by Chevrolet Silverado, Ram, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra. Down at the very bottom of the illustration was a slim line that represented Titan’s paltry share, something on the order of 5 percentage points. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Mercury Deluxe coupe

The 1950 Mercury Deluxe coupe is advertised as a perserved original in great condition
The 1950 Mercury Deluxe coupe is advertised as a perserved original in great condition

A week ago, the Pick of the Day was a striking 1949 Mercury old-school custom done in the “lead-sled” style. Mercurys from that era were ultra popular for customizing, especially when actor James Dean was seen driving a chopped Merc in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.

So finding an all-original 1950 Mercury Deluxe coupe in apparently pristine condition, such as today’s Pick, is certainly a rare treat, especially one that’s advertised with a reasonable price tag. Continue reading

Three mighty Mustang Boss 429s heading to Barrett-Jackson

The Mustang Boss 429 is pwoered by the big-block V8 designed by Ford for NASCAR racing | Barrett-Jackson photos
The Mustang Boss 429 is pwoered by the big-block V8 designed by Ford for NASCAR racing | Barrett-Jackson photos

Ford’s quest to homologate its 429 cid “semi-hemi” engine for NASCAR racing resulted in one of the mightiest performance machines of the muscle-car era, the 1969-70 Mustang Boss 429, a limited-production pony car that is on every Ford collector’s A list.

Three of these brawny Bosses will be offered during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th annual Scottsdale collector car auction, which takes place January 23 through January 31 at the WestWorld event center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1963 Studebaker Lark custom sedan

The little Studebaker Lark looks very clean with a nicely aggressive stance
The little Studebaker Lark looks very clean with a nicely aggressive stance

I’ve always liked the idea of a sleeper, a plain-Jane car with hidden hot rod performance designed to surprise the muscle-car guys when the light turns green. A street-rod-building buddy of mine once took a ’65 Rambler American and tuned it with a 500-horsepower V8, race-spec drivetrain, disc brakes and suspension mods, while keeping it essentially bone stock on the outside.

The Pick of the Day is something along the same lines, a 1963 Studebaker Lark VI two-door sedan that packs a 350 cid Chevrolet V8 under its hood. Although the Lark has been slightly lowered, has a louvered hood and wears a set of American Racing wheels — plus those little Moon eyes behind the front wheels – it stills look stock enough to fool the locals. Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster could fetch record high price for Arizona auctions

The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster is valued at more than $10 million | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster is valued at more than $10 million | RM Sotheby’s photos

RM Sotheby’s has consigned what could become the highest-priced automobile ever sold at an Arizona collector car auction – a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster from the classic-era of pre-war motoring. The extravagantly beautiful car has an estimated value of $10 million to $13 million, which if reached in bidding would make it the first eight-figure sale in Arizona. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Mercury custom coupe

The 1949 Mercury “lead sled” gleams under its original custom paint job, according to the seller
The 1949 Mercury “lead sled” gleams under its original custom paint job, according to the seller

The 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August spotlighted a special class of some of the most emblematic of classic street rods, brawny Mercury “lead sleds” of the late’40s and early ’50s, so-called because of the customizers’ lavish use of lead filler to smooth and sculpt the luscious bodies. Nosed, decked, channeled, shaved, lowered, chopped, frenched and customized in the most baroque of fashions, these Mercurys defined the car culture of their day.

The Pick of the Day is a 1949 Mercury custom coupe done in the lead-sled style, a former show car built in the 1960s or ’70s, according to the North Royalton, Ohio, classic car dealer who has the car listed for sale on ClassicCars.com. The coupe is apparently in decent original condition, although the seller notes that it could use some freshening. Continue reading

Porsches from classic to the latest supercar will be featured at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is essentially a new car with 595 miles on the odometer | Barrett-Jackson photos
The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is essentially a new car with 595 miles on the odometer | Barrett-Jackson photos

Coveted Porsches ranging from classic 356 cabriolets of the 1960s through the latest V8/hybrid 918 Spyder Weissach Edition supercar will cross the block during Barrett-Jackson’s signature January auction in Scottsdale,  Arizona. Continue reading