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 returns to Denver rippling with American muscle

The 1970 Buick GSX is a multiple award winner
The 1970 Buick GSX is a multiple award winner | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions returns to Denver for the second year with an expected 700 mostly American collector cars in the Colorado Convention Center for the July 8-9 sale. Mecum’s inaugural Denver sale scored $12 million in total sales with 396 cars sold for a 66 percent sell-through rate last year. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Nissan Patrol K60

The Nissan Patrol is said to be in good, restored condition and ready to go
The Nissan Patrol is said to be in good, restored condition and ready to go

The Nissan Patrol is not well known in the U.S., although it is a mainstay off-roader in South Pacific locales, including Australia and New Zealand, where it has competed for decades against the Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover and Jeep. These are cool and capable four wheelers, but among collectors, all the attention for vintage Japanese SUVs has been sucked up by Toyota Land Cruiser.

The Pick of the Day is a relatively rare 1967 Nissan Patrol K60 4X4 in what looks to be in terrific condition, ready to romp off on its next back-country adventure. This is the perky-looking second-generation Patrol, and the fresh-looking Azure Blue paint job seems just right. Continue reading

Paul Newman 935 racer among top Porsches at Gooding auction

The 1979 Porsche 935 was co-driven by actor Paul Newman at the 24 Hours of Le Mans | Gooding photos
The 1979 Porsche 935 was co-driven by actor Paul Newman at the 24 Hours of Le Mans | Gooding photos

‘A thrilling spectrum of important Porsches” is how Gooding & Company describes the top-drawer Porsche competition cars, including one driven at Le Mans by Hollywood legend Paul Newman, and rare sports cars to be offered at Gooding’s Pebble Beach Auction in August.

Valued in the high-six and seven figures, these are the Porsche collector’s equivalent of paintings by Monet or Gauguin, highly desirable and exclusive, and unattainable for most of us. Continue reading

Commentary: Could Honda Accord, now 40, ever be collectible?

Honda Accord first arrived in America in June 1976 as a compact hatchback | Honda
Honda Accord first arrived in America in June 1976 as a compact hatchback | Honda

The Honda Accord celebrates its 40th anniversary and has reigned as the best-selling car in the United States for many of those years. The Japanese automaker has sold more than 12.7 million of them since the car first rolled out as a compact hatchback in June 1976.

Which brings up the question as to whether such a mass-produced commodity could ever become a collector car. Accords have been ubiquitous almost from their first model year, and as familiarity breeds contempt, they are rarely considered anything more than affordable, reliable transportation units to be traded in when they get old. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1947 Studebaker M5 pickup truck

The Studebaker pickup looks factory fresh
The Studebaker pickup looks factory fresh

Pickup trucks once were merely working vehicles appreciated for nothing more than getting the job done. But vintage pickups have risen in popularity among those who appreciate their classic style and who enjoy the simple pleasure of driving a basic truck.

Just about all the attention among collectors is on Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks, but there is much to be said for the pickups from lesser brands, such as International, Hudson, even the highly collectible Diamond T. Studebaker holds a special place in the hearts of many hobbyists, and the pickups from the late, lamented brand have a unique style that sets them apart.

The pickup is a half-ton short-bed model
The pickup is a half-ton short-bed model

The Pick of the Day is a 1947 Studebaker M5 pickup, an attractive short-bed stepside model that has been restored to original, the seller says. The half-ton truck is located in Maple Lake, Minnesota, which sounds like the kind of place where you’d find a 69-year-old Studebaker pickup truck. Continue reading

Carroll Shelby’s first Cobra to be offered at RM Sotheby’s auction

The original Shelby Cobra built in 1962 was owned by Carroll Shelby for his entire lifetime |   Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby's photos
The original Shelby Cobra built in 1962 was owned by Carroll Shelby throughout  his  lifetime | Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby’s photos

In February 1962, road racer Carroll Shelby and famed hot rodder Dean Moon pulled an all-nighter at Moon’s shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, along with Moon’s crew of expert mechanics. In the morning, they rolled out into the sunlight a sleek roadster that would have a monumental impact on the worlds of sports cars and motorsports.

Melding the graceful body and archaic chassis of a British AC Ace with the drivetrain of a Ford performance V8, the first Shelby Cobra started up and roared into history. That car, bearing chassis number CSX2000, would introduce Carroll Shelby and his remarkable Cobra concept at the New York Auto Show, serve as the original road-test car for automotive journalists (famously repainted six times so Shelby could feign having built more than one) and would remain in Shelby’s possession throughout his lifetime.

The Cobra was used for road tests by journalists
The Cobra was used for road tests by journalists

RM Sotheby’s announced Wednesday that CSX2000 will be offered for sale for the first time in its 54-year history at the company’s Monterey, California, auction held August 19-20 during Pebble Beach Concours week. Continue reading

Barrett-Jackson hits jackpot at inaugural Northeast auction

A 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 coupe was the top-selling car at the Northeast Auction | Barrett-Jackson photos
A 1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe was the top-selling car at the Northeast Auction | Barrett-Jackson photos

While it’s often hard to measure success for new collector car auctions, Barrett-Jackson’s first sale in the northeastern United States seems to have rung the bell on any number of levels. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Chevrolet 150 two-door post

The '55 Chevy has lived in southern Oklahoma all its life, the seller says
The ’55 Chevy has lived in southern Oklahoma all its life, the seller says

Chevys from the ’50s are most appreciated in lavish hardtop form, with all the chrome embellishments intact. But when it comes to the 1955-57 so-called “tri-5” cars, I favor the unadorned two-door sedans with the traditional door-frame design that creates a thick B pillar post. Thus the nickname: two-door post.

These models make great-looking street rods or resto mods, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1955 Chevrolet 150 two-door post that has been reworked in a very correct fashion. Other than the period-looking custom wheels, this two-door post looks fairly stock, simple and clean with what appears to be a beautifully glossy black paint job set off by a bright-red stock interior. Classic. Continue reading

Historic but decrepit, Aston Martin scores at Bonhams auction

The Aston Martin was left out in a garden for decades before being stolen and later recovered by police | Bonhams photos
The Aston Martin was left out in a garden for decades before being stolen and later recovered by police | Bonhams photos

Despite a history of neglect, theft and abandonment, a shabby 1949 Aston Martin DB team car that raced at Le Mans sold Friday at the Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale in England for an impressive £679,100 ($928,941 at the current exchange rate; price includes buyer’s premium).

The Aston race coupe, serial number UMC 65, had been left in a garden for decades before it was stolen in 2002, according to Bonhams. It was recovered by police a decade later and finally returned to its rightful owners, who consigned it to the collector car auction held during the Goodwood vintage-car celebration in West Sussex. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Classic Cruiser car show in the Arizona high country

Eyeballing a 1963 Chevy Corvette, apparently owned by a guy named Gary | Bob Golfen photos
Eyeballing a 1963 Chevy Corvette, apparently owned by a guy named Gary | Bob Golfen photos

While the Phoenix area swelters during a triple-digit heat wave (also known as the Arizona summer), the mile-high city of Prescott to the north enjoys the balmy weather of that altitude and attracts many central Arizonans to the high country to cool off.

One of the coolest events of the summer is the annual Yavapai Classic Cruiser benefit car show, which was held the Saturday before Father’s Day at Mile High Middle School. Many vintage-car hobbyists made the 100-mile uphill trek from Phoenix to Prescott to show off their special rides or enjoy a day of spectating. Continue reading