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.

Modern supercar exotics add luster to Mecum’s Monterey auction

A 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid supercar makes a rare auction appearance | Mecum Auctions
A 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid supercar makes a rare auction appearance | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions are not exactly known as the venues for buying modern ultra-exotic European sports cars, but nonetheless its Monterey sale is bristling with very high-tech offerings from many of the greatest names in supercars.

The hyper performers from Ferrari, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Porsche and McLaren made since the dawn of the new millennium boast stunning horsepower as well as eye-popping styling and design, and they should boost the bottom line considerably for the Mecum collector car sale August 18-20 in Monterey. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1964 Kaiser Jeep FC170 ‘forward-control’ pickup

The Jeep 'forward control' pickup is a rarely seen but iconic classic truck
The Jeep ‘forward control’ pickup is a rarely seen but iconic classic truck

The Pick of the Day is one of the oddest-looking pickup trucks ever made, but one that has achieved icon status among the cadre of true Jeep faithful. Rare then and much rarer today, the “forward-control” pickup was recently celebrated by Jeep with a modern concept version.

The 1964 Kaiser Jeep FC170 has been comprehensively restored, according to the Glen Ellyn, Illinois, dealer advertising the truck on ClassicCars.com. This is a beefy ¾ ton, four-wheel-drive truck designed for heavy duty, but in its apparently immaculate condition, this one would be more at home on the car-show field or showed off on cruise night. Continue reading

Vintage Ford muscle heads $11 million Mecum auction

The 1963 Ford Galaxie is powered by an R-Code 427 V8 | Mecum Auction photos
The 1963 Ford Galaxie is powered by an R-Code 427 V8 | Mecum Auction photos

A rare high-performance 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL packing a 427 cid V8 led the bidding at Mecum Auctions’ second annual Denver sale, which realized $11 million in sales with 402 collector cars sold out of 611 offered, for a nearly 66 percent sell through rate.

The total was off from Mecum’s inaugural Denver sale, which totaled more than $12 million for 396 vehicles with a 66 percent sell-through. This year’s auction was dinged by the no-sales of several modern exotics that failed to meet reserve, including one of the headliners, a 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition that was pulled after bidding stalled at $240,000. Continue reading

Colorful Porsche 911 ‘art cars’ to grace Russo and Steele auction

The 1989 Porsche 911 creatively painted by a Canadian artist | Russo and Steele photos
The 1989 Porsche 911 creatively painted by a Canadian artist | Russo and Steele photos

Porsche 911s are already works of art, according to most followers of the German marque, but a small group of Quebec artists took that a step further by using the classic sports coupes as canvases for evocative paintings.

The Art Cars Project started in 2006 when a creatively painted 911 by Canadian artist Claude Le Sauteur debuted to acclaim at Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec). Shortly after, the decision was made to expand the project by having eight artists, four Canadians and four from elsewhere around the globe, each design and paint a similar Porsche 911 artwork. Continue reading

Hagerty graph shows collector cars with best sell-through rates

Hagerty
Hagerty

Sell-through rates are a measure of success not only of collector car auctions but of the cars themselves. Ever wonder what percentage get hammered “sold!” among those that come up for sale?

The latest graph from Hagerty collector car insurance and valuation shows the top 10 vehicles with the highest sell-through rates at North American auctions during the past 12 months. They are a motley mix of types and eras, although some patterns stand out, Hagerty says. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1960 Rambler American wagon

The Rambler American look glossy and well finished, and comes with a rare engine modification
The Rambler American looks glossy and well finished, and comes with a rare engine upgrade

The Pick of the Day is a more unusual car than apparent at first blush. While the 1960 Rambler American wagon has been nicely refurbished, with glossy paint, a redone interior and solid undercarriage, there’s really more to it than that. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription

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The Volvo Xc90 crossover SUV was completely made over for 2016 | Bob Golfen photo

The 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 is a splendid SUV, a clean-slate effort by the Swedish brand – flush with Chinese money – to create something quite special. The styling is gorgeous, in a blocky SUV kind of way, and the interior in the test truck was just about the classiest luxury cabin that I have seen this side of a Bentley. Just beautiful, and rich with the scent of leather and wood.

The all-wheel-drive XC90 is as loaded with electronic gear as humanly possible, much of it to maintain Volvo’s longstanding safety mission. Among the lengthy laundry list of driving aids are those designed to keep you from wandering out of your lane, crashing into another vehicle in any variety of circumstances, running over a bicyclist, falling asleep at the wheel or parking the car using your own feeble abilities. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1951 Pontiac Streamliner

The Pontiac's  chrome details still look shiny after 65 years
The Pontiac’s chrome details still look shiny after 65 years

There was a time when people thought cars should look like rocket ships or jet fighters, when chrome was lavishly applied to evoke a notion of motion. In the late ’40s and early ’50s, Pontiac was the GM brand that brought the Buck Rogers universe into the family garage.

The Pick of the Day is a rare survivor of that era, a 1951 Pontiac Streamliner fastback coupe that the private seller in Lakeside, California, describes as a former “barn find” with 80,000 miles, and which remains in original, unmolested and, most importantly, running and driving condition. Continue reading

Convertibles owned by celebrity women offered by Bonhams

A Jaguar XK-E originally owned by singing star Diana Ross will be offered at the Quail Lodge auction | Bonhams
A Jaguar XK-E originally owned by Motown singer Diana Ross will be offered at the Quail Lodge auction | Bonhams photos

Two classic roadsters originally owned by legendary female stars of stage and screen will be auctioned in August by Bonhams during its Quail Lodge sale in Carmel, California, during Pebble Beach Concours week.

The stars are Motown icon Diana Ross and Hollywood siren Jane Russell. The cars are a 1967 Jaguar E-type roadster sold new to Ross and a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL that Russell purchased new and used sparingly near her Santa Barbara, California, home. Continue reading

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