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.

Russo and Steele Newport Beach auction hits $6.4 million

The 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe is unique in the factory 'paint sample' color of Pearl Yellow Gold | Russo and Steele photos
The 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe is unique in the factory ‘paint sample’ color of Pearl Yellow Gold | Russo and Steele photos

Modern exotics led the bidding during Russo and Steele’s fourth annual collector car auction in Newport Beach, California, which hit $6.4 million in total sales. That figure was down from last year’s $7.2 million sale, but well ahead of the 2014 results.

A pair of low-mileage 2006 Ford GTs were at the head of the pack, where these “instant collectable” sports coupes have been landing regularly in many sales, by Russo and Steele as well as other auction companies. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1964 Ford Custom 427 Q-code

The 1964 Ford Custom two door is a Q-code version featuring a 427 cid V8
The 1964 Ford Custom two door is a Q-code version featuring a 427 cid V8

Largely forgotten these days are some of the early kings of muscle-car performance, full-size Fords with monster 427 big-block power with the factory designations of Q-code and R-code. For 1964, Q-code 427s produced an advertised 410 horsepower while the more track-oriented R-code cars were pegged at 425 horsepower.

Ford had largely switched its drag-racing program to the smaller, lighter Fairlanes by this time, most notably the famed Thunderbolts, but there was still interest by consumers in going large.

The Ford looks pretty fierce with its bulging teardrop hood
The Ford looks pretty fierce with its bulging teardrop hood

The Pick of the Day is a 1964 Ford Custom two-door sedan that the Lithia Springs, Georgia, dealer advertising the car calls a “full-size hammer.” This stripped-down Ford with the bulbous bulge on its hood is largely period-original aside from some drivability improvements, the dealer says. Continue reading

Commentary: Paris wise to spare classic cars from citywide ban

A classic Citroen DS19 at the Eiffel Tower | Citroen
A classic Citroen DS19 at the Eiffel Tower | Citroen

As vintage-car enthusiasts whose favorite old-school rides lack the basic safety and emissions-control features mandated for modern cars, we always harbor the concern that our classics could be legislated off the road. The fear is that the day will come when we no longer could drive our old cars legally.

There are those misguided zealots who favor such draconian measures to reduce air pollution. But in most places, cooler and more-sensible heads have prevailed. Continue reading

Pebble Beach Concours unveils official event posters

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Pebble Beach Concours d’ELegance poster by Ken Eberts

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has unveiled the official posters for 2016, with the artwork for the concours depicting the three Ford GT40s that won Le Mans in 1966 and the Tour d’Elegance poster showing a youthful Elvis Presley at the wheel of a BMW 507, which he famously owned.

The original painting for the concours poster by Ken Eberts will be on display August 21 during the showcase event while the painting for the tour by Barry Rowe will be shown August 18 during the 80-mile drive by the concours entrant vehicles. Eberts and Rower are member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society, a worldwide association of premier automotive artists. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1972 Ford Ranchero custom

The Ford Ranchero/Bronco merger created this off-road monster truck
The Ford Ranchero/Bronco merger created this off-road monster truck

Unleash your inner redneck with this fine example of custom ingenuity that combines the streamlined grandeur of a faux-wood-paneled Ford Ranchero with the chassis and running gear of a four-wheel-drive, full-size Ford Bronco.

Pick of the Day is a 1972 Ford Ranchero that has been lifted to the sky on the underpinnings of a rough-and-tumble Bronco.  Some might see this as a match made in hee-haw heaven.  Others might not be so generous. Continue reading

Coachbuilt Europeans featured at Gooding auction

The 1946 Cisitalia 202 CMM was designed by Pinin Farina for endurance racing | Gooding & Company photos
The 1946 Cisitalia 202 CMM was designed by Pinin Farina for endurance racing | Gooding & Company photos

Coachbuilt European exotics designed by revered Italian carrozzerias Vignale, Bertone and Pininfarina will be among the featured entries August 20-21 at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auction.

The official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which holds its 66th annual event August 21, Gooding’s sale takes place at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center adjacent to the concours at Pebble Beach Golf Links near Monterey, California. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Honda Civic grows up again

The Honda Civic was all new for 2016 | Bob Golfen
The Honda Civic was all new for 2016 | Bob Golfen

Welcome back, Honda Civic. All is forgiven. The all-new 2016 Civic sedan proves to be a clean-slate redo that fixes the things that bothered me about the last couple of generations while introducing a whole new level of quality and responsiveness.

This is the 10th generation of Honda Civic, which first arrived in 1973 as a tiny runabout that was good on gas. Then came the “hot hatch” years when the sporty little hatchback was beloved by performance tuners and economy freaks alike. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Volkswagen Beetle

The 1955 Volkswagen could be described as a resto-mod
The 1955 Volkswagen could be described as a resto-mod

For Volkswagen fanatics, the older the Beetle the better. Oval rear windows, tiny taillights, side-mounted front turn signals, simplistic dash with no gas gauge, minimal horsepower, these are the kinds of things that turn on the many followers of VW culture.

The Pick of the Day, a 1955 VW Beetle, has many of the stylistic attributes of classic Beetle adoration, but it has been spectacularly restored and sympathetically upgraded into a rolling showpiece. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1965 Land Rover Series IIA

The 1965 Land Rover gleams in its unpainted aluminum finish
The 1965 Land Rover gleams in its unpainted aluminum finish

The  Pick of the Day is a 1965 Land Rover Series IIA with a difference. Still the same go-anywhere, do-anything utility vehicle known around the world for its sturdiness, but now with some critical upgrades for modern driving as well as an interesting exterior finish.

Interesting, as in there is none. Instead, the Rover sports its aluminum body panels unsullied by paint, just the silver-metallic gleam of the metal itself. You can do that with aluminum – or aluminium as they say in the SUV’s British homeland – instead of having it turn into a rusted mess as with a steel body. Continue reading

Paris banning older cars from driving in the city

Guided tours of Paris in vintage Citroens could be banned | Paris is Beautiful City Guide
Guided tours of Paris in vintage Citroens could be abolished | Paris is Beautiful City Guide

Another sign that the automotive apocalypse is nigh: Paris has banned all cars registered before 1997, or motorcycles before 2000, from entering the city center during weekdays, starting July 1. Eventually, the French capital will restrict all vehicles more than 10 years old from driving in any part of the city. Fines will be imposed on violators.

That means no more classic Citroens, Peugeots or Renaults that make Paris streets all the more colorful. It also means that those unable to afford newer vehicles won’t be able to drive in the city, which is raising complaints of economic discrimination. Continue reading