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.

Eye Candy: Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

An Auburn Speedster waits with other award winners to drive up to the Amelia Island Concours podium | Bob Golfen photos
An Auburn Speedster waits with other award winners to drive up to the Amelia Island Concours podium | Bob Golfen photos

One of the most wonderful things, and there are many, about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is that you never know who you might meet there. Old friends from way back, cool car guys, automotive luminaries, celebrities, famous race drivers, they’re all out walking the grassy Florida fairways with the rest of us. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1961 Triumph TR3A roadster

The 1961 Triumph TR3A offers a very British sports-car driving experience
The 1961 Triumph TR3A offers a very British sports-car driving experience

A Triumph TR3 was the first sports car in which I ever rode, and the most indelible memory is how the car was so low and the doors cut away so much that I could easily reach down and touch the pavement. Well, that memory and the one about the lovely driver, a friend of my mom’s named Brenda, was such that my 12-year-old brain was pretty much overwhelmed by the entire experience of riding along the New Jersey shoreline with a gorgeous blonde in a British sports car.

So naturally, the Pick of the Day holds a special place in my heart: a 1961 Triumph TR3A roadster painted Sky Blue and described by the seller as a rust-free original in superb restored condition. Continue reading

Amelia Island auctions top $134 million as high-end sales soar

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider at Gooding was the highest seller, at more than 17,160,000 | Bob Golfen
A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider at Gooding was the highest seller, at more than 17,160,000, for the Amelia Island auctions | Bob Golfen

A collective sigh of relief rose across Amelia Island on Saturday as the last hammer fell on the five classic car auctions that crowd the three days running up to the concours d’elegance on Sunday.

After the fairly flat sales results that came out of Scottsdale in January, the Amelia Island sales rang up strong numbers that assuaged fears about the health of the marketplace while also establishing the annual Florida automotive festival as a leading venue for selling high-end collector cars. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1957 Plymouth Suburban

The 1957 Plymouth Suburban sports a two-tone finish that adds to its '50s styling charm
The 1957 Plymouth Suburban sports a two-tone finish that adds to its ’50s styling charm

The exuberance of the 1950s, when folks were moving to the suburbs and all things seemed possible, can be summed up with such cars as this gigantic station wagon with tailfins.

Today’s vehicles are all about trim styling and efficient performance, so the Pick of the Day seem might like some outlandish dinosaur. But big wagons have turned hip, making such baroque barges as this 1957 Plymouth Suburban look just as cool now as they did when they rumbled out of Virgil Exner’s Chrysler styling division. Continue reading

Rolls-Royce, Pegaso win best-of-show honors at Amelia Island

Amelia Island Concours chairman Bill Warner send up a champagne geyser to celebrate the best of show winners | Bob Golfen photos
Amelia Island Concours chairman Bill Warner sends up a champagne geyser to celebrate the best of show winners | Bob Golfen photos

Two coachbuilt cars from far ends of the spectrum took home best-of-show honors Sunday from the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, capping off a well-attended event that was hurried along because of the looming threat of thunderstorms. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Cars and Coffee at the Concours on Amelia Island

Part of the milling crowd of spectators and participants  at Cars and Coffee | Bob Golfen photos
Part of the milling crowd of spectators and participants at Cars and Coffee | Bob Golfen photos

In most places, Cars and Coffee events are local affairs that attract car buddies to meet up on a Saturday morning and show off their rides.

But this is Amelia Island Concours weekend, so everything automotive is bigger and grander. On Saturday, the annual Cars and Coffee at the Concours brought together car clubs and collectors from throughout the region to participate in a free show at The Golf Club of Amelia Island, where the exclusive Concours d’Elegance would be held the following day. Continue reading

Celebrity bump lacking in sale of Jerry Seinfeld Porsches, VWs

The rare and exotic 1958 Porsche 356 A GS/GT Carrera Speedster comes up for bidding at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos
The rare and exotic 1958 Porsche 356 A GS/GT Carrera Speedster comes up for bidding at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos

The rumor mill was churning before the sale Friday of comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s cars at Gooding & Company on Amelia Island, Florida. The 16 spectacular Porsches and two modest Volkswagens were in stunning condition, either impeccably restored or strikingly original, so there was quite a bit of value in the room even without the Seinfeld ownership.

But how would the celebrity cachet of Seinfeld, well-known as a discerning collector of Porsches as well as a mega TV star, effect the bidding? Would it spike the values exponentially as has happened before with cars once owned by Steve McQueen, or the recent sale of Janet Joplin’s psychedelically painted Porsche 356, which went through the roof? Continue reading

Bob’s favorites at Gooding’s Amelia Island auction

Part of Jerry Seinfeld's lineup of early Porsche sports and race cars at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos
Part of Jerry Seinfeld’s lineup of Porsches and Volkswagens at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos

David Gooding was all smiles Thursday as he ambled through the tents of his company’s Amelia Island collector car auction, where about 80 vintage vehicles beckoned to onlookers.

The seventh annual Gooding & Company sale is dominated this year by Jerry Seinfeld’s consignment of 16 glorious Porsches and two early-’60sVolkswagens from his personal collection. Auction watchers are waiting with anticipation to see how the celebrity ownership effects the values of his cars, many of them already rare and highly desirable models in pristine condition. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1988 Lotus Esprit

The Lotus Esprit is a modestly priced exotic car despite its dynamic styling and spirited performance
The Lotus Esprit is a modestly priced exotic car despite its dynamic styling and spirited performance

If you’re following the collector car auctions going on this week in and around Amelia Island, Florida, then the hefty prices being paid for exotic cars are likely making your eyes cross. I know they’re doing that to mine.

But if you still crave some swoopy European sports car, the Pick of the Day could fill the bill without causing too much financial pain: a 1988 Lotus Esprit with an asking price just under $30,000. That’s a far cry from the scary six- and seven-figure results for some of those auction cars. Continue reading

Historic Porsches from company museum set for worldwide tour

A Porsche 356 Speedster takes part in last year's Top City Classic Rally in China | Porsche Museum
A Porsche 356 Speedster takes part in last year’s Top City Classic Rally in China | Porsche

Porsche’s “Rolling Museum” hits the road again this spring, taking classic sports and racing cars from the automaker’s Stuttgart collection to some of the world’s most prestigious automotive events.

Starting with two cars – a 1955 356 Speedster and a 1956 356 A coupe – in the 1,000-mile California Mille from April 24-28, the Porsche Museum will have a presence at such international events as the Targa Florio Classica in Sicily, the Ennstal Classic in Austria and the Top City Rally in China. Continue reading