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.

Amelia Concours honors Porsche’s ‘giant-killer’ four-cam racers

Pioneering Porsche racer Bob Holbert at the wheel of a  718 RS60 | Amelia Island Concours archive photos
Pioneering Porsche racer Bob Holbert at the wheel of a 718 RS60 | Amelia Island Concours archive photos

The magic of Porsche engineering was at full chat in the early 1950s when the upstart sports car company revealed its remarkable and groundbreaking flat-four engine with four overhead camshafts, two per side.

Designed by Ernst Fuhrman, the complex engines were small in displacement but mighty in high-revving output, and they quickly earned Porsche the reputation of a giant killer on international race tracks at the top of the competition game. Continue reading

British company to replicate Mini Mk 1 body shells

British Motor Heritage showed the replacement Mini body shell in November | British Motor Heritage
British Motor Heritage showed the replacement Mini body shell in November | British Motor Heritage

Complete body shells for the iconic first-generation Mini Mk 1 will soon start production by British Motor Heritage. The company that long has supplied replacement bodies for later Mini models from 1976 on, as well as repair panels for the early models, plans to start production of Mk 1 bodies in April. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan S

Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV  | Volkwagen photos
Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV | Volkwagen photos

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a modest-looking compact SUV in a market in which extravagant styling and trim are major selling points. The interior is pretty standard stuff, too. Nothing to get excited about.

But what Tiguan lacks in panache it makes up for in drivability. This is what Volkswagen does well, presenting a car or SUV that feels solid and performs above par. The 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four is lively, the steering is quick and precise, and the handling is surperior for this popular class of little truckette. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: Mazda RX-7 GSL

The Mazda RX-7 is a clean-looking low-mileage survivor
The Mazda RX-7 is a clean-looking low-mileage survivor

Although the Mazda RX-7 has never hit its stride as a collector car, enthusiasts know it as an innovative sports car powered by a tiny-yet-powerful rotary engine mounted far enough behind the front wheels to earn it mid-engine designation. A near-perfect 50-50 weight balance contributes to the car’s exceptional handling.

The Pick of the Day is a 1983 Mazda RX-7 GSL with only 32,699 miles on its odometer and a very modest price tag for such an interesting survivor. The GSL label designates the fully optioned luxury model equipped with the desirable power and convenience features of its day. Continue reading

Significant competition cars set for Gooding’s Amelia Island sale

The 1977 Porsche 934/5 racer is a “true one-off” that won the 1981 Australian Sports Car Championship | Gooding & Company photos
The 1977 Porsche 934/5 racer is a “true one-off” that won the 1981 Australian Sports Car Championship | Gooding & Company photos

Historic race cars that performed in international competitions at Le Mans, Nurburgring, Fuji and a host of other famous venues will be auctioned during Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island, Florida, sale on March 10.

Leading the pack are three intriguing examples of performance machines, including two Porsches and a famed rotary-powered Mazda that competed in endurance races as the factory entry. Continue reading

‘Motoring thru Time’ presents history on a roll in Phoenix

A 1955 Buick and a 1955 Chevy hooked up with vintage travel trailers | Bob Golfen photos
A 1955 Buick and a 1955 Chevy hooked up with vintage travel trailers | Bob Golfen photos

The city of Phoenix grew up around the automobile, sprawling out across the broad desert valley where ancient Native American tribes had created farming communities linked to canals. Now, the links are highways, and the Phoenix metro area is home to about 4.6 million people.

Phoenix also is one of the few cities in the country to support its own vintage-car celebration, “Motoring Thru Time: Where the transportation past meets the future,” hosted every February by the city’s Parks and Recreation department. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 King Midget Model 3

The King Midget microcar has 8-inch wheels and room for two occupants
The King Midget microcar has 8-inch wheels and room for two occupants

Readers of Popular Mechanics back in the 1950s and ’60s should remember staring starry eyed at the articles and advertisements that offered so many futuristic breakthroughs that would completely change our lives. One memorable ad of the day was for a tiny microcar, the King Midget, that promised to open up a whole new world of sporty motoring at a rock-bottom price.

The Pick of the Day is a 1968 King Midget Model 3 convertible that was one of the final run of the sub-basic runabouts before Midget Motors went bankrupt in 1970. But it had been a good run, with the first King Midgets turned out in 1946, originally advertised as the “500-pound car for $500.” Continue reading

1950 Cisitalia-Abarth raced by Nuvolari goes to Motostalgia sale

The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth grand prix car has a remarkable history | Motostalgia photos
The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth grand prix car has a remarkable history | Motostalgia photos

The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth 204A Spyder Corsa to be offered by Motostalgia at its Amelia Island auction in March is an awesome grand prix race car in its own right. But add its incredible provenance with some of motorsports’ greatest personalities and the silver projectile stands as a significant piece of racing history. Continue reading

1981 Lancia Beta champion racer returns to its Florida roots

The Lancia Beta Montecarlo won its class at the 1981 Le Mans 24 | Amelia Island Concours photos
The Lancia Beta Montecarlo won its class at the 1981 Le Mans 24 | Amelia Island Concours photos

A Le Mans-champion 1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo returns to Florida to make its international concours debut March 12 at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

One of the last Group 5 Beta works racers produced, chassis 1009 began its competition career at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona, but its run was cut short around midnight when the high-strung engine dropped a valve, forcing the Lancia out of the race. Continue reading

Aston Martins, Lancia Spider star at Gooding Amelia Island sale

The 1949 Aston Martin DB MkII was used by company owner David Brown | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding
The 1949 Aston Martin DB MkII was used by company owner David Brown | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

Three thoroughbred collector cars, one from Italy and two from Great Britain, highlight Gooding & Company’s annual Amelia Island Auction on March 10 in the northern Florida resort community.

The British cars are both Aston Martins, including a historic 1949 DB MkII coupe that was the personal car of company owner David Brown. Continue reading