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.

Pick of the Day: 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible

The Mercury convertible would make for a fine summer-evening cruiser
The Mercury convertible would make for a fine summer-evening cruiser

The Pick of the Day is the kind of stylish Mercury that comes to mind when you hear, “Crazy ‘bout a Mercury/Lord I’m crazy ‘bout a Mercury/I’m gonna buy me a Mercury/And cruise it up and down the road.”

The pale-yellow 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible advertised on ClassicCars.com is a “solid Southern California car” with a still-shiny older repaint, the Houston-based dealer says. The stylish ragtop comes complete with full wheel covers, fender skirts and wide-whitewall tires for a period look that still resonates today. Continue reading

First hypercar ‘holy trinity’ boasted by RM Sotheby’s

The 2015 Porsche 918 Weissach Spyder is the only one produced in  “Paint to Sample” Arrow Blue | RM Sotheby's photos
The 2015 Porsche 918 Weissach Spyder is the only one produced in “Paint to Sample” Arrow Blue | RM Sotheby’s photos

The “holy trinity” of modern hypercars. That’s what RM Sotheby’s is calling the trio of spectacular road-going hybrid-performance machines from Italy, Germany and Great Britain that will be auctioned May 27 during its Villa Erba sale on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. Continue reading

Ford performance leads Mecum’s $21.7 million sale in Houston

A 1969 Ford Shelby GT500 convertible rolls off the block after its   $250,000 sale | Mecum Auctions
A 1969 Ford Shelby GT500 convertible rolls off the block after its $250,000 sale | Mecum Auctions

Led by a quartet of Ford performance cars, Mecum Auctions sold $21.7 worth of collector vehicles, not including auction fees, during its three-day Houston sale last weekend, up from last year’s $20 million Houston auction. The sell-through rate was a solid 70 percent with 554 cars sold out of 793 offered. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Studebaker President

The Studebaker President was adorned with a massive chrome front end
The Studebaker President was adorned with a massive chrome front end

Studebaker was so much ahead of the styling curve during the mid-1950s, thanks to famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy, who also created the Coca-Cola bottle, the Lucky Strike cigarette pack and, later, the iconic Studebaker Avanti, among many other designs ranging from streamlined locomotives to stylish toasters.

The Pick of the Day, a 1955 Studebaker President two-door sedan, was an extension of the 1953 Starliner coupe, with which Loewy and his team set Studebaker apart from other U.S. automakers with a low and sleek family car that brought sporty design to the American mainstream. Continue reading

Porsches, Ferraris among biggest losers in Hagerty Value Rating

Earlier Porsche 911s have seen slow appreciation lately | Bob Golfen
Earlier Porsche 911s have seen slow appreciation lately | Bob Golfen

How the mighty have fallen! Following that Biblical moment, here is the latest compilation of biggest losers in the collector car market, as determined by the numbers crunchers at Hagerty classic car insurance and valuation.

Hagerty Vehicle Rating’s Bottom 25 list for the second quarter is dominated by once-roaring European sports cars, including Porsche 911s and the earlier 356s that saw such a meteoric climb in recent years. Not that the bottom is dropping out of Porsche sales, but appreciation has been minimal as of late. Continue reading

Benedict Castle awards top concours news this week

The 1936 Mulholland Speedster and a 1930 Cadillac 452 V16 won Best of Show honors | Benedict Castle Concours d’Elegance
The 1936 Mulholland Speedster and a 1930 Cadillac 452 V16 won Best of Show honors | Benedict Castle Concours d’Elegance

The 1936 Mulholland Speedster and a 1930 Cadillac 452 V16 won Best of Show honors at the fourth annual Benedict Castle Concours d’Elegance in Riverside, California. Continue reading

Another VW microbus shocker at Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach

The 1961 Volkswagen 23-window microbus sold for more than $250,000 | Barrett-Jackson photos
The 1961 Volkswagen 23-window microbus sold for more than $290,000 | Barrett-Jackson photos

Aside from Barrett-Jackson’s customary collector car offerings of muscle cars, cruisers, customs and exotics that were sold during the 15th annual Palm Beach, Florida, auction this past weekend, it was another eye-popping, record-setting sale of a Volkswagen microbus that had auction watchers shaking their heads and VW enthusiasts doing high fives all around.

An impeccably restored 1961 23-window VW Deluxe Microbus sold for a stunning $291,500, including the 10 percent auction fee, during bidding Saturday, selling far and away above the expected result. Hagerty’s Price Guide pegs the value of a No. 1 concours-condition ’61 23-window VW Deluxe bus at $134,000. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Plymouth Barracuda

The Plymouth Barracuda has been upgraded with performance components
The Plymouth Barracuda has been upgraded with performance components

The Pick of the Day is a restored and resto-modded 1967 Plymouth Barracuda coupe that looks like it was done right, with performance upgrades for power and drivability.

The private seller in Port St. Lucie, Florida, says in the ClassicCars.com advertisement that the car was completely disassembled for restoration in 2010 and is now completed and ready to go. Continue reading

More than 300 surplus movie, TV vehicles set for online auction

Vintage work trucks that have appeared in films will be among the auction vehicles | Tiger Group photos
Vintage work trucks used in films are among those being auctioned |Tiger Group photos

Even if your personal movie-star career hasn’t taken off, there is a way to own a piece of Hollywood and drive it every day. More than 300 cars, trucks, motorcycles and specialty vehicles that have appeared in movies, TV shows and commercials will be auctioned in online bidding April 20-27 as Picture Car Warehouse sells off some of its no-longer-needed inventory. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia camper bus

The VW camper bus is said to be ready to roll on a cross-country road trip
The VW camper bus is said to be ready to roll on a cross-country road trip

It’s spring, and the open road is calling. And what better craft for an extended road trip than the Pick of the Day, a 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia camper bus with all the trimmings.

According to the Sonoma, California, dealer advertising the VW camper on ClassicCars.com, this Westy is ready for a national tour. The flat-four engine has been rebuilt and bored out to 1,776 cc, the ad says, which should help provide enough muscle for these typically underpowered vehicles. The key to driving any VW microbus is to abide by one simple rule: never be in a hurry. Continue reading