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.

George W. Bush’s pickup in another Barrett-Jackson charity sale

The F-150 crew cab was used by George and Laura BUsh to travel around their ranch and entertain guests | Barrett-Jackson photos
The F-150 crew cab was used by George and Laura Bush to travel around their ranch and entertain guests | Barrett-Jackson photos

The 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch Super Crew pickup truck that former President George W. Bush purchased after leaving the White House makes its third trip to a Barrett-Jackson auction this week. Once again, it will be sold to benefit a charitable cause.

The big white-and-tan pickup, which Bush drove on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, will cross the block during Barrett-Jackson’s sale in Palm Beach, Florida, which takes place today through Saturday. All proceeds from the sale will benefit Community Foundation of Cleveland and Bradley County, Tennessee. Continue reading

Not fake news: Trump’s Ferrari soars at Auctions America sale

The Ferrari F430 F1 originally owned by Donald Trump crosses the block | Auctions America photos
The Ferrari F430 F1 originally owned by Donald Trump crosses the block | Auctions America photos

A low-mileage 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 coupe formerly owned by the President of the United States received a major Trump bump at auction last weekend. Auctions America sold the Ferrari, along with its vehicle title bearing the name Donald J. Trump, for $270,000, about $100,000 above its non-celebrity value, during the annual auction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The President’s Ferrari landed in fifth place among the highest-selling cars at the auction, which reached $17.3 million in sales, with 76 percent of more than 400 vehicles sold. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1909 Pierce-Arrow motorcycle

The Pierce Four, made by Pierce-Arrow, was the first four-cylinder motorcycle in the U.S.
The Pierce Four, made by Pierce-Arrow, was the first four-cylinder motorcycle in the U.S.

Anybody who knows anything about vintage cars knows about Pierce-Arrow, a premier maker of luxury automobiles through the 1930s. Less known is the company’s brief foray into motorcycles, producing the first four-cylinder model in the U.S., a bike that was far ahead of the competition.

The Pick of the Day is a handsome example of the first year of production, a 1909 Pierce Four, made by Pierce-Arrow’s fledgling motorcycle division. It is a very innovative motorcycle for the era, with shaft drive and large-diameter frame tubing that  served to contain both gasoline and motor oil. Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz marks 60th anniversary of the 300 SL roadster

A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster heads out for the start of last year's Copperstate 1000 | Bob Golfen
A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster heads out for the start of last year’s Copperstate 1000 | Bob Golfen

Mercedes-Benz was flush with the success of its 300 SL “Gullwing” coupe, known internally as W198, after it was introduced in 1954. But open sports cars were the thing, especially in the all-important U.S. market, so the Stuttgart company set out to create an evocative roadster based on the Gullwing that retained the coupe’s style and performance.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster was revealed to the public 60 years ago at the 1957 Geneva Auto Show, where the bold, high-performance touring car was greeted with widespread acclaim from the press and public. This year, Mercedes celebrates the 60th anniversary of the introduction of what has become a highly valuable and sought-after collector car. Continue reading

Pick of the day: 1972 Jeep Commando

The Jeep Commando has remained in stock condition, down to its factory wheels and hubcaps
The Jeep Commando has remained in stock condition, down to its factory wheels and hubcaps

Despite its militaristic name, the Commando was a civilized version of Jeep, in relation to the classic CJ models, designed with a longer wheelbase and more interior space to compete with such interlopers as the Ford Bronco and International Scout.

The Pick of the Day is a 1972 Jeep Commando that appears to be in very good condition with new paint and a fresh interior in stock specifications, unusual for a vehicle that is more-often altered with an array of off-roading upgrades and custom “improvements.” Even the set of new wheels and hubcaps are factory spec, according to the seller, a Roswell, Georgia, dealer. Continue reading

Concours, rally and major event news updates

Judges  at the La Jolla Concours consider the merits of a coachbuilt 1936 Delahaye, which won best of show last year | La Jolla Concours d'Elegance
Judges at the La Jolla Concours consider the merits of a coachbuilt 1936 Delahaye, which won best of show last year | La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

Welcome to a new feature on ClassicCars.com that spotlights the latest news about major classic car events.

The Copperstate 1000 Road Rally sets out Sunday on a four-day tour of Arizona with a free car show and European-style sendoff of the premier rally cars at the Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The 85 vintage automobiles taking part in the Copperstate rally will be on display starting at 7:30 a.m., and then introduced and flagged off one at a time starting at 10 a.m. Continue reading

Mecum scores $7.3 million in sales at Kansas City auction

A Ford Thunderbird crosses the block during the Kansas City sale | Mecum Auctions photos
A Ford Thunderbird crosses the block during the Kansas City sale | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions hit $7.3 million during its two-day sale in Kansas City, Missouri, this past weekend, with 309 vehicles sold as were 74 pieces of road art. The auction offered a total of 491 vehicles with 63 percent of them sold. Continue reading

‘Top-down fun’ offered by Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach sale

A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos
A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos

Barrett-Jackson holds four auctions every year and each one has its own character, with certain types of collector cars hitting the spot among bidders and spectators depending on the venue.

At the Palm Beach, Florida, auction, the focus is on convertibles, popular in the relaxed atmosphere for cruising along the coastline. The upcoming sale in West Palm Beach, which takes place April 6-8, has stocked a boatload of open-air pleasure craft among about 500 collector cars that will cross the block, all of them at no reserve. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1952 Jaguar XK 120

The Jaguar XK 120 was owned and driven by  John Lesseter who co-wrote and directed the animated film 'Cars'
The Jaguar XK 120 was owned and driven by John Lesseter who co-wrote and directed the animated film ‘Cars’

What could be more wonderful than the most-voluptuous of all 1950s roadsters, gorgeously restored and ready to drive? How about one that was owned, driven and loved by the man who created the most-celebrated animated films about cars?

The Pick of the Day is such a roadster, a gleaming black 1952 Jaguar XK 120 properly fitted with spats on its rear wheels and hunkered down in purposeful glory, and formerly owned by John Lassetor, who co-wrote and directed Cars and Cars 2. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1 all-wheel-drive

The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos
The slimmed-down GMC Acadia gets improved fuel mileages with better drivability | GMC photos

The road from Phoenix to Durango, Colorado, is pretty long, but at least it passes by some quality Southwest scenery, such as Monument Valley, and some improbable landmarks, such as Four Corners, the only place in the U.S. where four states touch – Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

There’s also a place where you can pull off the road and see actual dinosaur tracks imbedded in the ancient stone surface, always with some random Navajo youngsters on hand to show you the way, for a fee. Continue reading