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.

First running prototype of Ford GT at Russo and Steele auction

The prototype Ford GT retains its original unique features | Russo and Steele photos
The prototype Ford GT retains its original unique features | Russo and Steele photos

If there ever was a car that deserved the title of “instant collectible,” it’s the Ford GT. Modeled after Ford’s all-conquering GT40 endurance racers of the 1960s, the cars that beat Ferrari at Le Mans and dominated the classic 24-hour race, the mid-engine Ford GT was produced for just two model years, 2005-2006.

Today, it is a star entry at collector car auctions, often selling for twice or more than its original retail price. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 2 – Muscle cars come roaring back

Veteran actor Burt Reynolds with a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from 'Smoky and the Bandits' | Barrett-Jackson
Veteran actor Burt Reynolds with a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from ‘Smoky and the Bandit’ | Barrett-Jackson

Pontiac GTOs, Hemi ‘Cudas, Olds 442s, Shelbys, big-block Corvettes – American muscle cars were back with a vengeance during 2016. High-horsepower Detroit iron gained in value, not just among the expected Boomer generation but with younger performance enthusiasts who embrace the classic muscle of the 1960s and early ’70s. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1956 Chevrolet 210 station wagon

The Chevy wagon had a bit part in the David Lynch film 'The Straight Story'
The Chevy wagon had a bit part in the David Lynch film ‘The Straight Story’

Vintage cars with movie or celebrity history often sell for over-the-top prices, far more than they would without the connection to fame. Not so much this Chevy wagon, which was once owned by the offbeat film and TV director David Lynch, best known for his movies Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive and The Elephant Man, and the surreal TV series Twin Peaks.

The Pick of the Day is a 1956 Chevrolet 210 station wagon formerly owned by Lynch and which has screen time in one of his lesser films, The Straight Story, according to the Macedonia, Ohio, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 3 – Jerry Seinfeld Porsche auction

The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos
The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a long-term Porsche addict with an enviable stable acquired with the riches earned from his stage and TV career. Seinfeld was never all-that public about his classic Porsche obsession, but neither was he secretive; even a casual watcher of the Jerry Seinfeld show could identify Porsche posters on the walls of his TV-studio/New York apartment. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1952 Ford F1 half-ton pickup

The red Ford F1 pickup looks appealingly original
The  64-year-old Ford F1 pickup looks appealingly original

The main photo of this bright-red vintage pickup truck standing in the snowy Vermont woods is almost too nostalgic to bear, a beautiful image for the Christmas week.

The Pick of the Day is a 1952 Ford F1 half-ton pickup, a lovely short-bed that appears to be in exceptionally nice condition. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1957 Pontiac Pathfinder sedan delivery

The Pontiac Pathfinder sedan delivery was produced only in Canada
The Pontiac Pathfinder sedan delivery was produced only in Canada

The Pick of the Day is an unlikely vehicle from the ’50s that most people probably have never seen or even knew existed. The 1957 Pontiac Pathfinder sedan delivery is one of those Canada-only General Motors products that manages to look alien and familiar at the same time. Continue reading

Collector consigns 145 vehicles for Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale

A 1929 Studebaker President roadster is powered by a straight-8 | Barrett-Jackson photos
A 1929 Studebaker President roadster is powered by a straight-8 | Barrett-Jackson photos

A wide-ranging group of 145 cars from the Charlie Thomas collection will be sold at no reserve during Barrett-Jackson’s flagship auction, January 14-22 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The diverse collection ranges from pre-war classics to muscle cars, from European compacts to American luxury cars, street rods, sports cars, even a couple of boats, all of them described as being in excellent condition. The vehicles were hand-picked over the years by Thomas, a Texas auto dealer, banker and real estate professional, who also is the former managing partner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 8 – Barrett-Jackson’s first Northeast Auction

A 1968 Shelby GT500 KR convertible at the inaugural Northeast Auction | Barrett-Jackson photos
A 1968 Shelby GT500 KR convertible at the inaugural Northeast Auction | Barrett-Jackson photos

While it’s impossible to gauge pent-up demand until you tap into it, Barrett-Jackson managed to unleash a wave of enthusiasm with its inaugural Northeast Auction, held June 23-25 at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut.

Barrett-Jackson’s first foray into the northeastern corner of the United States scored the first “double sellout” in the Scottsdale auction company’s 45-year history: Admission tickets sold out shortly after going on sale and consignment spots for auction vehicles sold out days before the sale began. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster

The Porsche Speedster is said to have been meticulously restored
The Porsche Speedster is said to have been meticulously restored

Dear Santa:

With Christmas Eve coming right up, I’m sure you’re plenty busy loading up the sleigh, but just give me a minute. I’ve been good this year (relatively speaking), so here is what I would really, really like to find under my tree Christmas morning (or maybe in the driveway would be better).

It’s the Pick of the Day, a 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster fresh out of restoration. Yeah, I know that ratty-but-running Speedsters seem to be all the rage, ala Jerry Seinfeld and such, but I would prefer a sweetly restored one that’s all ready to go and not held together by duct tape. Continue reading

Driven: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition

The Jeep Wrangler feels right at home in the Arizona desert | Bob Golfen photos
The Jeep Wrangler feels right at home in the Arizona desert | Bob Golfen photos

The four-door Jeep Wrangler is such a brilliant product, combining the freedom and joy of the venerable CJ with the practicality of a crossover SUV. There are compromises in ride and convenience, but for many people, those are outweighed by the go-anywhere capability and rugged image of the Jeep.

With four doors, more-refined interiors and reasonably accommodating back seats, such Jeeps can pass as viable family transporters. The familiar two-door Wrangler would be fine for singles or couples, not so much for a foursome where the rear seat is more of an afterthought. Continue reading