All posts by Larry Crane

Larry Crane has been an automotive literature aficionado from childhood. Car books and magazines represented most of his reading experience. He moved to Southern California in his early twenties to be close to his favorite cars. After a WestPac stint in the Navy, he was offered a position redesigning Motor Trend magazine. Then, for Steve Earle, he created America's first vintage road racing magazine as both editor and designer. FromVintage Racer he joined Road & Track and then David E. Davis Jr., asked him to help create a new kind of car magazine, Automobile. After 12 years, Crane took his family back to Los Angeles to create his dream magazine, AUTO Aficionado, which attracted an impressive cadre of the most influential members of the collector car hobby until the national economy made that one impossible to continue.

Cars & Characters: The reunion at Paramount Ranch

A classic Nash and a brace of Fords visited the Paramount Ranch, a movie set and sometime race course | Photos by Larry Crane
A classic Nash and a brace of Fords visited the Paramount Ranch, a movie set and sometime race course | Photos by Larry Crane

In September of 1948, Al Moss of Goleta, California, bought the MG TC he owned until we lost him a few years ago, opened his own MG store and, in January of 1949 organized California’s first sports car rally.

Participants who ran through the canyons included Keenan Wynn (already a noted dry lakes hot rod racer), Larry Parks (a recent Oscar nominee for The Jolson Story, and Tom Bamford (character actor and stunt driver) — all three were veteran motorcycle racers. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Automobilia is a celebration of us and our stuff

Tony Singer greets customers at Automobilia show and sale | Larry Crane photos
Tony Singer greets customers at Automobilia show and sale | Larry Crane photos

The Monterey Embassy Suites Laguna Grande ballroom snugly contained the 2016 edition of the annual assembly of folks who collect and share automotive artifacts and literature. It was awash in enthusiastic buyers and sellers — “old guys with old stuff.” Okay, “traders with treasures.” If you are a fan of the history of the automobile and, by extension, the hobby of its passion, it is not to be missed. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Hollywood Movie Car Auction

1953 Cadillac convertible among those available at the Hollywood Movie Car Auction | Larry Crane photos
1953 Cadillac convertible among those available at the Hollywood Movie Car Auction | Larry Crane photos

Ted Moser is a high achiever, champion cattle roper, master mechanic and fabricator, legendary NASCAR fan, purveyor of motor vehicles to the film and television industry, credentialed actor and a stylish guy — with something like 1,000 cars give-or-take in several large lots across Southern California.

“I just can’t afford to store them any more,” he tells me.

The Movie Car Auction could solve some of that challenge. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Santa Barbara Cars & Coffee

A Cunningham draws admirers at a cars-and-coffee gathering  in Santa Barbara, California  | Photos by Larry Crane
A Cunningham draws admirers at a cars-and-coffee gathering in Santa Barbara, California
| Photos by Larry Crane

The cars and coffee phenomenon began several decades ago with car guys assembling on Saturday mornings at Adams Avenue Donuts at the corner of Magnolia in Huntington Beach, California. It is a busy commercial mall so the cars could arrive at 7:00 a.m. when the donut shop opened (soon, you had to be there by 6:30 to get a parking place) and everyone had to be gone at 9 o’clock to clear the parking lot for the mall patrons. Continue reading

Eye Candy: LA Roadsters exhibition and swap meet

Roadsters galore at the LA Roadsters show and swap meet in Pomona | Larry Crane photos
Roadsters galore at the LA Roadsters show and swap meet in Pomona | Larry Crane photos

In 1957 Dick Scritchfield distributed a simple hand bill in all the right places to announce: “A meeting of all people interested in forming an exclusive roadster club will be held Sunday, June 15, at 6 p.m. If unable to attend, but interested, contact Dick Scritchfield, N. 5-4909. Meet at Weiand Equipment Company, 2733 San Fernando Road, Los Angeles.” Continue reading

Eye Candy: Auctions America’s Santa Monica sale

1966 Ferrari 330 GTC awaits its turn on the block | Larry Crane photos
1966 Ferrari 330 GTC awaits its turn on the block | Larry Crane photos

Auctions America’s Santa Monica sale was staged as a dramatic celebration of our favorite subject. The red carpet that covered the entire floor of the “grand salon” raised the level of excitement in the famous Barkar Hangar complex on the edge of the Santa Monica airport. All the cars indoors were spot-lit in an otherwise low-light atmosphere. That was a fantastic idea. Every car was important and most were rare, even though not necessarily valuable in our current car culture.

Whether on the red carpet or outside on the surrounding tarmac, the sale was an enthusiast’s trove. The million-dollar sales grabbed the headlines, but all of the rare or unusual cars on display were impossible to ignore. Continue reading

Eye Candy: 23rd annual Rodeo Drive concours d’elegance

2011 Bugatti Veyron L'Orque Blanc at the Beverly Wilshire | Larry Crane photos
2011 Bugatti Veyron L’Orque Blanc at the Beverly Wilshire | Larry Crane photos

Rodeo Drive is not the land of cowboy Cadillacs (it’s not that rodeo), nor is it the land of wild horses — no wait — it is indeed the land of very, very wild horses and vast numbers of equestrian pretense — think 600 horses and a carriage for two. The glorious tabernacles of the deities of conspicuous consumption line the boulevard and enrich the view of palm-shaded artifacts from the automotive century. Continue reading

Eye Candy: San Marino Motor Classic

Alfas, woodies and trees are part of the attraction at the San Marino Motor Classic | Larry Crane photos
Alfas, woodies and trees are part of the attraction at the San Marino Motor Classic | Larry Crane photos

Growing in five years to the point that it occupies most of the carefully manicured Lacy Park in the glamorous San Rafael Hills village from which it takes its name, the San Marino Motor Classic has become a grand automotive affair that has generated $1.25 million for its charities. Continue reading