All posts by Larry Edsall

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State Univeristy.

Edsel Ford’s fret comes true… 100 years later

The HVA Model T makes its way up Pikes Peak | HVA photo by Casey Maxon
The HVA Model T makes its way up Pikes Peak | HVA photos by Casey Maxon

Back in 1915, Edsel Ford and some of his buddies drove from Michigan to San Francisco to attend the world’s fair, the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Ford fretted at one point that he feared the possibility of being robbed in Arizona, which even three years after becoming an official state remained very much a Wild West wilderness.

Ford and his party passed through Arizona unharmed, though awed by the state’s Grand Canyon. However, his fears came true for the Historical Vehicle Association team that retracing Ford’s route 100 years later. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Saturday evening car show at the Whippy Dip

Classic Caddy, Trans Am and many more at the weekly Saturday evening cruise-in at the Whippy Dip ice cream parlor | Larry Edsall photos
Classic Caddy, Trans Am and many more at the weekly Saturday evening cruise-in at the Whippy Dip ice cream parlor | Larry Edsall photos

Every summertime Saturday evening around 6, the cool cars arrive. They roll off Michigan’s two-lane Route 30 and onto the grassy lot behind the Whippy Dip, an ice cream parlor that serves hot dogs, barbecue, beverages and other light fare to the local folk in the community of Sanford and to traffic off U.S. 10, a highway that runs from Saginaw Bay to Lake Michigan, connecting Midland and Bay City with the north-central section of the state’s Lower Peninsula.

Among the regulars at the weekly car show are members of the Cruisin’ Classics, a group of nearly three-dozen classic car owners who live in and around Gladwin, a three-stoplight town about 25 miles northwest of the Whippy Dip. Continue reading

Brass Era cars featured in Bonhams’ Simeone sale

1907 Sterns among Brass Era cars offered at Bonhams sale at the Simeone | Bonhams photos
1907 Sterns among Brass Era cars offered at Bonhams sale at the Simeone | Bonhams photos

On October 5, and for the fourth year in a row, Bonhams will conduct a “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. Museum founder Fred Simeone, a renowned surgeon, has been a champion of preserving rather than restoring historically important vehicles, and Bonhams notes in its news release that the sale “is wholly distinct in its focus on authentic, historically accurate and unrestored motorcars.” Continue reading

Driven: 2015 Nissan Rogue SV

The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV parked across from the Carmel Mission | Larry Edsall photos
The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV parked across from the Carmel Mission | Larry Edsall photos

I do not understand why Nissan calls its compact crossover the Rogue, but after spending two weeks driving one — including a trip from Phoenix to Monterey and back — I certainly understand why this is the company’s second best-selling vehicle in the United States.

According to Merriam-Webster, my favorite source for such things, a rogue is a “vagrant or tramp, a dishonest or worthless person (scoundrel), a mischievous person, a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave, an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation.”

Yikes! Who would want to drive a vehicle that meets any of those definitions? Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Chevrolet Fleetline

1950 Chevrolet Fleetline DeLuxe
1950 Chevrolet Fleetline DeLuxe

It took Chevrolet until the 1949 model year to introduce new post-war styling. According to the Standard Encyclopedia of American Cars, the new design integrated the front bumpers and lowered the fenders, hood and roof.

The roof itself presented the buyer with an option: the Styleline with a notch-back design or the Fleetline fastback. Opt for the DeLuxe version and you got your Fleetline with fender skirts that accentuated the car’s bustle-back tail treatment. Continue reading

London to Brighton returns to Crawley High Street

London to Brighton competitors stop last year at Honda Gatwick | Oliver Edwards photos for Bonhams London to Brighton
London to Brighton competitors stop last year at Honda Gatwick | Oliver Edwards photos for Bonhams London to Brighton

Last year, organizers of Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run altered the course a bit to include the Harrods Stop at Crawley, where the Honda Gatwick dealership cleared the new cars out of its garage area so those on the tour could enjoy some refreshments and perform any needed running repairs out of the wind, wet and cold.

“While the participants were happy with the warm and dry environment from which to enjoy their well-earned refreshments, the local community felt rather short-changed,” the organizers reported in a recent news release. Continue reading

Recap shows $403.2 million in auction sales at Monterey

David Gooding and auctioneer Charlie Ross on the block with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider | Gooding photo by Jensen Sutta
David Gooding and auctioneer Charlie Ross on the block with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider | Gooding photo by Jensen Sutta

With Mecum and Bonhams each reporting more $40 million in sales, with Gooding at $128 million and RM Sotheby’s soaring to $172.9 million, the top-end of the collector car auction action on the Monterey Peninsula was very strong again this year. And that strength could be reinforced once Rick Cole Auctions reports the results of its bid-by-smartphone sale.

According to Hagerty, which not only insures classic cars but tracks their value (in part by monitoring in person each auction venue in January in Arizona, in March at Amelia Island and in August at Monterey), previously tabulated all auction sales on the peninsula last week as totaling some $396.8 million. Continue reading

Monterey memories

The scene at the Carmel Mission Classic car show | Larry Edsall photos
The scene at the Carmel Mission Classic car show | Larry Edsall photos

Wow, things are expensive in Monterey, from the cost for food — whether purchased at a grocery or in a restaurant — to the bumped-up — no, make that supercharged — prices for lodging, and even the admission prices charged for some of the car shows.

On the other hand, a gallon of gasoline cost less than we expected. Sure, $3.49 a gallon might be a lot more than people are paying elsewhere in the country, but it was a buck cheaper than we were charged when we refilled at various crossroads out in the Mohave Desert on our way to and from Monterey Classic Car Week.
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