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.

Driven: 2016 Toyota 4Runner

2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail  is setup for travel on or off pavement | Larry Edsall photo
2016 Toyota 4Runner Trail is setup for travel on or off pavement | Larry Edsall photo

So many automakers have moved their sport utility vehicles to unibody “crossover” architecture that I’d almost forgotten what it was like to drive a real body-on-frame model. Fortunately, Toyota still makes such a vehicle, what it calls a “full-capability SUV,” the 4Runner.

2014_Toyota_4Runner_Trail_018
| Interior and cargo area photos by Toyota

Toyota has been producing the 4Runner for more than 30 years. Still at true SUV, the 4Runner rides on a truck-style frame and offers a 4×4 powertrain for true go-anywhere capability along with the capability of towing 5,000 pounds, whether it’s a boat or camper or ATV or motorcycle trailer. Continue reading

Houston, Nashville art museums to feature ‘Gross’ cars

1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute
1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute

Ken Gross is at it again, and this time it will be art museums and their patrons in Houston and Nashville that will benefit from Gross’ curatorial talent.

From February 21 through May 30, the exhibition “Sculpted in Steele: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929-1940” will be featured at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and from May 27 through October 9, “Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945 to 1975” will be at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee. Continue reading

Six Nations Shootout featured at London Classic Car show

Lamborghini Miura from 'The Italian Job' among 60 cars in the Shootout selection | London Classic Car Show photos
Lamborghini Miura from ‘The Italian Job’ among 60 cars in the Shootout selection | London Classic Car Show photos

It’s called the Six Nations Shootout, a contest to be staged at the London Classic Car Show which takes place February 18-21. The idea is to allow show visitors to see 10 classic vehicles from each country and then vote on which country has produced the best cars.

The countries are Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The cars will be parked along the show’s centerpiece Grand Avenue.

“The Six Nations on The Grand Avenue started as a bit of fun, but as we have been curating each nation’s representatives it has developed more of a serious edge,” show director Bas Bungish said in a news release.

“Each country has some serious metal ready to uphold their national pride so it’s really hard to decide which one might come out on top by the time the show closes. Ultimately the decision lies with the visitors to the show.”

Britain will be represented by cars from the likes of AC, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Jensen and Lotus, including a 1925 Bentley 3-liter in British Racing Green, an E-type, a Jensen FF, AC Ace, Lotus Esprit and Aston Martin Lagonda.

1997 World Rally Championship Subaru Impreza part of Japan's team |LAT photo  1st Position. World Copyright LAT Photographic
1997 World Rally Championship Subaru Impreza part of Japan’s team |LAT photo

The French display will include vehicles such as the Renault 5 Turbo and Peugeot 205 T16.

The Lamborghini Miura supposedly destroyed in the opening scene of the 1969 movie The Italian Job (it was a stunt double that actually was wrecked by a mafia-controlled bulldozer) will be part of the Italian entry to include cars from Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia and Maserati, among them the Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio, a Fiat Dino, a Ferrari 250 Lusso and the only non-red Ferrari F40.

German cars are to include an original Audi quattro, a Porsche 356 Speedster and several BMWs, including a CSL “Batmobile,” an original 328 and an Mi.

Representing Japan will be a Datsun 240Z, a 1972 Skyline GT-R, a Toyota 2000GT and a Toyota Sports 800, and the Prodrive Subaru Impreza rally car, among others.

American cars will include an original Ford Thunderbird, a Cadillac Series 62 coupe, and others yet to be announced.

The show will be held in the ExCeL center in London’s Docklands.

Artcurial sets records at its Retromobile auctions

Ferrari Testarossa formerly owned by Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli on the Artcurial stand at Retromobile | Dirk de Jager photo
Ferrari Testarossa formerly owned by Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli on the Artcurial stand at Retromobile | Dirk de Jager photo

Artcurial Motorcars has posted $62.6 million in sales (56.1 million euros for its two-day collector car auction as part of Retromobile in Paris. The overall sales figure is a 21 percent improvement over the company’s 2015 sale in its hometown, a sale that made headlines last year by including the sensational barn-found Baillon Collection. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Land Rover Series I

1955 Land Rover Series I has had writer and editor as its owners
1955 Land Rover Series I has had writer and editor as its owners

John “Hannibal” Smith of The A-Team loved it “when a plan comes together,” which meant that something turned out correctly despite a series of mistakes and setbacks. Here at Classic Car News, we love it when people selling their vehicle provide wonderfully detailed descriptions of their cars or trucks. Case in point: the Pick of the Day, a 1955 Land Rover Series I. Continue reading

Students learn to shift for themselves in concours cars

Jed Rapoport lets a student take the wheel of his 1951 Allard K2 | Hagerty photos
Jed Rapoport lets a student take the wheel of his 1951 Allard K2 | Hagerty photos

Imagine learning how to manipulate a manual transmission in a car worth a million dollars?

But that’s what happened the morning before the third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance when several concours participants shared their vehicles with students at the Hagerty Driving Experience. Continue reading

2016 Arizona auction sales total tops $256 million

Cars on the block at Barrett-Jackson | Larry Edsall photos
Cars on the block at Barrett-Jackson | Larry Edsall photos

Now that they’ve had time to check their figures and to add in post-block sales, the six collector car auction houses doing business last month in Arizona report total combined sales of more than $256 million.

While that figure is less than the nearly $293 million in sales last year, a number that was boosted by the sale at Barrett-Jackson of the huge Ron Pratte Collection, the $256 million total exceeds the strong 2014 auction sales results of more than $248 million. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Larry’s wild ride through Arizona Auction Week

After seeing this blue and gray Cunningham and other cars at the auctions and concours, I'm starting a campaign to bring back two-tone paint on cars | Larry Edsall photos
After seeing this blue and gray Cunningham and other cars at the auctions and concours, I’m starting a campaign to bring back two-tone paint

Those of you of a certain age might remember TW3, aka That Was The Week That Was, which I remember as a delightfully satirical if short-lived television program in the mid-1960s. If you ask me (which you didn’t), TW3 was the forerunner for Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In Looks at the News segment, for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update (SNL creator Lorne Michaels was on the Laugh-In writing staff) and for the entire Daily Show franchise.

I bring this up because it’s time to look back on TW3, in this case on That Was The Week That Was — Arizona Auction edition. And I do mean look back, because this is an Eye Candy gallery auction week through my eyes — well, though the lens of my camera — though there are a couple of exceptions.

I’m not including a photo of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association’s annual Arizona Auction Week preview panel the day before the Arizona Concours d’Elegance because I was the moderator who got to ask questions of Don Williams, Dave Kinney, John Carlson and Diane Fitzgerald.

Nor did I photograph any of the classes I’m teaching this semester at Arizona State University’s journalism school (for some reason the deans aren’t willing to cancel my classes just because the auctions are in town). I also left my camera in the car during the Classic Car News staff dinner or our breakfast with classic car dealers from around the country, the reception hosted another night by the committees that organize the concours and the annual Going to the Sun Rally, and during the annual Le May museum reception that for many of us concludes the week.

But if you’re interested in looking back over my shoulder, below are images from TW3, AAW edition:

Photos by Larry Edsall

Bardinon Ferrari sets auction record* at Artcurial’s Paris sale

1957 Ferrari racer set auction records for highest price paid in euros or British pounds | Artcurial Motorcars photo
1957 Ferrari racer set auction records for highest price paid in euros or British pounds | Artcurial Motorcars photo

Leading up its annual sale at Retromobile, Artcurial had talked about a pre-auction estimated value of $30 million to $34 million for the 1957 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti from the Pierre Bardinon Collection. The car crossed the block Friday in Paris and sold for $35.7 million (with buyer’s premium), which Artcurial said is the most ever paid for a collector car at auction (based on its price in euros).

* The price in euros was 32.1 million. Artcurial said the price also is a record when converted into British pounds (24.7 million). It is not a record in U.S. dollars, in part because of the recent strength of the dollar compared to other currencies. Continue reading