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.

What makes Arizona Car Week special? It’s the people

Sunset makes this E-type Jaguar appear to glow as it awaits its turn on the block at Russo and Steele auction | Larry Edsall photos
Sunset makes this E-type Jaguar appear to glow as it awaits its turn on the block at Russo and Steele auction | Larry Edsall photos

I had an epiphany of sorts during Arizona Car Week 2017. Well, actually two of them:

  1. You can’t be everywhere at once, so don’t even try.
  2. The best part of the gathering of the clan of the car, in this case here in the Valley of the Sun, really isn’t the cars, as spectacular as they are, but the people they bring, and in the case of Arizona Car Week, they’re brought to the place where I live. How cool is this: I get to see amazing cars, talk with fascinating people, and sleep each night in my own bed.

Continue reading

At auction: ‘The Duesenberg of motorcycles’

A Crocker overshadows many collectible motorcycles marques | Larry Edsall photos
A Crocker overshadows many collectible motorcycles marques | Larry Edsall photos

Perhaps it’s enough for car guys to learn that the Crocker is considered “the Duesenberg of motorcycles.” Yes, the brand was that big of a deal with those who were fortunate enough to have bought one of the rare machines back in the 1930s and early ’40s, and it remains true for those who acquire one today on the rare occasions when they are available at vintage motorcycle auctions.

What brings this all up is the Bonhams’ seventh annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, which was held Thursday in the convention center of the Rio Hotel and Casino. Featured was a 1937 Crocker small-tank hemi-head V-twin. Continue reading

Ford leader Fields talks of Broncos, Mustangs and much more

Ford president and chief executive Mark Fields at recent Consumer Electronics Show | Ford photos
Ford president and chief executive Mark Fields at recent Consumer Electronics Show | Ford photos

They come to Barrett-Jackson from all walks of celebrity. There are the entertainers; this year it was Justin Bieber, selling his Ferrari 458 Italia F1, and Steven Tyler his Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, with proceeds from later going to charity. And sports stars, too: Floyd Mayweather offering up his Bugatti Veyron and Dale Earnhardt Jr. selling his NASCAR Chevrolet, like Tyler also for charity. Why, even ol’ Burt Reynolds got into the act, with yet another of his 1978 Pontiac Firebird Bandits.

Also up on the block last week at Scottsdale was the perhaps lesser-known Mark Fields. While he may not be a star of the stage or screen or sports arena, Fields is president and chief executive of the Ford Motor Company and he helped sell a uniquely outfitted 2017 F-150 Raptor pickup that raised $207,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Continue reading

A Shelby Bronco? There was one, and a Boss Bronco as well

Carroll Shelby had his crew do engine swap when he got the first Ford Bronco prototype in 1966 | Gateway Bronco photos
Carroll Shelby had his crew do engine swap when he got the first Ford Bronco prototype in 1966 | Gateway Bronco photos

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised: The very first Ford Bronco produced ended up in Carroll Shelby’s hands, and he immediately replaced the six-cylinder engine with a 289-cubic-inch V8.

Not only that first Bronco’s story but the truck itself were shared last week at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, where the first Bronco, the prototype for the 1969 Boss Bronco and several resto-modded Broncos were on display in the Gateway Bronco booth. Continue reading

Simeone adds classics to Philly’s new car show

Some of the vehicles in Simeone's 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show display | Museum photos
Some of the vehicles in Simeone’s 2016 Philadelphia Auto Show display | Museum photos

As it does annually, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum will provide people attending the Philadelphia Auto Show with something to see other than the newest in bright and shiny sheet metal. The Simeone will participate in a display of vintage vehicles. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Honda Ridgeline

Honda offers all-new and second-generation Ridgeline pickup for 2017 | Honda photos
Honda offers all-new and second-generation Ridgeline pickup for 2017 | Honda photos

Honda’s next-generation Ridgeline may be the perfect pickup truck — at least for those buyers who need such a vehicle even if they really don’t want one.

If that seems confusing, let me explain: Crossover sport utilities are all the rage on American roads right now. For the most part, they combine the driving dynamics of a sedan with the ability to load in people or cargo like an old-fashioned station wagon or minivan. Continue reading

At $259.8 million, Arizona auction sales are second-highest ever

1963 Jaguar E-type sold at Bonhams tops the charts for Arizona Car Week 2017 | Larry Edsall photo
1963 Jaguar E-type sold at Bonhams tops the charts for Arizona Car Week 2017 | Larry Edsall photo

Seven days, 3,486 vehicles and $259.8 million later, preliminary figures for the 2017 Arizona auctions are in. Compared with last year, more vehicles were offered, more were sold and $9 million more traded hands, according to Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle valuation-tracking company that monitors each of the seven auctions that took place during the week. Continue reading

Artists explore the car and its role in American culture

‘The car is so much more than a machine that moves people from point A to point B. It is a symbol of freedom, an emblem of America’s pioneering spirit, a status symbol, a mark of one’s wealth, and sometimes, a sad substitute for a home or a temporary place to lay one’s head. In addition to driving (pardon the pun) the nation’s economy and commerce, the car has played an important role in American culture – high and low—making appearances in advertisements, pop songs, film and fine art.”

— news release announcing ‘Vroom Vroom Beep Beep’

Out West, by Beñat Iglesias López, oil on panel, 10 x 10 inches
Out West, by Beñat Iglesias López, oil on panel, 10 x 10 inches

‘Vroom Vroom Beep Beep” is a group exhibition by eight artists and photographers celebrating American car culture in a show running through February 24 at the Susan Eley Fine Art gallery on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Continue reading

Total sales higher, average price lower at Arizona auctions

1960 Chevrolet engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) 1 - sold $1.32 million
CERV I, historic Chevrolet prototype/concept car, sells for $1.32 million at Barrett-Jackson | Bob Golfen photo

With a day of sales to go at some locations, total on-the-block revenues at the collector car auctions taking place in Arizona this week already have surpassed year-ago numbers, according to Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle valuation-tracking company that monitors all sales at major American auction venues. So far this week, sales have totaled $251.1 million, which is $1.1 million more than the figure for the entire 2016 sales week. Continue reading

It’s Vegas Bike Week with Mecum, Bonham auctions

Steve McQueen owned this 1917 Henderson Four
Steve McQueen owned this 1917 Henderson Four

Arizona has its car week, and just a few days later and a couple hundred miles to the northwest, Las Vegas has its vintage motorcycle weekend with Bonhams and Mecum staging major auctions.

Mecum Auctions holds its annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction at the South Point hotel and casino from January 25-28 while Bonhams’ seventh annual sale in Sin City takes place January 26, this year at a new venue at the Rio hotel and casino. Continue reading