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: 2017 Kia Sportage SX

2017 Kia Sportage SX | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Kia Sportage SX | Larry Edsall photos

Kia’s Sportage has grown up nicely.

I remember my first experience driving the then-new Kia crossover. It was in the mid-1990s and the drive was through a horrible lake-effect snowstorm in western Michigan. But the compact Kia’s all-wheel drive proved stunningly sure-footed when other larger vehicles were sliding off and getting stuck.

Now, here we are, a couple of decades later and the Sportage is moving into its fourth generation, now all grown up into more of a mid-size utility vehicle and has matured in style as well, offering all sorts of luxury accoutrements. Continue reading

Nuvolari-raced Bugatti Type 51 on Bonhams’ Quail sale docket

Fazio Nuvolari at the Brooklands in Lord Howe's Bugatti Type 51 | The Brooklands Society photos
Fazio Nuvolari at the Brooklands in Lord Howe’s Bugatti Type 51 | The Brooklands Society photos

Unseen in public for more than 20 years, a 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix two-seat racer, originally owned by Lord Earl Howe and driven by Tazio Nuvolari has been consigned for Bonhams’s annual Quail Lodge auction during Monterey car week in August.

Never previously offered for public sale, the car has had only two owners since the 1950s. Its current owner has had the car for more than 30 years. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 Montgomery Ward Riverside

Riverside motorcycles were built by Benelli of Italy and sold by Montgomery Ward stores
Riverside motorcycles were built by Benelli of Italy and sold by Montgomery Ward stores

Before Costco and Walmart, Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward were America’s big-box stores, selling everything from dress shirts to diamonds and from tools to, well, cars and even motorcycles.

The Pick of the Day is a 1968 Montgomery Ward Riverside motorcycle. According to the video linked to the advertisement on ClassicCars.com, the bike has been ridden just 27 miles since new. Continue reading

Cleansing the soul on a cross-country drive

On the road again: My pickup truck casts a shadow as we cross the prairie | Larry Edsall photos
On the road again: My pickup truck casts a shadow as we cross the prairie | Larry Edsall photos

In The New York Times review of T.J. Forrester’s book Black Heart on the Appalachian Trail, Bruce Barcott wrote that we encounter the three main characters as each is doing a through-hike “as a kind of 2,160-mile cleanse.”

I probably should go back and read the rest of that review because that single phrase very early in the piece, those words about “a kind of 2,160-mile cleanse,” stopped me reading but sparked me thinking. Continue reading

C-type, Schumacher F1 racer spark Bonhams’ Monaco sale

Also raced by 3-time champion Nelson Piquet, Benetton-Ford racer took Michael Schumacher to his first podium finish | Bonhams photos
Hammer time: Also raced by 3-time champion Nelson Piquet, Benetton-Ford racer took Michael Schumacher to his first podium finish | Bonhams photos

With an unrestored LeMans Jaguar C-type selling for $8,221,626 and the Benetton-Ford B191 that carried Michael Schumacher to his first Formula 1 podium finish going for four times its pre-auction estimate, Bonhams’ Monaco Sale generated $17.3 million in sales on 23 of 39 vehicle lots.

A 1965 Ferrari 288 GTO coupe brought $2,061,931 while a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix two-seat racer first owned by “Bentley Boy” Glen Kidston sold for $1.058 million. Continue reading

Queen of Diamonds Duesenberg headlines Auburn Labor Day sale

Franky-Bodied 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline is known as 'The Queen of Diamonds' | Auctions America photos
Franky-Bodied 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline is known as ‘The Queen of Diamonds’ | Auctions America photos

Think there isn’t a lot of competition for attention among the collector car auction houses? Then consider that Auctions America just finished its Auburn Spring sale, has a major sale coming up in Santa Monica, California, but also has released the first couple of big consignments for its annual Labor Day auction at its Indiana home grounds.

Those consignments are a 1934 Duesenberg Model J Berline known as “The Queen of Diamonds” and a 1929 Auburn 8-90 cabriolet. Continue reading

What a Duesie! Model J’s sale to benefit independent college

1929 Duesenberg Model J  'Disappearing Top' convertible coupe being sold at auction to benefit Hillsdale College | RM Sotheby's photos by Darin Schnabel
1929 Duesenberg Model J ‘Disappearing Top’ convertible coupe being sold at auction to benefit Hillsdale College | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

A 1929 Duesenberg Model J “Disappearing Top” convertible coupe, one of the headliner vehicles being offered this summer at RM Sotheby’s Motor City Sale, will be auctioned to benefit Hillsdale College, a small, independent four-year school in southern Michigan. Continue reading

Ronnie Peterson’s ’72 Lotus Elan heading to auction

This 1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2S was a gift from Colin Chapman | Historics at Brooklands photos
This 1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2S was a gift from Colin Chapman | Historics at Brooklands photos

Not only is the 1972 Lotus Elan Plux 2S on the docket for the Historics at Brooklands auction June 11 in England the car originally delivered to Formula 1 racer Ronnie Peterson, but it was the first 130/5 to leave the Hethel production line with a five-speed manual gearbox, the auction company reports in a news release.

Continue reading

Vauxhall opens its vault to the public on June 12

Some of the vehicles to be featured at Vauxhall's annual open house | Vauxhall Heritage photos
Some of the vehicles to be featured at Vauxhall’s annual open house | Vauxhall Heritage photos

One day a year, Vauxhall, the British brand of General Motors, opens its Heritage Centre collection for public viewing. This year that day is June 12, when two anniversaries will be celebrated — 50 years since the first Viva HB drove off the Ellesmere Port’s production line and 30 years since the last Bedford commercial vehicle was manufactured. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s Max Girardo launching his own sales agency

Max Girardo launching his own classic and collector car sales business in London | Girardo & Co. photos
Max Girardo establishes Girardo & Co. to broker classic car sales | Girardo & Co. photos

After a decade with RM Sotheby’s, much of it as the company’s auctioneer, Max Girardo is leaving to establish his own classic car brokerage, Girado & Co. In addition to being a car specialist and auctioneer, Girardo had been managing director of RM Sotheby’s European operations. The company’s Monaco sale is scheduled for Saturday during Monte Carlo’s historic grand prix racing weekend. Continue reading