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.

Afternoon at the improv: An entertaining way to move the metal

Drew Alcazar is on the block, selling another car at Russo and Steele | Larry Edsall photos
Drew Alcazar is on the block, selling another car at Russo and Steele | Larry Edsall photos

I’m exhausted, and not just because Arizona Auction Week involves as many as 10 consecutive days that start well before the sun comes up and don’t end until the time when Cinderella’s Porsche turns into a pumpkin.

No, the reason I’m exhausted right now is that I spent much of Saturday afternoon watching Drew Alcazar perform in Russo and Steele’s auction-in the-round format. Continue reading

Top end flat, but more modern middle of the market posting strong numbers at Arizona auctions

Cars awaiting new owners at Silver Auctions | Larry Edsall photos
Cars awaiting new owners at Silver Auctions | Larry Edsall photos

While the dramatic growth at the top end of the classic and collector car market has slowed, there’s still plenty of money to be made in the middle of the hobby. Hagerty, the classic car insurance and price-tracking company, monitors all the Arizona Auction Week sales and notes that prices are soaring for such cars such as the fourth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz SL500 and Bandit-era Pontiac Trans Ams. Continue reading

Record falls, but Arizona still without an 8-figure sale

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster on the block Friday at RM Sotheby's | Larry Edsall photos
1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster on the block Friday at RM Sotheby’s | Larry Edsall photos

Arizona still hasn’t had a collector car sell for eight figures at any of its classic car auctions, events which have been taking place since the early 1970s. But while the $9.9 million price paid Friday night at RM Sotheby’s for a pre-war Mercedes-Benz fell just shy of cracking the great eight barrier, it did represent a record price paid for any vehicle at any Arizona auction. Continue reading

In Arizona, bids on 911s, E-types show changing marketplace

A Jaguar E-type on the block at Gooding & Company sale Friday | Andy Reid photos
A Jaguar E-type on the block at Gooding & Company sale Friday | Andy Reid photos

Hagerty, the classic car insurance and price-tracking company that supplies our daily Arizona Auction Week sales figures, notes that it has an eye on how the market has shifted in comparison with the same sales a year ago. Today, it looks at sales of the Porsche 911 and Jaguar E-type. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance

Arizona Biltmore resort provides an ideal setting for Arizona Concours d'Elegance | Larry Edsall photos
Arizona Biltmore resort provides an ideal setting for Arizona Concours d’Elegance | Larry Edsall photos

It’s been nearly a week since the third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance was held on the grassy courtyard of the historic Arizona Biltmore resort, but we wanted to take one more look at some of the vehicles and details we enjoyed, as well as share the complete list of best-of and special award winners. Continue reading

Today is the automobile’s 130th birthday

The original Patent Motor Wagon on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum | Mercedes-Benz photos
The original Patent Motor Wagon on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum | Mercedes-Benz photos

On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent on his “gas-powered vehicle.” In other words, it was 130 years ago today that the automobile was born, though it wouldn’t be until later in that year that Gottlieb Daimler, working independently of Benz, actually built the first motorized carriage.

While Daimler’s vehicle had four wheels, Benz had actually built what was considered the world’s first automobile the previous year when he installed a one-cylinder, four-stroke engine in his three-wheeled “patent motor car.” Continue reading

Muscle cars dominate sales list as Mecum exceeds $90 million in hammer prices at Kissimmee

Mecum's Kissimmee auction drew huge crowds | Mecum photos by Maggie Pinke
Mecum’s Kissimmee auction drew huge crowds | Mecum photos by Maggie Pinke

Hemi-powered muscle cars dominated the top-10 sales list last week at Mecum Auction’s annual auction in Kissimmee, Florida, as total sales topped $91 million. Mecum expects that figure to climb to nearly $93 million when post-block sales are completed.

Unlike other classic and collector car auction companies, Mecum reports hammer prices rather than final prices, which include buyer’s fees. With such fees, final Kissimmee auction figures should exceed the $100 million mark. Continue reading

American muscle showing its strength on the auction block

Barrett-Jackson kicks off the auction action this week in Arizona | Matthew Fink photos
Barrett-Jackson kicks off the auction action this week in Arizona | Matthew Fink photos

If you go strictly by overall numbers, the 2016 Arizona Auction Week is off to a very slow start. Ah, but there are other numbers that may be quite significant…

Through Wednesday night, only Barrett-Jackson has been selling cars, and the $14.6 million in total sales is less than half the amount that the auction house had posted through Wednesday a year ago. But remember: Last year, Barrett-Jackson had a special Tuesday sale of much of Ron Pratte’s stunning collection. Continue reading