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.

Another major auction record falls at RM Sotheby’s

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B sets world record for auction price for prewar car | Larry Edsall photos
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B sets world record for auction price for prewar car | Larry Edsall photos

Records continued to fall at the collector car auctions Saturday on the Monterey Peninsula. Friday, RM Sotheby’s was the site of the highest prices ever paid for a British car and an American car sold at public auction. Saturday, an RM Sotheby’s bidder paid a record price for a prewar car when a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider sold for $19.8 million.

Observers from Hagerty, the insurance and vehicle valuation-tracking company, also reported what they called “another amazing result” as an alloy-bodied, long-wheelbase 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider went for $18.5 million at Gooding & Company, which also got $13.5 million for a 1960 250 GT SWB Competizione Coupe in a post-block transaction. Continue reading

McPherson College welcomes Pebble Beach Class of 2023

Students at McPherson College will restore this Mercedes 300S with hopes of qualifying for Pebble Beach in 2023 | Larry Edsall photos
Students at McPherson College will restore this Mercedes 300S with hopes of qualifying for Pebble Beach in 2023 | Larry Edsall photos

Folks involved with McPherson College’s automotive restoration program unveiled a vehicle Saturday they hope students will have restored so well that the 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S convertible will be invited to be judged on the 18th fairway at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance come 2023.

You read that number correctly — 2023 — as in seven years from now. Continue reading

Auction records fall for British and American cars

Le Mans-winning Jaguar sets record for price paid at auction for a British car | Larry Edsall photo
Le Mans-winning Jaguar sets record for price paid at auction for a British car | Larry Edsall photo

“Numbers are expected to climb as those auctions move higher into their dockets today and overall figures should soar Friday as Bonhams stages its one-day auction at The Quail and RM Sotheby’s opens its two-day sale in downtown Monterey.”

— Classic Car News, Friday, August 19 report from Monterey Car Week

Well, there’s a prediction that proved correct — and then some — as records were set Friday for the most ever paid at auction for both an American car and a British car, and where the star car at yet another sale also sold for a big number.

The huge numbers were posted in a packed-to-overflowing auction area in downtown Monterey, where a bidder at RM Sotheby’s reached $21.78 million for the 1954 Jaguar D-type XKD501 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and where someone ponied up $13.75 million for the first 1962 Shelby Cobra (CSX2000). Both were world auction records for cars from their respective countries. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Pacific Grove Rotary concours and auto rally

Cars line the middle of Lighthouse Avenue in the historic business district of Pacific Grove,  California | Larry Edsall photos
Cars line the middle of Lighthouse Avenue in the historic business district of Pacific Grove, California | Larry Edsall photos

While the elite gathered around their automobiles Friday at The Quail, the Legends and the Werks, the cool kids drove into downtown Pacific Grove and parked along several blocked-off blocks of Lighthouse Avenue for what was basically a cruise-in car show.

Except, of course, the 22nd annual Pacific Grove Rotary concours and auto rally is not a cruise-in at all but a cruise-out, because after the car show, the participants and their cars leave en masse for a drive along the coastal western edge of the Monterey Peninsula, past Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill, Spanish Bay, the Point Pinos lighthouse on such scenic routes as 17 Mile, Sunset Drives and Ocean View Avenue. Continue reading

Monterey auctions under way, a vintage motorcycle leads pack

Bidder assistant has arm raised for his client as auctioneer looks for higher offers at Mecum | Larry Edsall photos
Bidder assistant has arm raised for his client as auctioneer looks for higher offers at Mecum | Larry Edsall photos

Monterey Car Week auctions opened Thursday with Mecum Auctions and Russo and Steele starting their sales, which insurance and vehicle value tracker Hagerty reported as tracing very close to 2015 numbers. According to Hagerty observers at both venues, Mecum did $3.7 million in sales at an average vehicle price of $30,541 last year, while the respective numbers Thursday were $1 million and $29,144. Continue reading

Eye Candy: 2016 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance

1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scagliatti Spyder among the car on the Tour d'Elegance | Dirk de Jager photos
1956 Ferrari 290 MM Scagliatti Spyder among the car on the Tour d’Elegance | Dirk de Jager photos

If you cannot afford the $325 it costs to be a spectator at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the best way to see the cars — and in many ways even if you can pony up that ticket price —is the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance held the Thursday before the concours. Continue reading

Mullins’ 1937 Talbot-Lago acclaimed as best of the best

Committee of designers, experts selects Figoni et Falaschi-bodied Talbot Lago as best car of 2015 concours d'elegance | Petersen museum photos
Committee of designers, experts selects Figoni et Falaschi-bodied Talbot Lago as best car of 2015 concours d’elegance | Petersen museum photos

Every concours d’elegance — for that matter seemingly every car show on the planet — awards a best of show award, sometimes a couple of them. But have you ever wondered which car would win if there was a best of best of show competition?

If so, you aren’t alone, because someone convinced The Peninsula Hotels to sponsor The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award, convinced two dozen experts to serve as judges and during Monterey Car Week presented the inaugural trophy to Peter and Merle Mullin and the Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation for their 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS coupe aerodynamique “Goutte d’Eau” with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi.

Peter and Merle Mullin-owned car qualified at Goodwood concours
Peter and Merle Mullin-owned car qualified at Goodwood concours

Continue reading

Eye Candy: 25th McCall’s Motorworks Reunion

Cars on display at Motorworks Revival include line of BMW coupes to celebrate automakers centennial  | Larry Edsall photos
Cars on display at Motorworks Revival include line of BMW coupes to celebrate automakers centennial | Larry Edsall photos

Twenty-five years ago, there wasn’t a lot happening early in the week that led up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Historic races, so Gordon McCall hosted some friends for a party featuring cool cars and aged airplanes on the tarmac at the Monterey Jet Center.

Time passed. The guest list grew. And so did the array of vehicles, both ground-bound and those free to fly. Continue reading

Eye Candy: 7th annual Little Car Show

The 7th annual Little Car Show was held in downtown Pacific Grove | Larry Edsall photos
The 7th annual Little Car Show was held in downtown Pacific Grove | Larry Edsall photos

Glamorous Pebble Beach may be the overwhelming star of Monterey Car Week, but don’t feel sorry at all for the nearby community of Pacific Grove, even if the ocean views aren’t nearly as spectacular along the village’s section of the famed 17 Mile Drive

It costs large to go to Pebble Beach, whether you’re preparing a car for the concours d’elegance, renting a room at the Lodge, or even just buying an admission ticket for the concours — and that’s after you’ve paid the entry fee just to drive on the precious but indeed panoramic Pebble portion of 17 Mile Drive. Continue reading

What Larry likes at Bonhams’ Quail sale

A 1970 Cadillac Coupe Deville is among the cars scheduled to cross the block Friday at Bonhams' Quail auction | Larry Edsall photos
A 1970 Cadillac Coupe Deville is among the cars scheduled to cross the block Friday at Bonhams’ Quail auction | Larry Edsall photos

One of the premises behind our auction picks stories is that we don’t care about the prices or even necessarily the provenance of the collector vehicles on display. What matters here is purely personal taste: We give our reporters and editors the freedom to wander around an auction house’s offerings and then share what they liked the best. Continue reading