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.

Bonhams does $10 million in sales as Amelia auction action starts

The 1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa is an ultra-rare alloy-bodied car | Bonhams
1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa sell for more than $2.2 million on Amelia Island | Bonhams photocar | Bonhams

The collector car auction action on Amelia Island opened Thursday with Bonhams’ sale, where preliminary results reported by Hagerty show total sales of $10 million with an 83 percent sell-through rate. The collector car insurer and vehicle value tracker noted that while the sell-through rate improved by nearly 15 percent compared to the same sale a year ago, the dollar total was off by nearly 64 percent compared to $27.7 million in sales generated at Bonhams’ 2016 Amelia auction. Continue reading

Motorcycle rumble: It’s Harley vs. Indian at the Petersen

Vintage racing motorcycles are only part of the Harley vs. Indian exhibit at the Petersen |Larry Edsall photos
Vintage racing motorcycles are only part of the Harley vs. Indian exhibit at the Petersen |Larry Edsall photos

It was “a nearly religious war waged in dealerships and race tracks,” noted Cycle World magazine editor Mark Hoyer. And now, “Harley vs. Indian” is being waged again, and not only at their respective dealerships and on race tracks across the country but in a new exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Rare Velocette, White Shadow featured at Bonhams bike auction

Velocette carried Freddie Frith to world championship in 1949 | Bonhams photos
Velocette carried Freddie Frith to world championship in 1949 | Bonhams photos

The 1948 Velocette 348cc KTT MkVIII that carried Freddie Frith to the 1949 world motorcycle racing championship headlines a Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale auction, scheduled for April 23 at the Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show in England.

Also featured at the auction are several barn-found bikes and still-crated 1990s superbikes, as well as what Bonhams terms “affordable classics for every taste and budget.” Continue reading

The Ultimate Forestry Machine, and other news updates

BMW Designworks styled this wheeled feller muncher for John Deere | Designworks photos
BMW Designworks styled this wheeled feller muncher for John Deere | Designworks photos

What else would you call a John Deere Wheeled Feller Buncher designed by BMW? Obviously, it’s the Ultimate Forestry Machine.

Although it hasn’t been widely publicized, Designworks, the California-based BMW design studio, has been doing more than helping to create some of the world’s best automobiles. For more than 20 years, the studio also has been working under contract with John Deere’s construction and forestry machinery division, not only on the looks but the ease of operation of bulldozers and specialized forestry equipment. Continue reading

Six pack of Armstrong Siddeleys featured at War Museum sale

Rare 1935 Special Mk II Touring Limousine among  Colin Hope's collection heading to auction | H&H Classics photos
Rare 1935 Special Mk II Touring Limousine among Colin Hope’s collection heading to auction | H&H Classics photos

Six Armstrong Siddeleys from the collection of the late Colin Hope, president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders and a trustee of the Beaulieu National Motor Museum, will be offered for sale at H&H Classics’ Duxford Auction scheduled for March 29 at the Imperial War Museum. Continue reading

Vintage tractors, farmobilia on the docket at Davenport

1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX could work in orchards, then be driven into town | Mecum Auctions Gone Farmin' photos
1938 Minneapolis-Moline UDLX could work in orchards, then be driven into town | Mecum Auctions Gone Farmin’ photos

More than 400 vintage tractors and 300 signs and farm relics will be offered for bidding when Mecum Auctions’ Gone Farmin’ division opens its 2017 sales calendar with its Spring Classic, scheduled for March 30-April 1 at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center in Davenport, Iowa. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1926 Essex hot rod

After 13 years, Ollie is selling her late son's hot-rod Essex
After 13 years, Ollie is selling her late son’s hot-rod Essex

Ollie is considered “the little old lady from Pasadena” in Cobble Hill, a community on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Pick of the Day, a 1926 Essex hot rod, has been her car for 13 years, ever since her son and car-builder Richard died.

Richard designed and did most of the work to restore and modify the car. But part way through the process he learned he had an advanced cancer, so his friends from Foothills Kruizin joined in to help him get the car completed in time for the World of Wheels international car show in Calgary, Alberta, in February 2003. Continue reading

Rolls-Royce builds its smallest, but perhaps its most special, car

Hari Rajyaguru takes the SRH for a test drive in the Rolls-Royce assembly plant | Rolls-Royce photos by James Lipman
Hari Rajyaguru takes the SRH for a test drive in the Rolls-Royce assembly plant | Rolls-Royce photos by James Lipman

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has produced the smallest vehicle in its history, but for very big reasons. The car, the Rolls-Royce SRH, has been presented to the St Richard’s Hospital Pediatric Day Surgery Unit, a hospital in Chichester, West Susses, England, the automaker’s home city. The car was designed so children can drive themselves to the operating theater, and do so through corridors lined with traffic signs. Continue reading

Leake tops $10.4 million at Oklahoma City auction

The new Bennett Event Center provided much more room, but it was still SRO on Saturday | Leake Auction photos
The new Bennett Event Center provided much more room, but it was still SRO on Saturday | Leake Auction photos

Leake Auction Company opened its 2017 sales calendar last week, posting more than $10.4 million in sales with a 79 percent sell-through in the new Bennett Event Center at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

“We could not have asked for a better start to 2017,” Richard Sevenoaks, Leake president, said in a news release after the auction that launched Leake’s 45th year in the collector car auction business. Continue reading

Seven-figure McLaren P1 crossing block to benefit a college

McLaren P1 being sold to underwrite an academic chair at Rose-Hulman technical college | Gooding & Co. photos by Mark Hardymon
McLaren P1 being sold to underwrite an academic chair at Rose-Hulman technical college | Gooding & Co. photos by Mark Hardymon

A specially commissioned 2015 McLaren P1, the British supercar-maker’s hybrid technology showpiece, will be sold without reserve at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction to benefit the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. If the car sells for its pre-auction estimated value, it will mean somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million to $2.3 million for the Terre Haute, Indiana-based college.

Such generosity among collector car owners is to be praised, and is not all that unusual. Many auctions feature cars sold for charities — Barrett-Jackson alone does several million a year in such sales —  though not often to benefit colleges. Continue reading