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.

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

Her car community gathers once more for Stephanie Bourassa

Classic and collector cars lined up at the cemetery in Stephanie's honor | Larry Edsall photos
Classic and collector cars lined up at the cemetery in Stephanie’s honor | Larry Edsall photos

Stephanie Bourassa drew her car community together again Wednesday, and because it is auction week in Arizona, this time they came not only from Phoenix and Scottsdale and Paradise Valley but from Palm Springs and St. Louis and Virginia and other places as well. Continue reading

Larry’s likes at Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale auction

Cars fill four huge tall tents at 16th Russo and Steele Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos
Cars fill four huge tall tents at 16th Russo and Steele Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos

The first of the several hundred cars on the docket is scheduled to roll into Russo and Steele’s auction-in-the-round “block” at noon Thursday, when Drew Alcazar and his team launch their 16th annual Scottsdale sale. Wow. Has it really been 16 years since this high-energy auction made its debut? Continue reading

It’s year of the muscle car at Arizona auctions, expert predicts

1969 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air III among the featured cars at Barrett-jackson's Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos
1969 Pontiac Trans Am Ram Air III among the featured cars at Barrett-jackson’s Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos

The big headlines later this week may well involve the first eight-figure sale in Arizona classic car auction history, but “this is the year of the muscle car,” according to Dave Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide.

And not only does Kinney expect to see muscle car mania at the Arizona auctions this week, but he says those cars will be selling at what amounts to a one-third-off sale. Continue reading

Larry’s likes at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction

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Around the Classic Cars News office, we refer to this feature as a “Pick6.” It’s a not-so-veiled reference to my earlier career as a daily newspaper sports editor and the sports media’s use of “pick six” in referring to an interception that is returned for a touchdown at a football game.

But while we call it a Pick6, we don’t limit our selection of auction cars that catch our attention as we visit a sales venue to just six. We often share eight or 10 or even a dozen cars we like. Continue reading

‘Mormon Meteor’ takes best of show at Arizona concours

John Carefoot stands next to the 1935 Duesenberg SJ Special on the red carpet at the Arizona Concours d'Elegance | Larry Edsall photos
John Carefoot with the 1935 Duesenberg SJ Special after driving onto the red carpet at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance | Larry Edsall photos

One of America’s most famous and historic cars, the 1935 Duesenberg SJ Special known as the “Mormon Meteor,” added another accolade Sunday when judges selected the huge but streamlined and bright yellow vehicle as the best of show at the third annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1950 Von Dutch Bus

Famed pinstripes Von Dutch worked and even lived in this bus
Famed pinstripes Von Dutch worked and even lived in this bus

No doubt, this is the most expensive vehicle ever offered for sale on ClassicCars.com: the Pick of the Day, a 1950 GMC bus formerly owned by Von Dutch, the famed automotive pinstriper, artist and fabricator who turned the bus into his workshop and home.

The bus has been restored, is located in Phoenix, and priced at $6.8 million or best offer. Continue reading

Zagato, Mays share the magic of automotive design

Several of Zagato's contemporary collectibles were on display at the Arizona Biltmore | Larry Edsall photos
Several of Zagato’s contemporary collectibles were on display at the Arizona Biltmore | Larry Edsall photos

J Mays, who caused intentional disruption of the design of Audi, Volkswagen and Ford vehicles, was running through slides that displayed some of his best work as he did his presentation during a design symposium Saturday that was part of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance weekend in Phoenix.

Mays showed vehicles such as the Audi Avus, the Shelby GR1 and Jaguar F-type concept cars, but then he came to the ensuing slide. Continue reading