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.

Commentary: Detroit needs a world-class car museum

Automotive Hall of Fame's tribute to Soichiro Honda | Larry Edsall photos
Automotive Hall of Fame’s tribute to Soichiro Honda | Larry Edsall photos

In Japan and in Germany and Italy, automakers have stunning museums that celebrate and share their histories and heritage, displaying not only vehicles but other corporate artifacts. In the United States, not so much. Continue reading

It’s a $341,700 homecoming for famed British bike

Philip Vincent on the 1938 Rapide, with Ray Pett standing | H&H Classics photos
Philip Vincent on the 1938 Rapide, with Ray Pett standing | H&H Classics photos

One of Britain’s “Holy Grail” motorcycles has returned home sold for
£275,000 ($341,700) at H&H Classic auction this week at Donington. The 1938 Vincent-HRD Series-A Rapide was built by Ted Hampshire and at one time was owned by Alan de Cadenet.

The bike, one of only 78 produced between 1936 and 1939, was discovered recently in a “job-lot” collection in Japan. Only 50 of the Series-A Rapides are known to still exist, H&H Classics reported. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Chevrolet Volt

Redesigned Volt mirrors technology inside with aero exterior design | Larry Edsall photos
Redesigned Volt mirrors technology inside with aero exterior design | Larry Edsall photos

When Chevrolet introduced its Volt for the 2011 model year, it launched a new kind of electric car: One you could drive without range anxiety.

Although it seemed revolutionary at the time, the idea of an electric car with an onboard, petrol-powered generator, traced to the development of the EV1, GM’s limited-range, two-seat electric car of the previous century. GM requires all its vehicles to go through a specific durability testing regime, and that required longer drives than the batteries in the EV1 prototypes could provide. Continue reading

Bookshelf: Yearbook reports on collector car market’s vitals

Auction yearbook: An annual report on marketplace health |Historica Selecta images
The annual report on marketplace health |Historica Selecta images

‘The health of the market should not be judged on values alone,” writes Peter Wallman, managing director of RM Sotheby’s Europe. Instead, he suggests, consider such things as “the aspiration to own collector cars.”

“Whether this is via the multitude of specialist rallies, Concours d’Elegance, historic race meetings, or even local Cars & Coffee events, the burgeoning lists of entrants and spectators at such events really should be factored in when analyzing the health of our industry, and by all accounts, it appears the appetite to enter into classic car ownership is very healthy.” Continue reading

Are women buying into the collector car hobby?

Of the more than 200 cars at Pebble Beach in August, four were entered as being solely owned by a woman| Larry Edsall photo
Of the more than 200 cars at Pebble Beach in August, four were entered as being solely owned by a woman| Larry Edsall photo

‘More women than ever join the classic car market,” the headline on the news release reported. “Numbers grow by 40 percent in the last two years.”

Forty percent growth in two years? How did we miss this surge?

Well, it turns out we did not. Continue reading

Record-setting 1958 Lotus Elite paces Silverstone sale

Restored 1958 Lotus Elite Series I going from auction block to British TV show | Silverstone Auctions photos
Restored 1958 Lotus Elite Series I going from auction block to British TV show | Silverstone Auctions photos

Silverstone Auctions’ recent two-day sale at the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham, England, posted an 80 percent sell-through rate and total sales of £5.8million ($7.2 million).

The star lot was a 1958 Lotus Elite Series I, which sold for a record price — £121,500 (nearly $152,000) — which was well beyond its pre-sale estimated value. The car will be featured on the British television program For the Love of Cars and had been restored by Ant Anstead, who was joined on the stage for the bidding by the Channel 4 television crew. Continue reading

Mecum’s Gone Farmin’ does $3 million at season finale sale

1922 Waterloo Boy N tractor tops sale at $55,000 | Mecum Auctions photos
1922 Waterloo Boy N tractor tops sale at $55,000 | Mecum Auctions photos

Nearly 2,000 people attended the Iowa Premier sale last week at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center in Davenport, where nearly 95 percent of the vintage tractors, signs, farm relics and toys offered by Gone Farmin’ division of Mecum Auctions sold for nearly $3 million. Continue reading

World’s earliest sports car, 1914 ‘Prince Henry,’ headed to auction

The 'Prince Henry' on the road somewhere in France | Bonhams photos
The ‘Prince Henry’ on the road somewhere in France | Bonhams photos

What is purported to be the world’s first sports car — the 1914 Vauxhall 24hp “Prince Henry” Sports Torpedo — will be offered for sale for the first time at Bonhams’ Bond Street auction, scheduled for December 4 in London.

Also on the docket for the auction will be a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, a two-owner 1963 Aston Martin DB5 and an all-original 1968 Maserati Mistral Spyder. Continue reading

German TV star curates three-sale series for Auctionata

Customized Mercury leadsled among offered in Auctionata's curated auction series | Auctionata photos
Customized Mercury leadsled among offered in Auctionata’s curated auction series | Auctionata photos

German online auction house Auctionata has recruited Lina van de Mars to curate three sales in November and early December.

The highly tattooed van de Mars is a rock-band drummer and German automotive television personality. She was working at an auto repair shop when she was discovered by what now is Germany’s Sport1 channel. In 2004, a show, Tuning TV, was built around her and two other women who worked on cars. Since then her star has risen. For the past two years, she has been the “car expert” at channel Sat1 and also hosts her own radio show, Mars, Cars, Stars. Continue reading

Bonhams lands California Spider for Scottsdale sale

The 11th of 54 such short-wheelbase cars joins the docket for Scottsdale in January | Bonhams photos
The 11th of 54 such short-wheelbase cars joins the docket for Scottsdale in January | Bonhams photos

Bonhams has announced that a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase California Spider, one of the world’s most-valuable collector cars, will be available at its upcoming Arizona Auction, scheduled for January 19, 2017, at the Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

Bonhams said the car is the 11th of only 54 such Pinin Farina-designed, Scaglietti-built roadsters. It notes the car, No. 2277 GT, was on display at the 1961 Brussels Motor Show in Belgium and, as documented by marque expert Marcel Massini, retains its original body and driveline and comes with its factory build sheets. Continue reading