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.

For sale: 240-mph McLaren supercar, serious inquiries only

069 was one of the last McLaren F1s produced | McLaren Special Operations photos
069 was one of the last McLaren F1s produced | McLaren Special Operations photos

For sale: Slightly used (only 2,800 miles) McLaren F1, chassis 069,

60th of 64 street-legal versions produced between 1993 and 1998. Serious inquiries only.

McLaren Special Operations may not have placed such an advertisement, but it has distributed a news release to inform that McLaren F1 069 is available for sale. While the news release includes no asking price, a McLaren F1 — 073 with an upgraded Le Mans-spec engine — sold at the RM Sotheby’s auction last summer in Monterey, California, for $13.75 million. Continue reading

Interview: Mark Delzell, chief auctioneer, Mecum Auctions

Mark Delzell on the block at Mecum | Mecum Auctions photos
Mark Delzell on the block at Mecum | Mecum Auctions photos by Maggie Pinke

Mark Delzell has been the lead auctioneer for Mecum Auctions since Dana Mecum staged his classic car sale at the airport in Rockford, Illinois, in 1988. He’ll be back on the block May 17-21 when Mecum stages its 29th annual Original Spring Classic sale at Indianapolis. Delzell, who is in his mid-50s, recently talked with Classic Car News about his career.

CCN: How did you get started in the auctioneering business?

Delzell: “My father was in the car business (a Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge dealership in Iowa). We’d go to (wholesale) auto auctions. I started going when I was about 6 years old. In the late ’70s and early ’80s I started selling popcorn at the local auto auctions, and then was driving the cars (across the block). I started working the ring (as what we now know as a bidder’s assistant) and figured out that to make the money, you had to be the auctioneer. So I went to auction school, Worldwide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa. Continue reading

Silverstone Classic vintage races to salute James Hunt

Freddie Hunt and the car his father, James, raced | Silverstone Classic photos
Freddie Hunt and the car his father, James, raced | Silverstone Classic photos

The 40th anniversary of James Hunt world championship will be celebrated at the 26th annual Silverstone Classic vintage racing weekend July 29-31 at the British racing circuit where the media day last week drew some 150 historic racing cars, including several formerly driven by Hunt.

Also on hand was one of Hunt’s sons, Freddie, driving his father’s 1976 championship-winning McLaren M23. Freddie and his brother, Tom, will curate the display of cars raced by their father at the Silverstone Classic this summer. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle convertible

2016 Volkswagen Beetle R-line SEL convertible
2016 Volkswagen Beetle R-line SEL convertible

I really wanted to like the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle convertible as much as my grandchildren did, and they loved riding in the car with just the sky above their heads.

But there’s more to this business of critiquing a vehicle than enjoying the fact that its roof goes up and down, or even that it looks pretty cool in its Platinum Gray Metallic paint. Squint and you can see some Porsche 356 in the new Beetle’s styling. Continue reading

Auctions America’s Auburn auction grows with new attractions

16,000-mile 'time-capsule'  1970 Ford Mustang Moss 429 among featured cars | Auctions America photos
16,000-mile ‘time-capsule’ 1970 Ford Mustang Moss 429 among featured cars | Auctions America photos

Each Labor Day weekend, Auctions America stages a huge collector car sale in conjunction with the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Festival in northeastern Indiana. This spring, Auctions America is staging its own classic car festival at its Auburn Auction Park.

In addition to the auctioning of some 450 collector cars — around 200 of them at no reserve — the weekend will include a “retro swap” meet, a Saturday morning “Cars & Coffee,” and an automotive midway. Continue reading

Bonhams claims record for British motorcycle sold at auction

A Brough Superior sold at Bonhams for more than $481,000 | Bonhams photos
A Brough Superior sold at Bonhams for more than $481,000 | Bonhams photos

Bonhams claims a world auction-record price for a British-built motorcycle with a 1938 Brough Superior 750cc BS4 selling for £331,900 ($481,520) at its Stafford Sale earlier this week. The sale was held in conjunction with the annual Stafford International Motorcycle show in England.

Only 10 BS4 (Brough Superior four-cylinder) bikes were built, and three of them no longer survive. The bikes feature an engine and gearbox from an Austin 7 car. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL

2016 Nissan Altima 2.5
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5

Nissan notes that for the 2016 model year, its mid-size Altima features the company’s new “Energetic Flow” design language that launched with the Murano and Maxima. Also for 2016, Nissan has introduced the Altima SR model which it calls an “affordable sports” version of the car with “enhanced handling, unique exterior and interior accents.”

Sounds great, except the Altima 2.5 SL I’ve been driving doesn’t offer much in the way of energetic flow from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler revolutionizes the minivan with 2017 Pacifica version | Larry Edsall photos
Chrysler revolutionizes the minivan with 2017 Pacifica version | Larry Edsall photos

Ford and General Motors have abandoned the genre, so is the minivan still relevant? Chrysler, or FCA as the automaker is now known, certainly thinks so, and it invested some $2 billion in re-inventing the family-friendly van it launched several decades ago and in which a generation or two of Americans grew up.

No longer is there a Plymouth Voyager or even a Chrysler Town & Country, and the Dodge Grand Caravan is on its way out as well. Replacing them all is the new-for-2017 Chrysler Pacifica. The new name, well, actually a somewhat familiar name, is used to underscore the fact that this isn’t your traditional soccer mom’s minivan but a new and even revolutionary vehicle, in some ways perhaps as revolutionary as that first minivan back in the mid-1970s. Continue reading