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.

Daydream machines: Paging through RM Sotheby’s sales catalog

1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

So, I was away from home for a few days — attending the vintage motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas — and when I returned home the neighbors texted that a package had come while I was gone and they’d bring it over. The package contained the catalogs for RM Sotheby’s upcoming Arizona Auction — one for the Thursday sale and the other with the Friday docket.

Armed with a supply of Post-it Flags, I paged through some 525 pages of photos and descriptions of the cars and now share with you those that captured my flags. Continue reading

35 years later, Nellie Jackson’s Cadillac coupe comes home again

Nellie Jackson's 1934 Cadillac returns to Barrett-Jackson for 2016 Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos
Nellie Jackson’s 1934 Cadillac returns to Barrett-Jackson for 2016 Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos

It’s easy to consider what Craig Jackson has — his name on the country’s best-known collector car auction company, the house on the mountain with the muscle car collection and the turntable in the garage, etc. — but we overlook what he has lost — his father, his brother and more recently, his mother.

Jackson was host to Monday Media Morning yesterday in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Barrett-Jackson celebrates its 45th anniversary, starting this weekend. The focus of media morning was the arrival at WestWorld of two special vehicles — the Bumblebee Camaro and the Optimus Prime semi tractor stunt truck from the  Transformers movie. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Monday Media Morning at Barrett-Jackson

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were the star cars of pre-auction media day at Barrett-Jackson | Larry Edsall photos
Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were the star cars of pre-auction media day at Barrett-Jackson | Larry Edsall photos

While Nicole James focused on the star cars — Optimus Prime and the Bumblebee Camaro from the Transformers movies — I chatted with Craig Jackson and then wandered around under the big tent at WestWorld of Scottsdale to see some of the other cars that already had arrived for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction scheduled January 23-31. Below is just a sampling of the more than 1,500 vehicles scheduled to cross the block. Continue reading

My car dream would be finding my father’s pre-war Packard

My Dad (far right) and his friends on the way to Niagara Falls | Edsall family photo
My Dad (far right) and his friends at the finish of their Niagara Falls trip | Edsall family photo

Here at ClassicCars.com and Classic Car News, our business cards include the usual information: corporate logo, individual’s name and job title, business address, telephone numbers, email address. But there’s one more line on our cards. It reads: “My dream car is a …”

I’d imagine that Bob Golfen’s dream car is some sort of Porsche, that Andy Reid’s is a car driven by “Bond, James Bond,” that the object of Nicole James’ desire is a Nissan Skyline originally available only in the Japanese Domestic Market, and that Dawn Antestenis, our own import from Scotland, wants some obscure but oh-so-practical vehicle, perhaps a Morris Minor, produced on the British Isles. Continue reading

Driven: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

2016 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) is 150 pounds lighter than the previous generation car | Larry Edsall photos
2016 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) is 150 pounds lighter than the previous generation car | Larry Edsall photos

There’s a secret that some automakers — and a lot of buff-book automotive writers — don’t want you to know: Horsepower is overrated.

Oh, it’s not that the automakers are cheating when they report on the output of their engines, it’s just that you don’t need 500 horsepower, or even 400 or even 300, for your car to be fun to drive. In fact, a mere 155 horsepower is plenty sufficient if your car is small and light and nimble. For example, if your car is the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 (aka Miata). Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Plymouth Suburban

1949 Plymouth Suburban
1949 Plymouth Suburban

You read that headline correctly. Our Pick of the Day is a 1949 Plymouth Suburban. Not a Chevy Suburban. Not a GMC Suburban. Not a Studebaker Suburban. Not a Nash Suburban. Not even a DeSoto Suburban. But a Plymouth Suburban.

The Suburban is best-known as Chevrolet’s full-size sport utility vehicle. However, the Suburban nomenclature has been used by various automakers on haulers based on car or truck underpinnings. In Plymouth’s case, as early as the 1936 model year there was a Suburban verison in the company’s “commercial sedan” lineup. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s shows its confidence in Arizona as auction venue

Will this 19xx Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster become Arizona's first 8-figure auction sale? | RM Sotheby's photos by Darin Schnabel
Will this 19xx Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster become Arizona’s first 8-figure auction sale? | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

We didn’t really make a big deal about it last year when the record for the most-expensive vehicle ever sold at an Arizona classic car auction was broken. Even though, actually, it was broken twice within a few hours. Continue reading