All posts by William Hall

William Hall is a writer, classic car broker and collector based in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. He has spent the whole of his professional career in the automotive industry, starting as an auto-parts delivery driver at the age of 16 to working for some of the nation’s premier restoration shops. He is a concours judge and a consultant to LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

Car condos bring motorsports, collector car culture home

Some car Condos offer space for collectors to entertain | Iron Gate Motor Condos.
Some car Condos offer space for collectors to entertain | Iron Gate Motor Condos.

Nearly every car collector longs for more garage space to house their precious vehicles. Specialized condo developments now cater to those who want to fully embrace the collector car lifestyle.

New communities are springing up around the country that not only store cars but offer owners inclusion in a fraternity of passionate automotive enthusiasts. Some condos are purpose-built around track activities. Others target parking solutions for urban enthusiasts with a social-club setting. Continue reading

Mama Tried – and succeeds – at being a unique motorcycle show

A rigid-frame Harley-Davidson stands like a curated work of art | William Hall photos
A rigid-frame Harley-Davidson stands like a curated work of art | William Hall photos

Unlike the hapless subject of Merle Haggard’s wistful honky-tonk classic from which it derives its name, Milwaukee’s Mama Tried Motorcycle Show has proven to be a standout success among vintage and custom motorcycle shows.

Held each February in a century-old urban industrial warehouse in the shadow of main-sponsor Harley-Davidson, the event celebrates the art of the motorcycle in a hip, fresh exhibition of more than 100 invited builders and collectors from around the country. Continue reading

After 104 years, Badger Motor Car Co. back in business… sort of

Custom cars and motorcycles belly up to the old factory housing the micro-brew pub | Badger Motorcar Company photos
Custom cars and motorcycles belly up to the old factory housing the motor-themed tavern | Badger Motorcar Company photos

At the turn of the century, hundreds of wannabe industrialists jumped into the burgeoning horseless-carriage industry. One such startup, the Badger Motor Car Company, began production of its 1910 30-horsepower, 4-cylinder, 3-speed-transmission car in the rural Midwestern town of Columbus, Wisconsin. Continue reading

10 tricks to make your car stand out at auction

A pair of vintage Pontiac Firebirds on stage at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction | Bob Golfen
A pair of vintage Pontiac Firebirds on stage at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction | Bob Golfen

With more collector car auction venues and consignments than ever before, how do you make your car stand out from the crowd at auction?  Buyers fall in love with a particular car because of its condition, uniqueness and story. There are a number of easy ways to communicate those factors, which can add excitement to your sale.

Take a look at these presentation ideas that will make buyers take a longer look at your car. Continue reading

Inaugural Polar-Rama puts hot rods on ice in Wisconsin

A 1929 Model A hot rod sports an early Hemi V8 engine
A 1929 Model A hot rod sports an early Hemi V8 engine | William Hall photos

With their post-season playoff football hopes dashed, classic car buffs in Menasha, Wisconsin had nothing better planned for a lazy Sunday afternoon than hold a car show –  in 20-degree weather with snow flurries.

Organized by the same folks who put on The Shakedown, one of the Upper Midwest’s largest traditional hot rod and customs shows, the Polar-Rama Winter Hot Rod and Motorcycle Festival invited all makes, models and variations of classic cars —as well as motorcycles and custom bicycles— to brave the winter weather and celebrate their shared passion. Continue reading

Bumps, bruises and teamwork deliver The Drive Home II

Mike Garland of Carlisle Events drove the Nomad when The Drive Home stopped in Pennsylvania | William Hall photos
Mike Garland of Carlisle Events drove the Nomad when The Drive Home stopped in Pennsylvania | William Hall photos

The Drive Home II, the second-annual promotional winter road trip cooked up by LeMay-America’s Car Museum and The North American International Auto Show, rolled into Detroit’s Cobo Hall Saturday evening after a 2,100-mile journey fraught with challenges.

Three classic cars – a 1957 Chevy Nomad, a 1961 Chrysler 300G and a 1966 Ford Mustang – began the trip from Boston on December 28. Trailered behind the support vehicle was a fourth car, a 1917 Crane-Simplex Model 5, formerly the property of J.D. Rockefeller. Continue reading

Bill’s best buys for the coming year

Six affordable collector cars show signs of increasing values during the next year
Six affordable collector cars show signs of increasing values during the next year

The collector car market is a lot like the real estate market: it’s always seeking growth in that next new, hot neighborhood. And just like real estate, new areas appreciate while others plateau or depreciate.

With collector cars, there are a number of intangibles that go into predicting The Next Big Thing. It’s a complicated algorithm that considers rarity of remaining examples, affordability relative to comparable models, design, performance, desirability and everyday usability. Continue reading

The Drive Home II: The Heritage Run begins snowy trek in Boston

The 1961 Chrysler 300G and 1957 Chevrolet Nomad line up to begin the trip to Detroit | William Hall photos
The 1961 Chrysler 300G and 1957 Chevrolet Nomad line up to begin the trip to Detroit | William Hall photos

LeMay-America’s Car Museum, in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit,  put three vintage cars on the harsh winter roads of New England today to start a 2,100 mile, classic car road rally to the Motor City.

“The Drive Home II: The Heritage Run” fleet consists of a 1961 Chrysler 300G, a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad and a 1966 Ford Mustang coupe. The bright-red classics were chosen for their representation of Detroit’s Big Three manufacturers, and the moving tribute to America’s automotive heritage is meant to remind us of the personality, ingenuity and dependability of Detroit Iron. Wannabe automakers Google and Apple should take note. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 7 – Automobilia soars at Mecum Road Art auction

Dan Mecum gazes at the Musgo gasoline sign that sold for a stunning $230,000 | William Hart photos
Dan Mecum gazes at the Musgo gasoline sign that sold for a stunning $230,000 | William Hart photos

During 2016, the collector car hobby reached new heights and widths in excess. Premium collector cars raised the ceiling on world-record sales prices, while such complimentary interests as classic motorcycles, automobilia, petroliana, automotive art, garage accessories and car condos filled out the hobbyist lifestyle experience.

Barrett-Jackson, Mecum and other auction houses have raised the profile of vintage automobilia with inclusion at their classic car sales, making the case that no garage or car collection is complete without accompanying regalia. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 9 – LeMay Museum’s The Drive Home

The LeMay Museum’s 1966 Ford Mustang, 1962 Chrysler 300G  and 1957 Chevy Nomad take a break in the snow | William Hall photos.
The LeMay Museum’s 1966 Ford Mustang, 1962 Chrysler 300G and 1957 Chevy Nomad take a break in the snow | William Hall photos.

When the LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, announced last December that it would be driving three classic American cars – a 1961 Chrysler 300G, a 1966 Mustang 289 Coupe, and a 1957 Chevy Nomad – 3,000 miles through winter weather to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, public reaction was fairly predictable.

Critics decried the perceived abuse of such fine vintage vehicles, and dismissed The Drive Home as a publicity stunt. Guilty: as a non-profit that relies on donations from private and corporate sponsors, this museum and others like it are always looking for ways to generate attention, goodwill and operating endowments to stay alive. Continue reading