Category archives: News

Bids and buys strong as Arizona auctions build toward weekend

1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider sells for $6.38 million at Bonhams, which more than doubled its 2016 sales total Thursday | Andy Reid photos
1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider sells for $6.38 million at Bonhams, which more than doubled its 2016 sales total Thursday | Andy Reid photos

With action at five venues, Thursday was the first full day of auctions during Arizona Car Week 2017 and, notably, overall totals were 30 percent above 2016 figures through the same point in the week, according to Hagerty, the insurance and value-tracking company that staffs each of the Arizona sales. Continue reading

Mopar performance muscles in at RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction

This restored 1963 Dodge  330 Max Wedge Lightweight is one of just nine built by the factory | Bob Golfen photos
This restored 1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge Lightweight is one of just nine built by the factory | Bob Golfen photos

‘You don’t usually see these kinds of muscle cars here.”

That was the comment from a passerby at RM Sotheby’s auction as she walked by a group of vintage Mopar performance machines at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, where the sale is being held.

Big pre-war classics and high-end sports cars are what come to mind at RM Sotheby’s, although the Arizona auction generally features a fairly wide range of collector cars. Still, a solid contingent of mighty 1960s muscle cars is somewhat unexpected in such polite society. Those more likely are found headlining the boisterous Barrett-Jackson or Russo and Steele auctions, both of which specialize in American ground pounders. Continue reading

Famed Lamborghini engineer Paolo Stanzani dead at 81

Famed engineer Paolo Stanzani: From Miura to Countach | Lamborghini photo
Famed engineer Paolo Stanzani: From Miura to Countach | Lamborghini photo

Paolo Stanzani, a mechanical engineer and one of the fathers of the Lamborghini Miura, died Wednesday at the age of 81.

With Giampaolo Dallara and designer Marcello Gandini, Stanzani created not only the revolutionary Miura in 1966 but subsequent Lamborghini vehicles, including the Countach. Continue reading

Worldwide’s Arizona debut includes two million-dollar sales

The 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL roadster originally owned by John Lennon sells for $225,000, plus commission, at Worldwide auction | Larry Edsall photos
The 1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL roadster originally owned by John Lennon sells for $225,000, plus commission, at Worldwide auction | Larry Edsall photos

Worldwide Auctioneers made its debut Wednesday night at Arizona Car Week with a well-attended — standing-room-only — sales room and  a nicely loaded 82-car docket that was so well received that two cars each sold for a million dollars or more.

The million-dollar cars were a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 roadster and a 1955 Lancia Aurelia GT B24S Spider America. Continue reading

No-reserve drifting with Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Barrett-Jackson-RTR-6
Vaughn Gittin Jr. drifing his 2017 Mustang RTR Spec 2 near Barrett-Jackson tents | Mustang RTR phtotos

Barrett-Jackson recently teamed with “professional fun-haver” Vaughn Gittin Jr. to create “No Reserve Drifting,” a video showcasing the world champion drifter’s abilities as he slides around the 74-acre WestWorld auction site in his 450-horsepower 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec II.

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Jet Center event: Luxury lifestyle and charity benefit

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Lamborghini at JetCenter event | Nicole James photos

Live music, local wine and microbrews joined exquisite art, a jet aircraft and several exotic cars at the inaugural AZ Jet Center event held Wednesday evneing at JetLinx Scottsdale as part of Arizona Car Week.

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Gilda, a sublime 1955 turbine car, offered at Barrett-Jackson

The turbine-powered Chrysler Ghia Streamline X 'Gilda' was designed with the aid of a wind tunnel | Barrett-Jackson photos
The turbine-powered Chrysler Ghia Streamline X ‘Gilda’ was designed with the aid of a wind tunnel | Barrett-Jackson photos

From a time when designers and engineers were attempting to blend automobiles with jet aircraft comes the 1955 Chrysler Ghia Streamline X, nicknamed Gilda after the Hollywood film and its glamorous leading lady, Rita Hayworth.

Gilda was a concept car commissioned by Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner and styled by Giovanni Savonuzzi with coachwork by Ghia of Turin, Italy. It was first shown at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, where it created a sensation. Continue reading

Depth of field: New hallmark of the Arizona Concours

Two of the cars in the Lincolns of the Classic Era class at the Arizona Concours d'Elegance | Larry Edsall photos
Two of the cars in the Lincolns of the Classic Era class at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance | Larry Edsall photos

The headlines, here and elsewhere, were about the Bugatti Atlantic which, to no one’s astonishment, won Best of Show accolades Sunday at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. The Atlantic is so famous, so rare and so spectacularly beautiful a car that it simply overshadowed the rest of the show field. Continue reading

What caught Andy’s eye at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction

Bonhams has brought a strong selection of cars for the Scottsdale auction | Andy Reid photos
Bonhams has brought a strong selection of cars for the Scottsdale auction | Andy Reid photos

Bonhams is celebrating its fourth year in Scottsdale, and this year’s selection of cars is the best the venerable auction house has ever had here in the desert, as well as being among the best offerings of any of the seven auction companies working Arizona Car Week. This includes my second-favorite car ever offered for sale at any auction anywhere.

As always is the case, Bonhams has a bit of something for every price level, and my picks of cars that I would most want to take home reflect that.

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce
This beautiful gray Alfa Giulietta is one of the nicer restorations I have ever seen. Not usually my favorite color on these cars, but combined with the red seats, it works wonderfully. I have enough time behind the wheel of these Alfas to know that the driving experience is amazing, and this car is so nice that I would keep it forever.
1958 Alfa Spider
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88
Those who know me are thinking, “Seriously, a C3 Corvette on a list of cars you want?” Well, seriously, the stigma of the C3 is gone and an L88 is truly a weapons-grade sports car, likely able to keep up with and then easily pass any 275 GTB/4 Ferrari on a vintage rally, and likely to cause much consternation in the process. This car is a great example, and I asked a friend, Bonhams specialist Steffan Frisk, to fire it up. The sound was exciting and immediately made me want it.
1969 L88
2003 Aston Martin Vanquish
The gentleman’s alternative to the L88 Vette, a Vanquish has been on my list for a long time. This example with only 15k miles and in a great black color just ticks all the boxes. These cars are on the rise and I want to buy one before they double in value.
Aston Vanquish
1956 Porsche Speedster
I love Speedsters, especially the early cars with the beehive taillights. The first Porsche I ever drove was a ‘56 Speedster, and it has stuck with me over the years. This Aquamarine Blue Metallic car is an extremely well-restored No. 1 condition car that I would personally love to drive into a No. 2 condition car.
1956 Porsche speedster
1952 Ferrari 340 America
This Ferrari represents the beginning of the marque’s long and storied racing history. It competed in the 1952 Mille Miglia, the 24 Hours of Le mans, and the Targa Florio. It was a factory team car and was driven my Taruffi, Trintignant and Bracco. It is eligible for any and all concours and vintage-racing events and rallies, aside from London to Brighton. How much better does it get in a single car?
1952 Ferrari 340 America
1963 Iso Rivolta
These are the easiest-to-live-with Italian GT cars ever built, with stunning Italian coachwork combined with a reliable Chevrolet Corvette powertrain. This Iso Rivalto has a manual transmission and is a great example of a truly world class GT car. A Iso Rivolta like this in a great color combination of silver paint with maroon leather would make a tour car par excellence. I loved this gentleman express.
iso
1977 Honda Civic CVCC
This little yellow Civic is the nicest example I have seen since they were new. It needs nothing, and if entered would likely win Best of Show at ClassicCars.com’s Future Classics car show. It is easier to find a really nice Ferrari California Spider for sale than it is a Civic as nice as this one. This is a future classic that is guaranteed to increase in value while it sips very little gas.
honda
1984 Ferrari 308 GTS QV
Sure it is a 308, but this Ferrari is one of the cars used in one of my favorite TV shows, Magnum P.I. This is the car that is one of my all-time favorite auction cars, second only to the DB5 form the movie Goldfinger. I will in fact be bidding on it, but I expect it to sell for much more than I am willing to spend. I will be test driving it Wednesday to see if it is everything that I hoped it would be.
magnum pi 308

Future Classics Car Show packs rooftop garage

Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS enters the car show | Photography by The Function Factory

ClassicCars.com, with support from Car Street Journal and the Function Factory, celebrated future collector cars with a show of their own Monday, set during Arizona Car Week atop a parking garage at the Scottsdale Quarter, an upscale shopping district.

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