Category archives: News

ClassicCars.com launches industry-leading blog

Phoenix, Dec. 16, 2013 – ClassicCars.com, the world’s largest online marketplace devoted to classic and collector cars, today announced the launch of its high-profile industry blog at https://news.classiccars.com.  The ClassicCars.com Blog complements the world’s largest selection of classic and collector vehicles with industry news, feature articles, and insightful commentary from respected automotive journalists.  The blog represents the company’s first major expansion into the realm of feature content.

Heading up the editorial team is Senior Editor Larry Edsall.  Edsall is a veteran author, having written or co-written fifteen books on automobiles and the automotive industry.  Edsall is a former Managing Editor of AutoWeek Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Detroit News and The New York Times.

Also on the editorial team is Bob Golfen, a name familiar to fans of SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel.  Golfen is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic.

“The ClassicCars.com Blog doesn’t just complement our tremendous online catalog of vehicles for sale with news and entertainment,” said Roger FAlcione, President and CEO of ClassicCars.com.  “Rather, it’s a powerful expression of our commitment to all aspects of the collector car hobby.  I can’t think of a better team than Larry and Bob to foster a real sense of community among our readers.”

By focusing on the human side of the industry, the editorial team fully embraces the blog’s tagline: “Your daily dose of steel, rubber and soul.  The blog’s content combines deep insights, long experience, often pointed commentary, and a touch of humor to provide a unique perspective.”

About ClassicCars.com

ClassicCars.com is the world’s largest provider of classic car marketing services bringing buyers and sellers, dealers and owner operators together. Our car community reaches more than 2.3. million car enthusiasts a month and focuses on all of the needs to support their interest in the collector car hobby/industry.

ClassicCars.com is transforming the collector car buying and selling experience through strategic technology development, superior personal customer service and innovative products and services.  We are setting the pace for the online marketplace, for connecting people and establishing the largest community of collectors and enthusiasts.  At ClassicCars.com you can Drive your dream ® .

For more information:

Call: (480) 285-1600

Email: press@classiccars.com

 

Preview provides perspective on Arizona Auction Week

Photo by Larry Edsall
Photo by Larry Edsall

Will you be in Arizona in January for the classic car auctions? If so, the Phoenix Automotive Press Association hopes to provide you with a way to sort through the half-dozen auctions taking place at locations in three cities in the Valley of the Sun.

For the fifth year in a row, the local auto writers group — PAPA — will stage its Arizona Auction Week Preview event. This year, it begins at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 14 in Singer Hall at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The evening begins with a dessert buffet provided by your favorite website, www.classiccars.com, The program starts at 7 p.m. with brief presentations by each of the auction houses, following by a panel discussion featuring experts in the classic car hobby.

Panelists this year — three are confirmed and another one or two are pending — are:

John Carlson, chief judge for the new Arizona Concours d’Elegance. He also is chief judge of the concours Hilton Head, Cobble Beach, Crescent Beach and Louisville concours, a Master Judge for the Classic Car Club of America, and a Chief Class Judge for the Pebble Beach concours d’elegance.

Corky Coker, president of the family-owned Coker Tire Co., which produces tires for all vintage vehicles. He also is head honcho for The Great Race, proprietor of the Honest Charley Speed Shop & Garage, a car and motorcycle collector, and in February will launch a new television series, “Backroad Gold.”

Keith Martin, founder and publisher of Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines and author of the new book, Strange but True Tales of Car Collecting: Drowned Bugattis, Buried Belvederes, Felonious Ferraris and Other Wild Stories of Automotive Misadventures.

Tickets are $20 each. Since PAPA is a non-profit organization, proceeds will go toward scholarship programs for college students studying journalism or classic car restoration. Tickets can be purchased through the www.eventbrite website.

In addition to the program, goodie bags will be distributed and several items — including an autographed copy of Keith Martin’s new book, will be offered as door prizes.

Buick Regal celebrates its 40th birthday

1975 Buick RegalThe Buick Regal recently celebrated its 40th birthday as a car model. Originally known as the Century Regal, it was introduced in 1973 as one of General Motors’ first “personal luxury” cars and was propelled by a 350-cubic-inch V8 engine. The Regal would be the only mid-size American car to retain a standard V8 engine during the oil embargo.

 

 

All photos courtesy of General Motors

Partway into its second generation, the Regal lineup expanded from a coupe to include a sedan and estate wagon, though the V8 engine would be replaced by a turbocharged V6. Third-generation Regals had their drive wheels moved from the rear to the front of the car. In its fourth generation, the Regal GS became Buick’s first car with a supercharged V6. Regal began its fifth generation with the 2004 model year. In 2014, that version becomes available with all-wheel drive.

Our question for your consideration: Will any of the Regals come to be considered a collectible classic? If so, which? (You can respond in the comment section below.)

There aren’t a lot of Silver dollars in Arizona

The sell-through rate at Mitch Silver’s inaugural Arizona in the Fall auction was only 26 percent. Seems consignors valued their vehicles more than the snowbirds looking for something to drive during the winter months.

The sale was scheduled with an eye on offering cars that could serve as classy daily drivers for Arizona’s winter visitors, cars they might turn around and consign themselves next spring when Silver does a similar auction just before the ‘birds fly home for the summer.

But in many cases — too many cases — the bids offered fell just short of the owners’ reserve prices.

The high-dollar sale of the weekend was $55,000 for a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. A 1968 Camaro RS/SS convertible brought $32,500, a 2008 BMW 550Li went for $29,600, a 1961 Pontiac Catalina convertible $29,000 and a 1957 Pontiac Star Chief hardtop traded ownership for $28,000.

Silver is back in Arizona in January for its big annual sale, and returns for its spring event in March. Silver also is working on a possible sale in the Phoenix area during the summer, though that one would be in an air-conditioned building, not outdoors in a tent.

Something fishy at the Petersen, where Jaguars are on the prowl

Did you know that the 1928 fishing season was a disaster in Massachusetts and residents blamed the state’s Dept. of Motor Vehicles?

Turns out that in 1928, the DMV added a fish symbol to the state’s auto license plates, but the fish was pointed away from the word “Mass.”

After the anglers’ uproar, the person who designed that 1928 plate was fired and the following year the fish pointed toward the state’s name and the fishing industry prospered.

Such tales are part of the new “License Plates: Unlocking the Code” exhibit that runs through March 30, 2014 at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Officially, the exhibit celebrates the centennial of the first State of California license plate, but it includes plates from across the country and around the world. (As early as 1909, the Automobile Club of Southern California and the American Automobile Association produced license plates for California drivers, with the state taking over the business in 1914.)

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By the way, did you know that until 1972, each Argentine province had its own unique plate design, and those from the Neuguen region featured a water fall and were hand painted?

“There really is educational value to each plate in this display,” said Jeff Minard, a license plate historian who worked with the museum on the display. “At the same time, time, these unique pieces are displayed as art for everyone to enjoy.”

Also new to the Petersen — opening last weekend and running through February 16, 2014, is a special Jaguar sports car exhibit that showcases a 1937 SS100 formerly owned by entertainer Mel Torme, a 1949 XK120 used in the movie Gangster Squad, a 1956 XKSS formerly owned by Steve McQueen, a 1965 E-Type used in the television show Mad Men, and a 2014 F-type V8 S.

800-plus cross the block at Mecum’s Anaheim auction

The folks at Mecum Auctions anticipated 750 vehicles would cross the block at their second annual autumn event in the Anaheim Convention Center, but “consignments came in droves” and bids were accepted on 812 vehicles.

Seems, however, that sellers were more eager than buyers, because only 412 of those vehicles sold, though for nearly $14 million.

Tied for high-dollar transactions were a pair of Ford GTs, a 2005 and a 2006, each of which brought $210,000.

The list of top-10 vehicles is an interesting mix. At $180,000 was a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro, but then came a 1953 Hudson Hornet Twin-H convertible at $150,000.

Next on the list was a quartet of vehicles sold for $132,500 as a single lot — a 1955 Chevrolet 210 resto-mod, a 2005 Harley-Davidson Roadglide, a 2006 Ness Lowliner bike and a 2008 Adventure motor bike trailer.

Selling for $130,000 each was a pair of 1954 Buick Skylark convertibles. A 1956 Chevrolet Nomad resto-mod brought $125,000, the 1938 Harley WLD Solo Sport formerly owned by Steve McQueen also went for $125,000, while a 1955 Chevy Nomad traded ownership for $120,000.

Mecum ends its 2013 auction year December 5-7 at Kansas City, and then launches its 2014 calendar with a motorcycle auction January 9-11 at Las Vegas, followed by its huge — some 3,000 vehicles huge — sale January 17-26 at Kissimmee, Florida.

Simeone book, Amelia Island concours win awards

We have classic cars. Europe has “historic motoring.” For the third year, a British bank and magazine have sponsored the International Historic Motoring Awards to “celebrate ‘the best of the best’ in what is now a multi-billion global industry.”

The event of the year award was shared by the Amelia Island concours d’elegance and the VHRA Pendine Sands amateur hot rod races while the publication of the year went to the book “The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles” published by the Simeone museum of Philadelphia.

The museum or collection of the year was the Louwman Museum of The Netherlands. Motorsport event of the year was the Silverstone Classic while the race series of the year was the FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship. Rally or tour of the year went to the 20-Ghost Club’s Centenary Alpine Trial. The Aston Martin Owners Club was club of the year.

The lifetime achievement award went to F1 broadcaster Murray Walker while Philip Young, father of historic rallying, received the personal achievement of the year award.

Car of the year was the recreation of the Bugatti 57SC Aerolithe by David Grainger of the  Guild of Master Craftsmen, Canada (see photo by Joe Wiecha). Restoration of the year was the 1966 US. Grand Prix-winning Lotus 43 by Andy Middlehurst, and specialist of the year was Francis Tuthill Ltd., which sent more than 15 Porsche 911s and more than 50 tons of parts and gear to the East African Safari Classic despite being a family-run company with less than 30 employees.

Among the finalists in the various categories were concours at Pebble Beach and The Quail, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Blackhawk, Le May and Mullin museums, the Colorado Grand tour, Hagerty insurance (specialist), and book publisher David Bull of Phoenix (in the personal achievement category for his battle back from a life-threatening motorcycle collision).

ClassicCars.com Breaks Site Traffic Record in September

Phoenix, October 3, 2013 – ClassicCars.com, the leading online classic car marketplace, announced an all-time high in website traffic, a total of 1,003,558 visits, for the month of September. In addition to its highest-ever number of visits, the site also served a record-breaking 9.4 million page views. These impressive numbers represent year-over-year growth of 59%.

In addition to the growth in website traffic, ClassicCars.com’s dynamic marketplace announced significant growth in other key measures, including the number of buyer inquiries submitted, total vehicles listed for sale by owner, and new Dealer Network members. The company also announced that downloads of its iPhone app, the first of its kind in the classic car market, have exceeded 25,000.

“The phenomenal growth of the site is a company-wide goal towards which we all strive,” said Roger Falcione, President of ClassicCars.com. “Topping the 1 million mark is not only a memorable achievement that we collectively celebrate; it’s an indication of our employees’ dedication and hard work. And of that, I’m most proud.”

Trusted by partners and clients such as Hagerty Insurance Agency, RM Auctions, Barrett-Jackson and more than 300 dealers, ClassicCars.com is the largest online marketplace for classic and collector cars with more than 30,000 vehicles listed. The site utilizes a robust search function to help buyers sort through those thousands of listings and a proprietary “My Garage” feature where users can save their favorites. For sellers, ClassicCars.com provides a feature-rich listing option that includes the “list until sold” benefit for one flat fee. Additionally, the site offers a comprehensive Resource Guide, an Event Calendar where members can post events at no charge and Auction Central, where enthusiasts can find the latest auction news.

“The classic car industry is in an exciting stage and we’re poised to make that translate exponentially for ClassicCars.com,” stated Falcione.

About ClassicCars.com

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, ClassicCars.com is devoted to helping owners sell classic vehicles online.  Featuring vehicles for sale by private sellers, auction houses, and specialty dealerships around the world, ClassicCars.com is home to the world’s largest online selection of classic and collector vehicles for sale. For more information, visit www.classiccars.com.

 

For more information:

Call: (480) 285-1600

Email: press@classiccars.com

Judge’s ’34 Packard judged best-in-show at Pebble Beach

New Jersey judge Joseph Cassini III and his wife, Margie, are well known within the classic car community. For the last two years — and four times in the last eight years — their cars have won best-in-show honors at the Concours d’Elegance of America. And their 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria drove off with best-in-show honors at the 63rd Pebble Beach concours d’elegance as well.

“This Packard is the epitome of American style and grace in the Classic Era,” said Sandra Button, the concours chairman. “It is understated but elegant, and it has a striking but quiet presence. When it drove onto our show field this morning, and I stepped forward to greet the Cassinis, I could barely hear the engine running.”

The Cassinis’ Packard is only the second American car to win best-in-show at Pebble Beach in nearly 20 years (The 1935 Duesenberg SJ Speedster “Mormon Meteor” won in 2007).

The Cassinis also won the top award at Pebble Beach in 2004 with their 1938 Horch 853A Erdmann & Rossi Sport Cabriolet.

Petersen’s plans, Monterey money, and Barrett-Jackson’s ‘Hot August’ nights

We’ll get to the results of the auctions and other action on the Monterey Peninsula in a moment, but first, an update on the plans for the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is not going all French cars and Art Deco on us (as has been reported elsewhere).

As we reported and as the Petersen confirmed at a press briefing at Monterey, the museum plans to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014 with “a complete exterior transformation and a dynamic redesign of the interior, resulting in a world class museum that will showcase the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile. Displays will feature the prominence of the automobile in Southern California, as well as cars, trucks and motorcycles from around the world. In addition to the facility upgrade, the new Petersen will feature a refined and upgraded permanent collection and an expansion of rotating displays, galleries, technology and story-telling, providing visitors with fresh, new experiences throughout the year.”

Further, “The L.A. cultural landmark will showcase Southern California’s rich automotive heritage and will serve as a gateway to the city’s “Museum Row.”

Money generated by selling off a bunch of cars that had been taking up room in the museum’s parking garage and basement, as well as a few true classics, will be used to upgrade and update the displays. A separate fund-raising effort has begun to pay for the architectural alterations.

The goal is to transform the museum’s exterior into “one of the most significant and unforgettable structures in Los Angeles,” with ribbons of stainless steel — designed to evoke the imagery of speed and the organic curves of coach-built cars — wrapped around and over a deep red building. As you can see from the photograph of the proposed interior, the theme will carry into the building as well.

“Our plan is to work with the best and brightest minds in architecture, automotive history and interactive design to give the people of Los Angeles and the world a place where they can be immersed in the culture, sights and sounds of the greatest vehicles ever built,” said museum chairman Peter Mullin.

Those changes, plus the addition of 15,000 square feet of display space, are designed not only to appeal to first-time visitors, but to draw people back for repeated visits.