Category archives: News

Lowrider Renaissance and the ‘art in defiance’ at the Petersen

El Rey and the Piñata in the Lowrider exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos
El Rey and the Piñata in the Lowrider exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos

Without irony, the art and artisans of the lowrider culture occupy the Petersen Automotive Museum’s gallery named for Armand Hammer, a collector of fine art representing some of the most controversial creative anarchy in the history of art — beginning with the creative anarchists of Florence who reintroduced lifelike humanism in the late 15th century after a millennium of Byzantine cartoons of lifeless icons. We call it The Rebirth (Renaissance). Continue reading

Museums: Blackhawk showcases ‘Transatlantic Style’

Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo
Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo

Saturday is Deuce Day at the Petersen

Just unveiled and running through September 30, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, offers what figures to be one of the most talked-about exhibitions of the year — “Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome.”

Featuring about two dozen stunningly designed automobiles, the exhibition is based on the book, Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style, by author Donald Osborne and photographer Michael Furman. Continue reading

Rhodes trip: Inventor was decades ahead of GPS guidance

Gilmore's showcase of Kalamazoo-made cars isn't its only tribute to nearby creativity | Larry Edsall photos
Gilmore’s showcase of Kalamazoo-made cars isn’t its only tribute to nearby creativity | Larry Edsall photos

Enter the Gilmore Car Museum these days and you are greeted by a display of vehicles produced in nearby Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“Kalamazoo: The Other Motor City” is the title of the exhibit that includes several Checkers, one of them from the late 1970s/early ‘80s television series Taxi, as well as assorted vehicles by Roamer, Dort, Handley and Barley, as well as a 1903 Michigan, and even a re-creation of the 1915 Cornelian Speedway Racer, built by the Block Brothers Machine shop and raced at Indy by none other than Louis Chevrolet. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Volkswagen Beetle

The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle
The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle

Here’s the kind of thing that makes VW fanatics flip out, an accurately restored Type 1 from the first year they were brought into the U.S.

New York dealer Max Hoffman, the automotive impresario who also was the early importer of such European brands as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, believed that the American public would accept the odd-duck Volkswagen despite its minimalistic size, accommodations and performance. Hoffman was right, in spades. Continue reading

Ferrari collection headed to RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction

Ferrari Performance Collection includes 9 offered at no reserve | RM Sotheby's photos by Theodore W. Pieper
Ferrari Performance Collection includes 9 offered at no reserve | RM Sotheby’s photos by Theodore W. Pieper

A baker’s dozen of Ferraris, all from a single owner, most offered without reserve, has been consigned to RM Sotheby’s annual Monterey auction, scheduled for August 18-19 at Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center in downtown Monterey, California.

The “Ferrari Performance Collection” comprises 13 cars spanning 50 years of Ferrari history and includes a 1961 250 GT SWB and a 1967 275 GTB/4. Also included are a 1991 F40, a 2011 599 GTO that has been driven only 481 miles and a 1984 512 BBi showing only 533 miles since new. Continue reading

Finest schedules online auction for late September

Bradley Farrell in the Finest's headquarters/showroom | Finest photo
Bradley Farrell in the Finest’s headquarters/showroom | Finest photo

The Finest Automobile Auctions Company is undergoing a management reorganization and says its inaugural online sale will take place in late September.

Faced with ongoing and major health issues, Bradley Farrell, Finest founder and chief executive, will take a leave of absence. Meanwhile, the company’s board of directors is pursuing a new executive to run the auction house, which recently was sued by vendors who say they were not paid for their work at the company’s live auctions. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1931 Franklin Model 153 sedan

The Franklin wears a traditional radiator shell despite its engine being air-cooled
The Franklin wears a traditional radiator shell despite its engine being air-cooled

See the radiator shell on the front of this Franklin sedan? It’s a fake – there is no radiator. The Franklin Automobile Co. exclusively built air-cooled vehicles, and before the early 1920s, you could tell by the front bodywork that there was no radiator up there.

Ah, but the pressure to conform became too great, and the Syracuse, New York, automaker started outfitting its cars to look like everybody else’s, with a typical radiator shell even though there was no radiator. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

The new Mazda CX-5 delivers sporty driving experience, rare in this compact-SUV segment | Bob Golfen
The new Mazda CX-5 delivers sporty driving experience, rare in this compact-SUV segment | Bob Golfen photos

Buyers shopping for compact SUVs have a whole lot to choose from in this highly competitive chunk of the automotive market. The trick here is for an automaker to deliver something that sets itself apart from the herd.

Mazda once again has taken its own road with the updated 2017 CX-5, which is distinctive not because of price, accommodations or utility, but because it drives and handles more like a sport sedan than an SUV. The ride might seem a bit firm and the steering might feel a trifle heavy for this segment, but the payback is an agile little ute that you can toss into corners and have fun with on a winding road. Continue reading

Worldwide adds to diversity of its Monterey auction docket

Dubos-bodied Delahaye will be offered for sale at inaugural Pacific Grove Auction | Worldwide Auctioneers photos
Dubos-bodied Delahaye will be offered for sale at inaugural Pacific Grove Auction | Worldwide Auctioneers photos

With vehicles as diverse as a 1937 Delahaye 135M coupe bodied by Dubos and a 1968 L-88 Chevrolet Corvette Sunray-DX built to race by Don Yenko, Worldwide Auctioneers is filling out the docket for its inaugural Pacific Grove Auction, its first venture as part of Monterey Car Week.

The auction, which Worldwide says will include around 70 collector vehicles, is scheduled for August 17 on the Pacific Grove Golf Links, located at the northern tip of the Monterey Peninsula. Continue reading

Millers at Milwaukee provides mile of smiles in vintage Indy cars

Early Indy race cars on the track at the Milwaukee Mile | William Hall photos
Early Indy race cars on the track at the Milwaukee Mile | William Hall photos

The recipe for a good motorsports event comes down to great cars in a historic venue with true enthusiasts. For 23 years, the Harry A. Miller Club has delivered that and more at its annual Millers at Milwaukee vintage Indy car event at the Wisconsin State Fair Park’s “Milwaukee Mile” oval track.

The club was founded by Schlitz brewery scion and car collector David V. Uihlein, Sr. who was challenged to form the organization by the former chairman of Rolls-Royce. The British auto executive was astonished that no one was honoring the creations of one of America’s greatest open-wheel racecar designers. Uihlein and fellow collectors took inspiration and banded together to celebrate Wisconsin-native Miller. The club continues today after Uihlein’s passing under the guiding hand of club president and auction-company owner Dana Mecum. Continue reading