Category archives: Commentary

Lamenting the loss of Edd-ucational television

Edd China and one of his projects | Discovery Channel photos
Edd China and one of his projects | Discovery Channel photos

Like so many of you, I was saddened by the news that Edd China is parting ways with the Wheeler Dealers television show, where for 13 seasons he’s educated the world about the proper way to restore nearly 150 vehicles. Continue reading

Analysis: Entry-level flexes muscles at Amelia Island auctions

1967 MGB sells for $38,500 on Amelia Island | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
1967 MGB sells for $38,500 on Amelia Island | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

The auctions at Amelia Island were very interesting to watch, with entry-level cars still seemingly on the rise and with the modern classic market still pretty hot, though showing some signs that it is leveling a little. Continue reading

When being a car show judge becomes very personal

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Winning 1965 Ford Mustang | Nicole James photos

It’s official! I’m a celebrity! At least when I arrived in Lakeland, Florida, for Carlisle Events’ Winter Autofest, I was asked to be a celebrity judge for the car show portion of the four-day event. Without hesitation, I said yes.

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Andy analyzes the Vegas vintage motorcycles auctions

1927 R42 on the block at Bonhams | Andy Reid photos
1927 R42 on the block at Bonhams | Andy Reid photos

I attended the vintage motorcycle auctions last week in Las Vegas and saw that while some things are a bit softer than last year, in many cases it had more to do with the quality of the offering than with the market itself. Continue reading

Arizona auction analysis: Emerging trends in the marketplace

Barrett-Jackson is a world unto itself | Larry Edsall photo
Barrett-Jackson is a world unto itself | Larry Edsall photo

The final results from the Scottsdale auctions held during Arizona Car Week are in, and it looks like the total sales numbers are $262.8 million this year compared with $250 million last year. So, it looks like the market is climbing and all is great.

But if you actually attended the auctions, you probably have a different opinion about the pulse of the collector car marketplace. Continue reading

What makes Arizona Car Week special? It’s the people

Sunset makes this E-type Jaguar appear to glow as it awaits its turn on the block at Russo and Steele auction | Larry Edsall photos
Sunset makes this E-type Jaguar appear to glow as it awaits its turn on the block at Russo and Steele auction | Larry Edsall photos

I had an epiphany of sorts during Arizona Car Week 2017. Well, actually two of them:

  1. You can’t be everywhere at once, so don’t even try.
  2. The best part of the gathering of the clan of the car, in this case here in the Valley of the Sun, really isn’t the cars, as spectacular as they are, but the people they bring, and in the case of Arizona Car Week, they’re brought to the place where I live. How cool is this: I get to see amazing cars, talk with fascinating people, and sleep each night in my own bed.

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Super-sized Barrett-Jackson is bucket-list auction that has it all

All eyes and cameras were turned toward Justin Bieber instead of his Ferrari 458 Italia  | Bob Golfen photos
All eyes and cameras were turned toward Justin Bieber instead of his Ferrari 458 Italia | Bob Golfen photos

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale is a collector-car auction like no other, as brassy and oversized as a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, as crowded with passionate fans as a political convention, and as packed with popular attractions as a state fair. There’s no Ferris wheel, but there should be.

From barbecued turkey legs to the most pristine of vintage automobiles, Barrett-Jackson excels in what it does best: attracting the most folks to the collector car hobby. It does so by way of a grand, sprawling spectacle that attracts 200,000 ticket holders each year to the Scottsdale venue as well as what has become a global audience of millions of TV watchers. 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

A newbie’s notes from Mecum Kissimmee

Through these portals pass the car-craziest people on Earth | Jim McCraw photos
Through these portals pass the car-craziest people on Earth | Jim McCraw photos

We are not rookies at most places. Been to the Daytona 500. The bike races and the 24 Hours of Daytona, too. Been to the Indy 500. Bonneville seven times. Five trips to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Talladega. Charlotte. Pocono. MIS. Numerous F1 races around the world. Sebring. St. Pete. Miami. Road America. Road Atlanta. Colorado Grand. California Mille. Driving schools at Ontario, Sears Point, Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta, Michigan, and Las Vegas. Lots of concours events over 35 years, from Pebble Beach to Greenwich to Meadow Brook to Amelia Island.

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In praise of one of the unsung heroes of our hobby

Pebble's Sanda Button reads off John Clinard's accomplishments
Pebble’s Sanda Button reads off John Clinard’s accomplishments | David Gooley photos

One of the things about unsung heroes is that they are accustomed to working quietly, diligent and even dogged, and well behind the scenes, where they might go almost unnoticed. But while they personally might be unheralded, the things they do are not.

Fortunately, from time to time, someone does notice such heroes and offers them praise that they find almost embarrassing. Continue reading