Category archives: Commentary

2016 top stories: 5 – Rookies win at Pebble Beach

Double firsts: First-time entrant and first Lancia to win best of show at Pebble Beach | Concours photo by Ron Kimball
Double firsts: First-time entrant and first Lancia to win best of show at Pebble Beach | Concours photo by Ron Kimball

One of the most unlikely things happened at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year. Actually, make that two of the most unlikely things happened because not only did a first-time entrant won best of show, but with a marque, Lancia, that was also a first-time best of show winner at the world’s most prestigious concours.

The car was a 1936 Lancia Astura, one of either four or six such cars built, depending on which source you cite, and was a nice restoration of a car originally designed by Pininfarina. The car was formerly the property of guitar legend Eric Clapton and was a car that he loved owning. Continue reading

Commentary: What should we make of AACA, museum turmoil?

AACA annually stages its huge Hershey swap meet| Dennis David photo
AACA annually stages its huge Hershey swap meet| Dennis David photo

Should we care that the Antique Automobile Club of America and the AACA Museum planned merger into one entity failed? There is a fair amount of speculation as to why the merger hit the rocks. Neither side has been particularly forthcoming with details to help us understand the issues. Continue reading

What do continuation cars mean for the collector market?

Jaguar XK SS continuation body takes shape | Jaguar photo
Jaguar XK SS continuation body takes shape | Jaguar photo

Aston Martin and Jaguar have announced continuation production of some of their most famous cars, namely the DB4 GT and the XK-SS. This is great news to be sure, as it allows more people to buy versions of these near-mythic cars at, in theory, prices much less than the cost of a period-built example.

With that being said, just what is a continuation car? Continue reading

Andy’s advice: 10 cars to buy while they’re still affordable

1960s American station wagons such as this '65 Buick, are No. 6 on Andy's better-buy-'em-now list
1960s American station wagons such as this ’65 Buick, are No. 6 on Andy’s better-buy-’em-now list

It has been an up and down year in the world of auctions with top tier collector cars such as the Jaguar D-type and rare racing Ferrari cars achieving some serious gains while cars that were hot a year ago, think the Ferrari Testarossa of the 1980s and ’90s and early Porsche 911 cars softening a bit. While that has been happening we have seen an upsurge in demand for muscle cars, notably ‘70s and early ’80s Pontiac Trans Ams and the like.

So what does the future hold in our hobby and what are the top 10 cars to seek out and buy in the new year? Continue reading

Art auction headlines bode well for upcoming collector car sales

The scene at Sotheby's recent Modernist art auction | Sotheby's photos
The scene at Sotheby’s recent Modernist art auction | Sotheby’s photos

Recent headlines that should be of interest to the collector car community:

Monet’s ‘Grainstack’ Sets Record With $81.4 Million at Auction
Strong Sales at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction Despite Postelection Jitters
Sotheby’s Stages Robust $276 Million Contemporary Art Sale to Close Out Auction Week
A Richter, Owned by Clapton, Fetches $22 Million at Christie’s
Edvard Munch Leads Sotheby’s $157.7 Million Impressionist Sale Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Honda Ridgeline and the long, slow goodbye

The Honda Ridgeline worked well for hauling boat supplies | William Hall photos
The Honda Ridgeline worked well for hauling boat supplies | William Hall photos

Classic Car News editor Larry Edsall and I both favor small pickup trucks as our daily drivers, though it is a segment that has nearly disappeared from current production. My 1999 Ranger is still running strong with 200,000 miles on its 2.5 Pinto-derived (I prefer to call it a “Formula Ford”) engine, its five-speed manual transmission (still with its original clutch, thankyouverymuch) and its full, seven-foot bed.

I have asked much of the old girl over the years, and she has rarely let me down. Alas, it’s Milwaukee-made Tower Automotive frame has started to succumb to terminal rust, and so we have begun the long, slow goodbye. Continue reading

Commentary: Detroit needs a world-class car museum

Automotive Hall of Fame's tribute to Soichiro Honda | Larry Edsall photos
Automotive Hall of Fame’s tribute to Soichiro Honda | Larry Edsall photos

In Japan and in Germany and Italy, automakers have stunning museums that celebrate and share their histories and heritage, displaying not only vehicles but other corporate artifacts. In the United States, not so much. Continue reading

True confessions about time travel and dinner with an auto icon

Harley Earl and the GM Firebird cars at the Arizona Proving Grounds | GM photo
Harley Earl and the GM Firebird cars at the Arizona Proving Grounds | GM photo

Two, and true, confessions:

One: I was the author of our poll question that ran last week on the Classic Car News homepage. To refresh your memory the questions was: “A time machine has been invented and you can go back and have dinner with one automotive icon. Whom would you choose?” Continue reading

Commentary: Emotion rules market trends at Mecum Chicago

Sellers, buyers and spectators crowd in at Mecum's Chicago sale | WIlliam Hall photos
Sellers, buyers and spectators crowd in at Mecum’s Chicago sale | WIlliam Hall photos

While there are many industry databases crunching numbers on sales figures, none can accurately track the human emotion that steers the direction of the collector car market. We came away from the Mecum Auction in Chicago on October 6 to 8 with a few new observations regarding the intangible elements of the human psyche that forecasts market trends. Continue reading

Commentary: I thought Buick already had a great nameplate

Buick selects Avenir as its new and highest expression of luxury sub-brand | Buick photo
Buick selects Avenir as its new and highest expression of luxury sub-brand | Buick photo

I’m told that Avenir is the French word for “future.” So, how long into the future will it be before we see an Avenir at a collector car auction?

Oh, in case you had not heard, Avenir is a new General Motors’ sub-brand, the “highest expression of Buick luxury.” Continue reading