Category archives: Commentary

Impermanence and the art of automobile maintenance

Author Robert Pirsig with his son Chris on their famed motorcycle trek | Robert Pirsig archive photo
Author Robert Pirsig with his son Chris on their famed motorcycle trek | Robert Pirsig archive photo

I take it as a point of pride that I do much of my own work on all my old cars. It is an extension of the richer understanding of the machine, and an additional source of enjoyment (most of the time) in the ownership experience.

Most of us go through life not fully understanding the how, let alone the why, of what makes our world work. These days, it seems there is precious little curiosity about such things. Continue reading

A backhanded compliment for classic cars in Canada

Vintage E30 BMW M3 might be just what is needed for track day activities | BMW photo
Vintage E30 BMW M3 might be just what is needed for track day activities | BMW photo

‘Canadian driving club bans newer cars over safety concerns,” reads the headline on the autofocus.ca website report that the BMW Club Canada’s Trillium chapter in Toronto has banned new cars with modern automated forward braking and lane-departure and correction systems from track events because those systems “pose a danger to drivers at speed.” Continue reading

Hey, baby, have you slept in a Ford, lately?

Baby sleeps in bed that mimics sounds and movement and even lights of a late-night car ride | Ford of Spain photo
Baby sleeps in bed that mimics sounds and movement and even lights of a late-night car ride | Ford of Spain photo

You may have had friends like Laurie’s parents. To get her to go to sleep when she was an infant, they’d have to put her into her baby safety seat and drive around the block a few times before she’d doze off for the night. Sad to say, you may have had such an experience with your own children.

That situation is so commonplace and apparently so universal that Ford of Spain and its advertising agency have created the Max Motor Dreams, a prototype infant bed that simulates the sounds, lights and even the “comforting movement” of a ride in the car. Continue reading

April Fool’s followup and other news updates

Here's a sight you don't want to see in your rearview mirror | Lamborghini photo
Here’s a sight you don’t want to see in your rearview mirror | Lamborghini photo

Hat’s off to Honda for the best April Fool’s Day gag by an automobile manufacturer, 2017 edition.

Each year of late, automakers have attempted, and in some cases have succeeded, to spring April Fool’s Day jokes on the news media. Last weekend, those jokes included: Continue reading

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

022517TFF_0997
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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading