Category archives: Commentary

Mitch Silver’s auction trumps Donald Trump protesters

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Police barricade at Shea Boulevard and Arizona Highway 87 | Nicole James Photos

This morning I set out to cover the Spring Silver Auction at the Fort McDowell resort just beyond the Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Usually, it’s a relatively quick drive along Shea Boulevard from my home in Scottsdale. Saturday, it was anything but that. Continue reading

Gentlemen… Start your engines: 4 things I learned at NASCAR

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No. 78 car at PIR | Photos by Hans Marquez

I will just come right out and say it: I had never been to a NASCAR race  until the Good Sam 500 and Axalta 200 last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. That’s right, my first real life exposure to the sport was as part of the working media.

But since my passion is motorsports, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to cover a NASCAR racing weekend. Continue reading

Analysis: Amelia Island auctions show collector car market is strong when expectations are realistic

The 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder at Bonhamst sold for a strong $880,000 | Bonhams
The 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder at Bonhams sold for a strong $880,000 | Bonhams

I heard from a lot of people about the weak classic car market after the Arizona auctions. I contended that the market is not weak but has just slowed down a bit.

If the sales at Amelia Island last week told us anything, it is that great cars are still selling for very strong money. Sure, we are not seeing the huge monthly increases that we have seen over the past few years, but the market, in my opinion, is still very strong indeed. Continue reading

F1 champions-signed helmet will be auctioned for charity

Helmet is autographed by every F1 champion alive since 2007 | RM Sotheby's photo
Helmet is autographed by every F1 champion alive since 2007 | RM Sotheby’s photo

Al Pearce is a generous man who last weekend covered the Daytona 500 for AutoWeek magazine for the 47th year in a row, which is how I know Al. For 12 years, I edited the stories he’d send back to AutoWeek — and not only from Daytona but from all the other races on the NASCAR circuit. Continue reading

My great uncle, his Rolls-Royce, and his recipe for chicken divan

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Cook book and cooking materials | Photos by Nicole James

According to the Rolls-Royce Owners Cookbook, printed in 1975 and featuring recipes from the Atlantic Region Rolls-Royce Owners Club, to make chicken divan you simmer six to eight chicken breasts in water, adding broth, onion, carrot, bay leaf, and pepper.

Continue reading

Analysis: Why some cars didn’t sell during Arizona Auction Week

Pre-war American cars not yet desired by next-gen buyers | Larry Edsall photos
Pre-war American cars not yet desired by next-gen buyers | Larry Edsall photos

While the various Arizona Auction Week sales enjoyed some $251 million in transactions and an overall sell-through rate of more than 80 percent, there were a number of no-sale cars this year, and many of them would have sold a year ago for the same high bids that were rejected this time.

Continue reading

Afternoon at the improv: An entertaining way to move the metal

Drew Alcazar is on the block, selling another car at Russo and Steele | Larry Edsall photos
Drew Alcazar is on the block, selling another car at Russo and Steele | Larry Edsall photos

I’m exhausted, and not just because Arizona Auction Week involves as many as 10 consecutive days that start well before the sun comes up and don’t end until the time when Cinderella’s Porsche turns into a pumpkin.

No, the reason I’m exhausted right now is that I spent much of Saturday afternoon watching Drew Alcazar perform in Russo and Steele’s auction-in the-round format. Continue reading

Will Porsche 911 overabundance ding prices in Arizona?

A long lineup of Porsche 911s are parked at Bonhams' auction in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen
A long lineup of Porsche 911s are parked at Bonhams’ auction in Scottsdale | Bob Golfen

The Porsche 911 seems to have it all – evocative styling, sparkling performance, competition history, a remarkably long-lived heritage – and there are plenty of them to go around. Since they hit the ground running in 1963, 911s have occupied a special space in the hearts of millions of enthusiasts of every stripe.

Porsches seem to be everywhere at the Arizona auctions this week, especially the 911 and its variants that have seen such a run up in values in the past few years. Bonhams has 21 Porsches out of its total of 115 collector cars being offered at auction today in Scottsdale. Sixteen of those cars are 911s, most of them lined up in a row that repeats the iconic form like an arcade mirror. Continue reading

Her car community gathers once more for Stephanie Bourassa

Classic and collector cars lined up at the cemetery in Stephanie's honor | Larry Edsall photos
Classic and collector cars lined up at the cemetery in Stephanie’s honor | Larry Edsall photos

Stephanie Bourassa drew her car community together again Wednesday, and because it is auction week in Arizona, this time they came not only from Phoenix and Scottsdale and Paradise Valley but from Palm Springs and St. Louis and Virginia and other places as well. Continue reading

Future Classics show shows our hobby’s future is secure

Mazda, Porsche, Datsun and Mustang among the cars on display at the inaugural Future Classics Car Show | Larry Edsall photos
Mazda, Porsche, Datsun and Mustang among the cars on display at the inaugural Future Classics Car Show | Larry Edsall photos

If you have read my stories in the past or checked out my Picks of the Day you will know that while I love established classic cars, I also love cars that are either up-and-coming classic cars or cars that have yet to be discovered by the classic car community. Monday evening I had the opportunity to put that knowledge and love of these future classics to work by being the head judge of the Future Classics Car Show staged by ClassicCars.com.

I have judged at quite a few major concours and other car shows but have never been a head judge before. I can say that there is a lot more to do when you are the head judge. Continue reading