Category archives: Commentary

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

Art insider looks in, and buys in, to collector car world

Kenny Schachter bought this 1961 Alfa Spider at RM Sotheby's London sale | RM Sotheby's photo by Cymon Taylor
Kenny Schachter bought this 1961 Alfa Spider at RM Sotheby’s London sale | RM Sotheby’s photo by Cymon Taylor

The New York Times referred to Kenny Schachter as an artist/lawyer/roving curator. For more than 20 years, he has been a curator of contemporary art exhibits for museums and galleries. He teaches art history at the graduate-degree level and his own art has been featured in several one-person exhibits. He also writes for artnet.com, which recently published his two-part ‘Dealer Diary: Of Art & Cars,’ and apparently splits his time between New York and London.

I found his art-world perspective on the classic car hobby fascinating and thought you might be interested in what he has to say: Continue reading

Commentary: Cooperating museums, sunken automotive treasure

Museum staffs cooperate to get a Stanley Steamer running smoothly | Herb Crosby photos
Museum staffs cooperate to get a Stanley Steamer running smoothly | Herb Crosby photos

We recently reported about a cooperative effort between the Frist art and Lane auto museums in Nashville. The Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museums in Germany also did a recent joint venture, swapping some cars and offering reduced admission fees for people visiting both facilities. We applaud such linkage. Here’s another example of museum’s working together: Continue reading

Commentary: Monterey auction rewind by the numbers

The beautiful 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider sold for nearly $20 million | Larry Edsall
The beautiful 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider sold for nearly $20 million | Larry Edsall

Lessons learned in Monterey:

1. You do not sell nearly 90 Porsche cars at the same auction.

2. If you have a very-rare, high-dollar car, you do sell it at auction.

3. If you have a sub-40,000-dollar car, you do not sell it at auction in Monterey

4. For more-common Enzo-era Ferraris, the market is flat as it is for 308s and Testarossas.

5. If you have a truly important historic racer, you sell it nowhere else than at Monterey. Continue reading