Category archives: Commentary

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

Concours d’elegance, or just a really good car show? Who’s to say? And does it matter?

Amazing cars in a spectacular setting, Pebble Beach is obviously a concours d'elegance of the highest order | Larry Edsall photos
Amazing cars in a spectacular setting, Pebble Beach is obviously a concours d’elegance of the highest order | Larry Edsall photos

The ConcoursDates.com website lists 47 events that claim “Concours d’Elegance” in their names, and that list doesn’t include Concorso Italiano or the Desert Concorso. It does include The Elegance at Hershey, but it does note that the Milwaukee Masterpiece is changing its name to the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance for its event this year.

So, let’s do some quick math… 47 +… carry the 1… it would appear that in 2016 there will be 51 events in the United States — oops, just realized the Cobble Beach concours in Canada isn’t on that list either — so make it 52, and perhaps a few more classic car shows in North America that want us to believe they are full-fledged competitions of automotive elegance. Continue reading

Daydream machines: Paging through RM Sotheby’s sales catalog

1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby's photo by Darin Schnabel
1953 Ferrari 212 Inter coupe is gorgeous to behold | RM Sotheby’s photo by Darin Schnabel

So, I was away from home for a few days — attending the vintage motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas — and when I returned home the neighbors texted that a package had come while I was gone and they’d bring it over. The package contained the catalogs for RM Sotheby’s upcoming Arizona Auction — one for the Thursday sale and the other with the Friday docket.

Armed with a supply of Post-it Flags, I paged through some 525 pages of photos and descriptions of the cars and now share with you those that captured my flags. Continue reading

35 years later, Nellie Jackson’s Cadillac coupe comes home again

Nellie Jackson's 1934 Cadillac returns to Barrett-Jackson for 2016 Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos
Nellie Jackson’s 1934 Cadillac returns to Barrett-Jackson for 2016 Scottsdale auction | Larry Edsall photos

It’s easy to consider what Craig Jackson has — his name on the country’s best-known collector car auction company, the house on the mountain with the muscle car collection and the turntable in the garage, etc. — but we overlook what he has lost — his father, his brother and more recently, his mother.

Jackson was host to Monday Media Morning yesterday in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Barrett-Jackson celebrates its 45th anniversary, starting this weekend. The focus of media morning was the arrival at WestWorld of two special vehicles — the Bumblebee Camaro and the Optimus Prime semi tractor stunt truck from the  Transformers movie. Continue reading

My car dream would be finding my father’s pre-war Packard

My Dad (far right) and his friends on the way to Niagara Falls | Edsall family photo
My Dad (far right) and his friends at the finish of their Niagara Falls trip | Edsall family photo

Here at ClassicCars.com and Classic Car News, our business cards include the usual information: corporate logo, individual’s name and job title, business address, telephone numbers, email address. But there’s one more line on our cards. It reads: “My dream car is a …”

I’d imagine that Bob Golfen’s dream car is some sort of Porsche, that Andy Reid’s is a car driven by “Bond, James Bond,” that the object of Nicole James’ desire is a Nissan Skyline originally available only in the Japanese Domestic Market, and that Dawn Antestenis, our own import from Scotland, wants some obscure but oh-so-practical vehicle, perhaps a Morris Minor, produced on the British Isles. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s shows its confidence in Arizona as auction venue

Will this 19xx Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster become Arizona's first 8-figure auction sale? | RM Sotheby's photos by Darin Schnabel
Will this 19xx Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster become Arizona’s first 8-figure auction sale? | RM Sotheby’s photos by Darin Schnabel

We didn’t really make a big deal about it last year when the record for the most-expensive vehicle ever sold at an Arizona classic car auction was broken. Even though, actually, it was broken twice within a few hours. Continue reading