Category archives: Commentary

What to do about the General Lee?

unnamed (17)
1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee | Photography by Hans Marquez

One of the most iconic images of the Confederate flag sits atop the equally iconic car from the popular TV series, The Dukes of Hazzard. The car in the show known as the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger driven by fictional characters Bo and Luke Duke, is under fire and being defaced by some due to current controversies surrounding the Confederate flag.

Continue reading

Revisiting my visit with the master of car design, Giorgetto Guigiaro

The Guigiaro-designed 1988 Aztec | Italdesign photos
The Guigiaro-designed 1988 Aztec | Italdesign photos

There are interviews that stand out in a journalist’s memory. In my case, they include boxing champion Archie Moore, Meadowlark Lemon of the Harlem Globetrotters, and tennis star and women’s sports advocate Billie Jean King. And then, there was the day a dozen or so years ago when I was in Italy doing research on a book on automotive design.

While in Torino, my itinerary included a visit to Italdesign and an interview with Giorgetto Giugiaro, grandson of a painter of frescoes, son of an artist, and who, soon after becoming a teenager, was sent to study both art and technical drawing. Continue reading

Record-setting art auctions put classic car prices in perspective

In the world of classic and collector car auctions, we have Scottsdale in the winter and Monterey in the summer.

It’s sort of the same in the world of collectible art, except that it’s New York City in the spring and then again in the fall.

Yes, there are many other auctions of classic cars and of various genres of fine art, but except for the occasional exception, the biggest sales totals and the record prices come out of Scottsdale, Monterey and New York City. Continue reading

I hope they left my singing on the cutting room floor

Some of the cars I drove while filming the National Geographic Channel special, Driving America | Larry Edsall photos
Some of the cars I drove for the National Geographic Channel special, Driving America | Larry Edsall photos

Editor’s note: The National Geographic Channel’s two-hour special, Driving America, debuts on Memorial Day at 9 p.m. (EDT and PDT).

It was more than a year ago that Matt Bennett called to discuss his latest wonderful yet wacky idea. He wanted to put me on television. Me, the guy with a great face for radio.

Matt, whose face has appeared on TV, and several times because he also is an actor with New York theater credits, heads Silent Crow Arts, a television documentary production company in New York City. Silent Crow’s shows have included Mad Scientists, Barnwood Builders, Garbage Moguls, Deadliest Catch: The Bait, and After the Catch. It also did the live coverage of the amazing Lambrecht car auction in Nebraska.

Continue reading

A visit to Ray Evernham’s racing and road car collection

Ray Evernham and the 'Lost Legend' XL-1 race car | Andy Reid photos
Ray Evernham and the ‘Lost Legend’ XL-1 race car | Andy Reid photos

While I was in Charlotte recently for the AutoFair, I had an opportunity to spend some time with Ray Evernham, the former NASCAR championship-winning crew chief, racing team owner, long-time classic car aficionado and current host of the television show AmeriCARna. That is quite a resume, but talking with Evernham, even for a few minutes, lets you know why he has been able to achieve so much. Our conversation spanned topics from the moonshine-running roots of NASCAR to 1960s Indy car design to the engineering dynamics of modern Formula 1 cars. The man is a genius and moved through these and other topics with ease and a degree of knowledge that was nothing short of astounding.

Continue reading

Denise McCluggage: Racing all the way to the finish line

Denise McCluggage (in gray) at the need for speed panel | Larry Edsall photo
Denise McCluggage (in gray) at the need for speed panel | Larry Edsall photo

Only once in the more than 25 years that we were colleagues and friends did I ever see Denise McCluggage come even close to blushing. It was in January, four years ago, when I was covering the “Women Who Have the Need for Speed” panel discussion taking place in conjunction with Barrett-Jackson’s classic car auction at Scottsdale, Arizona. Continue reading

Getting caught in the traffic of the generational shift

So I thought I had a great idea for how to spend my Saturday in a meaningful way. My plan was to start the day at Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the cars participating in the 25th annual Copperstate 1000 vintage sports car rally would be staged for the start of their four-day anniversary drive.

From there, I would drive some 65 miles to the southwest, to the Gila Bend Municipal Airport, which had been rented for the day to stage the first Race Wars, a tribute to the Race Wars scene of the original The Fast and The Furious movie but scheduled to coincide with the most recent Furious7 film release.

Continue reading

I learned a lot at the Charlotte AutoFair

Don't laugh at lawnmower racing until you've tried it | Charlotte AutoFair photo of our guy Andy Reid in action
Don’t laugh at lawnmower racing until you’ve tried it | Charlotte AutoFair photo of our guy Andy Reid in action

I went to Charlotte last week to attend my first Charlotte AutoFair. So what did I see, do and learn at this event? Well in a nutshell, I looked at thousands of cars for sale, scores of parts, drag raced a Ford Mustang, drove a racing lawnmower, ate some awesome county fair food, petted animals in the petting zoo, spent time with Bobby Allison and Ray Evernham, got a tour of the NASCAR No. 24 Hendrick Racing shop with Jeff Gordon’s step father, John Bickford, attended a full blown AACA show, got a tour of his Evernham’s car collection, and made a lot of new car friends, including Ray and John.

Continue reading