My history with motorcycles: Continue reading
Some people can’t wait for the Christmas catalogs to arrive, which used to happen after Thanksgiving but now seems to occur soon after Labor Day. However, for classic car enthusiasts, the wish-book catalogs arrive much later, and especially so this year when the Arizona auctions have been pushed back a couple of weeks because the college football bowl and championship games have been hogging all the hotel rooms hereabouts.
But I’m finally getting into the holiday spirit since the first of the Arizona auction catalogs has arrived. Actually, the first and second since Gooding & Company does separate publications for its upcoming two-day, Friday (January 29) and Saturday (January 30), sale. Continue reading
From Anchorage to Albany and from Kokomo to Kearney, from Naples to Nashville and from Owls Head to Oxnard, there are some 160 museums in the United States that have Automobile or Car as their middle name.
Those names and numbers come from the quarterly report of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which The Washington Post reports is “an independent government agency that tallies the number and type of museums in this country,” which it shares four times a year in the form of massive spreadsheets (complete with GPS coordinates) — one of museums, one for libraries — that you can download to your handy laptop computer. Continue reading
I caught motorcycle fever in a big way during the early 1970s, riding a motley succession of used bikes that now are classics. Back then, they were cheap enough on my part-time salary as I worked my way through college.
The favorites were a funky 1965 BMW R50 that just chugged along through whatever ordeal I subjected it to: rain, mud, even snow. After that came another 1965, a BSA 650 Lightning that was my dream bike and ran like an angry bull. Unlike the slow but sturdy German BMW, the more high-strung Britain needed lots of hands-on care.
That was all long ago, but I got a shock of nostalgia just the other day when I read about the top motorcycles being offered January 7 by Bonhams at its Las Vegas auction. Lo and behold, a racing motorcycle featured at the sale is one that I once knew well, though somewhat obliquely, as well as its famous rider. Continue reading
Judge not, lest you be judged. — Matthew 7:1
After all those childhood Sunday School lessons, it was with considerable trepidation, but also with a reporter’s considerable curiosity, that I accepted an invitation to serve as a guest judge at the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance. Continue reading
I’d never attended one of Leake Auction Company’s sales before, and excluding the night my flight itinerary included changing planes at DFW International, I’d only been to Dallas once before, and that was to cover a college football bowl game back in the mid-1970s. Yet I felt amazingly at home at Leake’s recent auction at Dallas Market Hall. Continue reading
For the vast bulk of us who actively take part in the classic car hobby, the landmark collector car auctions coming up in Manhattan, of all places, have no effect whatsoever on our lives. Some of the 70 or so exceptional race cars, sports cars and classics that sell at these exclusive events will go for more money than many of us will earn in our lifetimes, purchased by the top 0.1 percent of car collectors.
Besides big money, both of the auctions have something else in common: The elevation of vehicles into art objects sold in the fashion of New York art auctions. Continue reading
The first time I attended an Auctions America sale it reminded me quite a bit of those big sales with lots of noise, fast-talking auctioneers, and bids from everywhere. To say that it was a bit confusing, especially for a first-time bidder, would be an understatement. As a result, I was a bit apprehensive about attending the Auctions America sale at Hilton Head Island.
To say that I was surprised at what I found is a serious understatement. I found a great many wonderful cars, well presented, and plenty of specialists on hand to answer questions during the preview. Continue reading
Jay Leno is having way too much fun. That’s obvious from watching the premiere of Jay Leno’s Garage, which aired Wednesday night on the cable network CNBC. Continue reading
Surfing eBay one afternoon, I stumbled upon something unexpected that sparked my interest. It was a 52-year-old magazine, but one that brought memories rolling in like a fleet of wide-track Pontiacs.
The magazine is an automotive classic, in my humble opinion, the 1963 Auto Show edition of Motor Trend from November 1962 that presented the latest model year of 1963 American cars. In those days, my pre-pubescent automotive obsession was just awakening, and these were the cars that I first recall noticing, memorizing every contour, taillight and sparkle of trim. Continue reading