Category archives: Features

New Year’s resolutions, intentions and wishes for the classic car community

Barn-found Maserati | Larry Edsall photos
Barn-found Maserati | Larry Edsall photos

For car collectors everywhere, larger garages.

For the automotive archeologists, more barn finds. There doesn’t seem to be anything that excites the hobby quite as much as the discovery of a dust-covered classic behind doors that have been closed for a few decades. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1

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1970 Buick GSX Stage 1 | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

Buick has always had a stodgy image of being the car your grandmother drove, but in 1970 it set out to change all that with the debut of the GSX, a car that put Buick on the performance map next to the likes of the Chevrolet’s Chevelle and Pontiac’s GTO Judge, thanks in part to General Motors pulling a long-standing corporation-wide restrictions on engine displacement.

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2015 top stories: No. 1 – Sold! A piece of RM goes to Sotheby’s

1964 Ferrari 250 LM brings $17.6 million at RM Sotheby's Monterey sale | RM Sotheby's photos
1964 Ferrari 250 LM brings $17.6 million at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale | RM Sotheby’s photos

It’s not as if RM Auctions was struggling on its own. But the blockbuster news back in mid-February was that Sotheby’s, a British auction house established in 1744 (and the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange) was taking a 25 percent equity interest in Rob Myers’ classic car restoration and auction business. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

When Porsche debuted the 911 Speedster in 1989 it brought back a lot of fond memories for enthusiasts of earlier models, evoking the spirit of the Porsche Speedsters from the 1950s, in part due to its low-cut and raked windshield.

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2015 top stories: No. 2 – Keno Brothers launch their own classic car auction company

Keno Brothers' auction preview was part art museum, part car show | Renato Zacchia photos for Keno Brothers
Keno Brothers’ auction preview was part art museum, part car show | Renato Zacchia photos for Keno Brothers

It was huge news back in mid-January, just as everyone was gearing up for the big Arizona classic car auction week, when word came from New York City that the Keno twins, Leigh and Leslie, widely known for their entertaining evaluations of vintage furniture on television’s Antiques Roadshow, were launching their own collector car auction house.

While best known for their roles on the Public Broadcasting Service’s weekly art and antiques program, the Kenos were very familiar to the car-collecting community. They helped their father, Ron, as he collected and restored cars. They had their own collections. They participated in vintage racing. They were judges at major concours d’elegance. Very quietly, they recruited others to join them in a fund that bought classic cars as an investment. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV

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1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

In 1963, Pontiac Motor Division general ganager Pete Estes and chief engineer John DeLorean sat down with the division’s sales manager, Frank Bridge, to discuss their new 1964 GTO muscle car. Confident the GTO would be a hit, Estes and DeLorean had to negotiate with Bridge, whose job it was to keep the hundreds of Pontiac dealers happy.

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2015 top stories: No. 3 – Generational shift of car collectors

The iconic Lamborghini Countach has risen in value as a new generation enters the market | Mecum Auctions photos
The iconic Lamborghini Countach has risen in value as a new generation of collectors enters the market | Mecum Auctions

The passing of the generations has a profound effect on the collector car market. As each generation ages and passes on, the classics that they desire gradually fall out of favor, replaced by later models. We saw that as the World War II generation faded, so did popular interest in pre-war classics and ’50s cruisers, replaced by post-war sports cars, GTs and muscle cars as the Baby Boomers came of age.

During 2015, the influence of the next generation of car collectors became evident as the members of Gen X and the Millennials arrived on the scene and sought out the supercars, performance cars and popular sport compacts from the 1980s and ’90s. Continue reading

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2016: 1950 Oldsmobile 88 Futuramic Custom Coupe

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1950 Oldsmobile 88 Futuramic Custom | Barrett-Jackson Photos

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.

Oldsmobile had successfully challenged the garage-built hot rod in 1949 with its smooth and quick Rocket 88. The new car used the Futuramic B-body platform from the lightweight 76-model chassis but paired it with the powerful new Rocket V8 engine. This combination of a relatively small light body and large, powerful engine made it a precursor to the muscle car.

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2015 top stories: No. 4. – Cashing in on private collections

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Carroll Shelby’s 1966 Cobra Super Snake sold as part of the Ron Pratte Collection | Bob Golfen Photos

In January, it was Ron Pratte’s collection of cars and automobilia selling for more than $40 million at Barrett-Jackson. Next it was RM Sotheby’s turn with father and son Paul and Chris Andrews paring their collection for nearly $54 million at a single-vendor sale and with the anonymous single-owner Pinnacle Collection bringing $67 million in a special one-day sale at Monterey. In between, Leake Auctions sold 150 cars from the Klairmont Collection. Later, Bonhams handled the Frederiksen Collection in Denmark, where sales totaled $24 million.

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