Events: Concours, Cadillacs and motorsports champions

The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours
The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car is expected for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance | Hilton Head Island Concours

The 39th annual Concours d’Elegance of America, which actually comprises a weekend of 15 events, will host about 300 rare collector cars from around the world from July 28 through July 30 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Featured marques for the main-event concours, which takes place on Sunday, July 30, are Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and Shelby Cobra, while the featured coachbuilder is Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena and the featured body styles are boattail classics, hypercar exotics and Jet Age Juniors. Continue reading

First Porsche Werks Reunion on Amelia Island scores big time

A sea of Porsches greeted fans and spectators to the  Werks Reunion | Bob Golfen photos
A sea of Porsches greeted fans and spectators to the Werks Reunion | Bob Golfen photos

Porsche fanatics are a competitive bunch, and not just in racing. So, after watching three years of West Coast success for the Porsche Werks Reunion during Monterey Car Week, the East Coast contingent of the Porsche Club of America decided to have its own gathering of the faithful on Amelia Island during Florida’s car extravaganza.

The inaugural Porsche Werks Reunion Amelia Island took place Friday on a golf-course fairway at the Omni Amelia Island Resort, just south of where Gooding & Company held its upscale collector car auction at the same time, including a number of choice Porsche cars for sale. Later in the day, the Amelia Island auction that sponsored the Werks Reunion, Hollywood Wheels, would hold a sale of desirable Porsches. Continue reading

‘Gentleman’ collector gets full day at RM Sotheby’s Amelia sale

The 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet III “Tipo Bocca” is the most-valuable car in the collection | RM Sotheby's
The 1936 Lancia Astura Cabriolet III ‘Tipo Bocca’ is the most-valuable car in the collection | Darin Schnabel/RM Sotheby’s photos

Orin Smith was known as a consummate collector of fine automobiles, a man of means with an eye for beauty and a flair for living life to the fullest. During 20 years of collecting and restoring classic cars, and compiling an enviable assortment of concours trophies, Smith gathered together a large and carefully curated group of impressive vehicles, many of them special or unique examples from the world’s greatest marques.

Smith, 81, passed away in August 2016, and his family has opted to consign his collection to RM Sotheby’s, an auction house with which he had a close connection. Fifty-eight of Smith’s cars will be offered at RM Sotheby’s upcoming auction on Amelia Island, Florida. Continue reading

Significant competition cars set for Gooding’s Amelia Island sale

The 1977 Porsche 934/5 racer is a “true one-off” that won the 1981 Australian Sports Car Championship | Gooding & Company photos
The 1977 Porsche 934/5 racer is a “true one-off” that won the 1981 Australian Sports Car Championship | Gooding & Company photos

Historic race cars that performed in international competitions at Le Mans, Nurburgring, Fuji and a host of other famous venues will be auctioned during Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island, Florida, sale on March 10.

Leading the pack are three intriguing examples of performance machines, including two Porsches and a famed rotary-powered Mazda that competed in endurance races as the factory entry. Continue reading

1950 Cisitalia-Abarth raced by Nuvolari goes to Motostalgia sale

The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth grand prix car has a remarkable history | Motostalgia photos
The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth grand prix car has a remarkable history | Motostalgia photos

The 1950 Cisitalia-Abarth 204A Spyder Corsa to be offered by Motostalgia at its Amelia Island auction in March is an awesome grand prix race car in its own right. But add its incredible provenance with some of motorsports’ greatest personalities and the silver projectile stands as a significant piece of racing history. Continue reading

Aston Martins, Lancia Spider star at Gooding Amelia Island sale

The 1949 Aston Martin DB MkII was used by company owner David Brown | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding
The 1949 Aston Martin DB MkII was used by company owner David Brown | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

Three thoroughbred collector cars, one from Italy and two from Great Britain, highlight Gooding & Company’s annual Amelia Island Auction on March 10 in the northern Florida resort community.

The British cars are both Aston Martins, including a historic 1949 DB MkII coupe that was the personal car of company owner David Brown. Continue reading

Analysis: Amelia Island auctions show collector car market is strong when expectations are realistic

The 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder at Bonhamst sold for a strong $880,000 | Bonhams
The 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder at Bonhams sold for a strong $880,000 | Bonhams

I heard from a lot of people about the weak classic car market after the Arizona auctions. I contended that the market is not weak but has just slowed down a bit.

If the sales at Amelia Island last week told us anything, it is that great cars are still selling for very strong money. Sure, we are not seeing the huge monthly increases that we have seen over the past few years, but the market, in my opinion, is still very strong indeed. Continue reading

Amelia Island auctions top $134 million as high-end sales soar

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider at Gooding was the highest seller, at more than 17,160,000 | Bob Golfen
A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider at Gooding was the highest seller, at more than 17,160,000, for the Amelia Island auctions | Bob Golfen

A collective sigh of relief rose across Amelia Island on Saturday as the last hammer fell on the five classic car auctions that crowd the three days running up to the concours d’elegance on Sunday.

After the fairly flat sales results that came out of Scottsdale in January, the Amelia Island sales rang up strong numbers that assuaged fears about the health of the marketplace while also establishing the annual Florida automotive festival as a leading venue for selling high-end collector cars. Continue reading

Bob’s favorites at Gooding’s Amelia Island auction

Part of Jerry Seinfeld's lineup of early Porsche sports and race cars at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos
Part of Jerry Seinfeld’s lineup of Porsches and Volkswagens at the Gooding auction | Bob Golfen photos

David Gooding was all smiles Thursday as he ambled through the tents of his company’s Amelia Island collector car auction, where about 80 vintage vehicles beckoned to onlookers.

The seventh annual Gooding & Company sale is dominated this year by Jerry Seinfeld’s consignment of 16 glorious Porsches and two early-’60sVolkswagens from his personal collection. Auction watchers are waiting with anticipation to see how the celebrity ownership effects the values of his cars, many of them already rare and highly desirable models in pristine condition. Continue reading

1896 gas-electric hybrid set for Bonhams’ Amelia Island auction

The 1896 Armstrong Phaeton is the earliest-known gas-electric hybrid vehicle | Bonhams
The 1896 Armstrong Phaeton is the earliest known gas-electric hybrid vehicle | Bonhams

A century before there was a Toyota Prius, the earliest known gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle was built by the Armstrong Company of Connecticut. Although the 1896 Armstrong Phaeton looked more horseless carriage than motorcar, it pioneered advanced features that would take the rest of the automotive industry decades to adopt.

The Armstrong can run on electric power only, gas only, or in combination,  featuring regenerative electric-motor assist, electrically operated clutch and the first electric self-starter.

Just one example of the Armstrong Phaeton is known to survive, and it is scheduled for auction by Bonhams at Amelia Island, Florida, on March 10. Continue reading