Porsches reign but Ferrari wins at Carmel Concours

A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos
A fleet of Porsche 356 Speedsters attracts a crowd | Bob Golfen photos

Porsches, Porsches everywhere. The booming popularity of nearly everybody’s favorite German sports car was powerfully evident Tuesday at the Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, California, an event considered to be the launch of Monterey Car Week.

Definitely the most-represented marque by far, Porsches packed the shady streets of the upscale burg – 911s by the score, including many intriguing customs and all-out race cars, plus an impressive collection of the earlier 356 models, with a gaggle of Speedsters, plenty of coupes and cabriolets, and an absolutely stunning 1951 356 coupe in dark maroon, a survivor from the early days of Porsche. Continue reading

Monterey’s incredible array of collector car events

A 1936 Pierce-Arrow 602 roadster rolls through the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance | Bob Golfen
A 1936 Pierce-Arrow 602 roadster rolls through the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance | Bob Golfen

The week leading up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is so loaded up with car shows and concours that it’s nearly impossible to attend them all. A great problem to have, considering that each is pretty special and, with few exceptions, could be a standalone event anywhere else.

But Monterey Car Week is the great gathering of the collector car clan, and there is enough interest and participation to maintain this high level of events, and to make them some of the best in the country. Whatever the special niche of your collector car universe, there’s likely to be something here that will scratch that old-car itch. Continue reading

Worm in tequila bottle? Ha! This gin has Harley engine parts

Each gin bottles contains a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine part | The Archeologist photo
Each gin bottles contains a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine part | The Archeologist photo

Uwe Ehinger is a German who builds custom motorcycles, often recycling parts he has collected on his pilgrimages around the world to “remote garages, dilapidated scrapyards and dusty backyards for legendary lost two-wheeled relics.”

“Every time I make a find of rare bikes, I wonder how to use every single part — because they deserve to be preserved,” he says on a website that takes its name from Ehinger’s nickname, “The Archeologist.” Continue reading

Another unique slate of special classes for Amelia Island Concours

The BeatNik Bandit custom roadster was Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth's most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos
The Beatnik Bandit custom roadster was Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s most memeorable creation | Amelia Island Concours photos

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida is well-known for its imaginative and sometimes quirky special classes – Cars of the Cowboys, Beach Cars, and Orphan Concept Cars come to mind – and the lineup for March 2018 stays true to form.

Eleven special classes have been revealed by the concours for its 2018 show, most of them featuring classic era, sports cars and motorsports icons. But the organizers, led by founder and chairman Bill Warner, always have a few unexpected themes thrown into the mix. Continue reading

Garage: Mychanic floor jack works as handsomely as it looks

The Mychanic floor jack quickly lifted the rear of my Porsche 356 | Bob Golfen photos
Light work: the Mychanic floor jack lifting the rear of my Porsche 356 | Bob Golfen photos

When I unpacked the Mychanic 2T Hybrid Floor Jack and stood back, my first thought was, “Now, that’s a good-looking floor jack.” I don’t recall ever having that thought before.

Because really, a floor jack is usually just a piece of functionality. The Mychanic jack, however, is an uncommonly handsome piece.  But does it work as well as it looks? Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1976 Porsche 912E coupe

Porsche used it leftover 914 engines to create a new entry-level model
Porsche used it leftover 914 engines to create a new entry-level model

In 1976, Porsche had a problem: they did not have an entry-level sports car in their lineup. The 914 was being phased out and the incoming 924 was not yet ready for market. Their solution was one of the more-interesting stop-gap measures ever created.

While the mid-engine 914 was essentially history, Porsche still had a quantity of the air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engines from that car and nowhere to use them. Their master plan was to take those engines and put them into some 911s instead of their usual six-cylinder engines, thus creating a reborn, one-year generation of the previously discontinued 912. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1963 Porsche Super 90 coupe

The Porsche is painted in its original factory color of Smyrna Green
The Porsche is painted in its original factory color of Smyrna Green

The Super 90 was the hot setup for Porsche in 1963 as the automaker’s seminal 356 neared the end of its run, bowing out to the 911 in 1965. While 90 horsepower might not sound like much, the output of the sturdy 1,600 flat four is fairly robust when the car weighs just 2,000 pounds.

The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Porsche 356 Super 90 coupe that was fully restored in 2012 and well-maintained since, according to the seller, a well-known classic-Porsche dealer in Costa Mesa, California. Continue reading

Tales from the Black Forest, and beyond

Klaus Ludwig in an AMG-prepared Mercedes-Benz 190 2.5-16 Evo | Mercedes-Benz photos
Klaus Ludwig in an AMG-prepared Mercedes-Benz 190 2.5-16 Evo | Mercedes-Benz photos

You have to wonder what they thought in Tuscaloosa, Spartanburg and Chattanooga last week when it was reported that our President complained during his visit to Europe that German automakers were selling too many of their vehicles in the United States, while American automakers sell very few of their vehicles in Germany. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1978 Porsche 928

The V8-powered Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker
The Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker

Porsche, one of the most storied marques in the world, has had tremendous racing success and its cars are some of the most desired and coveted. From the company’s original 356, though the 911 series, and all the way to the landmark 918 Spider, Porsches are something that just about every sports car fan sees as an integral part of a collection.

Despite this history, the company has made a few model missteps, cars that were too different from what the traditional Porsche buyer expected. But unlike most Porsche fans, and I have owned a passel of 911s, I believe that all Porsche cars are special. Some of their best cars are the ones that broke the mold of what people consider a Porsche to be. Continue reading

Mecum scores biggest total at 30th anniversary Indy auction

A rare, high-performance 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 EVO was the top-selling vehicle at Indy | Mecum Auctions
A rare, high-performance 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 EVO was the top-selling vehicle at Indy | Mecum Auctions photos

With a rare Porsche high-performance 911 coupe leading the way, Mecum Auctions reached $55.6 million at its Original Spring Classic collector car sale in Indianapolis, Indiana, the highest total yet for the auction as it celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The sale last weekend sale sent 1,665 vehicles over the block, with 1,208 of them selling for a 73 percent sell-through rate. Continue reading