Diverse Mecum auction in Denver hits $11.4 million in sales

A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos
A 1960 VW 23-window bus was the second-highest seller in Denver | Mecum Auctions photos

In case you needed evidence that Mecum brings a diverse selection of collector cars to its auctions, just take a look at the five top sellers from the Denver sale last weekend.

The highest sale was that of a modern exotic, a 2016 Ferrari California T convertible sold for $165,000 (Mecum results do not include buyer fees). The Ferrari was followed by a vintage vehicle from the opposite end of the spectrum, a 1960 Volkswagen 23-window Samba microbus that went for $120,000. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1973 Volkswagen Thing

The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle
The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle

Say you want a classic car that you can show and take to events, but also drive on the beach. That could be a classic Jeep or a dune buggy, or this one from Germany, which was marketed when new as the Car That Does Everything: the Volkswagen Type 181 Thing.

The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Volkswagen Thing, a fun car that can do a lot of what a vintage Jeep does, and based on the tried-and-true VW Beetle chassis and mechanical parts. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1949 Volkswagen Beetle

The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle
The early Volkswagen shows the original unadorned original styling of the Beetle

Here’s the kind of thing that makes VW fanatics flip out, an accurately restored Type 1 from the first year they were brought into the U.S.

New York dealer Max Hoffman, the automotive impresario who also was the early importer of such European brands as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, believed that the American public would accept the odd-duck Volkswagen despite its minimalistic size, accommodations and performance. Hoffman was right, in spades. Continue reading

’67 VW camper going from storage to Goodwood auction

1967 VW camper said to be worth as much as $115,200 | Windrush photos
1967 VW camper said to be worth as much as $115,200 | Windrush photos

A 1967 Volkswagen T1 camper van said to be worth as much as £90,000 ($115,200) has left its long-term storage facility and will be offered up for bidding at Bonhams Collector’s Motor Car auction this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Continue reading

RM Sotheby’s cruises in to SoCal for mellow Santa Monica auction

The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California's past  | RM Sotheby's photos
The 1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline is a historic piece of California’s past | RM Sotheby’s photos

Santa Monica is at the heart of Southern California beach culture. It has the famous pier, aquarium and surfing tradition, as well as its fun-in-the-sun collector car scene. But it’s not just about old woody wagons and VW microbuses.

For the past five years, Auctions America has brought a summertime car auction to Santa Monica to feed the longings of a diverse group of car collectors. But this year, the footprint has expanded with the parent auction company, RM Sotheby’s, moving in and raising the bar for the car offerings. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SEL

2017 Volkswagen Passat propelled by a 170 hp turbocharged four-banger | Larry Edsall photos
2017 Volkswagen Passat propelled by a 170 hp turbocharged four-banger | Larry Edsall photos

Turns out Carroll Shelby was right.

Ol’ Shel’ once told me that all you really needed in any car was 170 horsepower. That was plenty to get going and to keep up with traffic at — and even beyond — whatever speeds might be posted on the fastest of American freeways.

Of course, in his next breath, Shelby told me about a 1,000-horsepower engine he and his team were building for their latest Ford Mustang project. Continue reading

Another VW microbus shocker at Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach

The 1961 Volkswagen 23-window microbus sold for more than $250,000 | Barrett-Jackson photos
The 1961 Volkswagen 23-window microbus sold for more than $290,000 | Barrett-Jackson photos

Aside from Barrett-Jackson’s customary collector car offerings of muscle cars, cruisers, customs and exotics that were sold during the 15th annual Palm Beach, Florida, auction this past weekend, it was another eye-popping, record-setting sale of a Volkswagen microbus that had auction watchers shaking their heads and VW enthusiasts doing high fives all around.

An impeccably restored 1961 23-window VW Deluxe Microbus sold for a stunning $291,500, including the 10 percent auction fee, during bidding Saturday, selling far and away above the expected result. Hagerty’s Price Guide pegs the value of a No. 1 concours-condition ’61 23-window VW Deluxe bus at $134,000. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia camper bus

The VW camper bus is said to be ready to roll on a cross-country road trip
The VW camper bus is said to be ready to roll on a cross-country road trip

It’s spring, and the open road is calling. And what better craft for an extended road trip than the Pick of the Day, a 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia camper bus with all the trimmings.

According to the Sonoma, California, dealer advertising the VW camper on ClassicCars.com, this Westy is ready for a national tour. The flat-four engine has been rebuilt and bored out to 1,776 cc, the ad says, which should help provide enough muscle for these typically underpowered vehicles. The key to driving any VW microbus is to abide by one simple rule: never be in a hurry. Continue reading

Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan S

Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV  | Volkwagen photos
Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV | Volkwagen photos

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a modest-looking compact SUV in a market in which extravagant styling and trim are major selling points. The interior is pretty standard stuff, too. Nothing to get excited about.

But what Tiguan lacks in panache it makes up for in drivability. This is what Volkswagen does well, presenting a car or SUV that feels solid and performs above par. The 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four is lively, the steering is quick and precise, and the handling is surperior for this popular class of little truckette. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 3 – Jerry Seinfeld Porsche auction

The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos
The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a long-term Porsche addict with an enviable stable acquired with the riches earned from his stage and TV career. Seinfeld was never all-that public about his classic Porsche obsession, but neither was he secretive; even a casual watcher of the Jerry Seinfeld show could identify Porsche posters on the walls of his TV-studio/New York apartment. Continue reading