AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
As you probably know, there’s more than one way to see the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The automotive business is a lot like nature; only the strong survive. Accordingly this industry’s slow lane is littered with the bloody corpses of deceased marques. Once-proud companies like Pontiac, Hupmobile, Willys-Knight and Hudson are long gone but not all of them are forgotten.
The 2014 classic-car auction season opened with a bang at Scottsdale, Arizona last week with the Barrett-Jackson event tallying up a total of $249 million in auctions.
This weekends Concours d’Elegance in Monterey California raised quite a few eyebrows. Not only did we catch the debut of stunning cars like the BMW M4 concept and the Cadillac Elmiraj concept, classic collectors were given the chance to lay down cash on some of the most exotic cars in the world.
Rallying for a Cause
Is it possible for gear heads to do something good with their obsession of all things automotive?
Auctions America will be holding its inaugural auction on August 1-3 in Burbank, Calif. and will feature more than 400 qualify collector cars with over half of them offered with no reserve.
Hurricane Sandy was the most devastating blow to classic car collecting ever according to Hagerty Insurance.
Picture a classic car in your head: likely it’s an American icon like a late ‘60s Mustang or even earlier like a ‘50s Fairlane. Maybe your taste is a bit more exotic and you’re imagining a classic Ferrari or even a British sports car like an MG or Triumph.
For the past two years, SEMA has worked with the U.S. Senate to designate a day as “Collector Car Appreciation Day”, and this year it will fall on July 13.
Would you entertain the idea of buying an old-model Ford Focus new from the manufacturer? In today’s throwaway culture it’s hard to imagine buying anything but the latest product, but that’s not the perspective everywhere. In other parts of the world, previous model cars remain for sale at a discount after a new lines debut.
A decade ago, General Motors announced a limited run off of 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo coupes. Know as the SS “Intimidator,” these cars were built as a tribute to the late, great NASCAR legend Dale Earhardt.
Given their limited production and unique trim and color scheme, these cars have become quite prized in certain circles, notably among NASCAR fans and even car collectors. Now one of these cars, in much the same condition as when it first rolled off the line, is being sold for a worthy cause.
It will be auctioned off at the spring Toronto Classic Car Auction with part of the proceeds being donated to a local hospital to help fund a new urgent care unit.
LeMay America’s Car Museum (rendered above) will be opening its doors to the general public in Tacoma, Washington in two months. In anticipation of that, the group is bringing a sample exhibit to the upcoming New York Auto Show.
The 22,000-square-foot exhibit will be located on the Lower Level, Hall 1-E of the Jacob Javits Center and will be on display for a limited time on April 4th to the 8th, which is the first weekend of the show. 15 classic cars ranging from the 1963 Buick Riviera to the 1921 Ford Model T will join a collection of vintage motorcycles courtesy of Ace Cafe.
“Our exhibit is just a small taste of what visitors to America’s Car Museum will experience, with examples of cars that Americans love, including some from Nicola Bulgari’s collection,” said ACM President and CEO David Madeira.
The LeMay America’s Car Museum will open on June 2nd and is a four-story, 165,000-square-foot museum located in downtown Tacoma. It will house rotating exhibits using cars, music, film, and photographs and will also feature an educational center, gift shop, banquet center, cafe, and library. ACM also hopes to host vintage car events, rock concerts, and drive-in movies at its adjacent 3.5-acre show field.
With the liquidation of Saab‘s North American assets and cars from the Heritage Collection put up for auction recently, many were no doubt curious to see where said vehicles ended up.
As it turns out, the cars have been acquired by two prominent collectors, Bill Jacobson who runs Sports Car Service in Wilmington, Delaware and Tom Donney of Donney Motors in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Bill bought the 1967 Sonnett III, the 1978 99 Turbo, 1986 900 convertible, 1990 Skip Barber Pro Series open wheel car and the 1997 900 SE Talladega record setter, while Tom acquired the 1952 92, 1956 Sonnett Super Sport (shown above), 1960 93F Gran Turismo 750, Eric Carlsson’s 1960 96 RAC rally winner and the 1987 9000 Talladega record setting machine.
With both men recognized in the Saab community as serious collectors, enthusiasts and specialist mechanics, there’s no question that despite being split in half, the cars in the Heritage Collection have indeed gone to good homes.
Considering that Bill and Tom are very active in the classic Saab scene, having already amassed impressive collections of vintage Saab models it’s likely these cars will surface again at Saab events and conventions.
In fact, Bill, who has 12-15 examples from his collection on display at any one time, recently mentioned that plans are already afoot for a special Saab exhibit at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia either this fall or next spring.
Meanwhile, there are also rumors circulating that Tom’s collection, which now numbers some 60 Saab vehicles with the new additions, could also form the basis for a possible Saab North America museum.
[Source: Saabs United]
In terms of automobiles, there’s no question that the classic Jaguar E-Type (XK-E), ranks as one of the most iconic of them all. And among the cognoscenti, Series I cars represent the purest of them all. When you add a celebrity’s name to the registration then surely, when such a car comes up for auction, it’s likely to attract serious interest.
So that should logically be the case with this lovely red 1965 Series I roadster, which sports the larger 4.2-liter XK straight-six engine and once belonged to Sir Elton John (the car in fact, still sports the signature OKE 1 registration plate from when he owned it).
The E-Type, which is in excellent condition, is scheduled to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Oxford auction in March for a fairly princely £70,000 ($109,900); however for the car’s current owner, that doesn’t represent particularly good news, since 11 years ago he paid some £81,000 ($121,170) at Christie’s for the thing, during an auction that was arranged by Sir Elton himself.
Nonetheless, the estimate is right in line with current E-Type prices in the UK, proving once again that collector car values are often fickle at best.
Other significant cars slated to cross the block at Bonhams Oxford, include a 1961 Morgan Plus 4 Supersports, which is expected to sell for around £60,000 ($94,200), a 1961 Ferrari 250 GTE, which should go for £50,000 ($78,500) and a very rare, right-hand-drive British spec, 1966 Citroen DS21 decapotable pegged at £40,000 ($62,800).
Rick Treworgy is our kind of guy; he’s spent much of his life restoring cars. Presently he has a collection of roughly 225 vehicles. His assortment is so massive that he had to buy a now-defunct Walmart to house them all.
Willing to share what he’s done over the years with the general public, Treworgy now runs what he calls “Muscle City”, a collection of American classics that date back all the way to 1931. There is even a section full of “restomods,” cars that are built the way he believed they should have been built back in the day. He says all the cars in Muscle City are mechanically sound, meaning that Treworgy could take any one of them out for a spin if he wanted to, which earns extra bonus points from us.
Check out the news clip showcasing Muscle City after the jump.
Although Saab‘s museum in Trolhattan, Sweden luckily escaped liquidation, the same cannot be said for the former automaker’s US based Heritage Collection, currently housed in Michigan.
McTevia & Associates, the legal firm brought in to deal with Saab North America’s creditors and dispose of its remaining assets, announced that cars in the Heritage Collection will be sent to auction (bids had to be registered before Friday, February 10th at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time).
Among the vehicles up for grabs, include a restored 1952, model 92 (the company’s first series production model), a 1956 94 Sonnet Super Sport roadster (one of just six built), Erik Carlsson’s famous 1960 RAC Rally winning 96, a rare 1960 93F Gran Turismo 750 (a car inspired by the Carlsson rally machine), an early US spec (1978) 99 Turbo hatchback, a 1986 900 convertible prototype, plus a 9000 and “new generation” 900 that set speed and endurance records at Talledega Motor Speedway. Also up for grabs is an example of the 1987-91 Saab Pro Series open wheel race cars, developed in conjunction with Skip Barber and powered by stock Saab turbo four-cylinder engines.
However, rather than break up the collection and sell each of these cars individually, all of them will be auction in one block, without titles and in “as is” condition, meaning there’s a good chance they could end up as part of another museum’s stock.
GALLERY: Saab American Heritage Collection
[Source: Hemmings Motor News]
The Rasumssens won’t be offended if you tell them they have a nice set of headlights. That’s because they’re combining their passion for classic cars and supporting breast cancer research by bringing their “Buick for the Breasts” to this year’s O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show.
Chris and Peggy Rasmussen’s drive to raise funds for breast cancer research have culminated in the pink ’56 Buick Century Riviera. They took to the cause after Peggy’s mother was diagnosed with the disease and had to undergo a total mastectomy. She’s now cancer free, but the couple made it their mission to do their part for the cause.
“Peggy and I want to honor her mother and all the breast cancer survivors out there through what we love – classic cars!” said Chris. “We do what we can to support breast cancer research, and we hope to get other classic car lovers to join us in our crusade to find a cure.”
The Rasmussens put more than five years of restoration and customization into this pink ’56 Buick Century Riviera. But the feature that sets this classic car apart is its prominent set of pink “ta tas” on the back, which were added in the hopes that other car-enthusiasts will join the fight against breast cancer.
You can see “Buick for the Breasts” at O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show, taking place in Pomona Fairplex, CA, on now until Sunday, January 29.
Original 1955-57 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwings don’t tend to come up for sale very often, yet when they do they often attract a lot of attention and interest from big money collectors.
This past weekend’s Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, was no exception, where one example fetched a cool $4.62 million.
Mercedes built some 1,400 Gullwing coupes before the car was succeeded by the heavier and slightly more conventional 300SL roadster, yet this particular car drew attention because it was one of a handful of aluminum bodied cars built (most SLs sported steel bodies with just the hood, doors and decklid made from aluminum).
The cost of the entire aluminum body was exorbitant, even by 1950s standards, which helps explain why so few SLs (29) were ordered this way, yet combined with some 176 lbs in weight savings, along with the direct fuel injected 3.0-liter straight six, the result was a fast and extremely desirable Grand Tourer (top speeds of more than 160 mph were easily possible).
The Gooding sale at Scottsdale marks a record for a classic Mercedes gullwing; most of these cars (though we’re refering to steel bodied examples) tend to go for around $500,000-$600,000, when they come up for sale.
[Source: Gooding & Company]