Category Archives: AutoBlog

Vintage cars are the star at Arizona Auction Week

The firstnew Mustang Bullitbuilt sold for $300,000 at Barrett-Jackson. Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company.

NAIAS Detroit and Scottsdale events dominate the car world headlines this week

By Vince Bodiford

Two of the auto world’s top events are in January – the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) and Arizona Auction Week – the collection of annual vintage car auctions in Scottsdale. Both shows are coming to a close this week.

ClassicCars.com analysts provided us with data from the major sales and found mixed results, with top-flight European classics failing to hit estimates while muscle cars and entry-level collector cars continued to climb to new highs. Their team of experts covered all the auctions gavel-to-gavel, analyzing the results and market trends.

“Over the past 18 months, we saw the market flatten out and grow stale on entry and mid-level collector cars,” explained ClassicCars.com’s East Coast Editor and Analyst Andy Reid. “The rush on the car market ended, leaving only savvy investors and true enthusiasts bidding. This week, mid and entry-level cars began to pick back up, now reaching reserve much more often than in the past year. What is new is the number of no-sale cars at the top of the market. We may now be seeing the beginning of a correction for multi-million-dollar cars, possibly due to the fact that many who wanted those cars already have them, and those who are still looking are reluctant to pay the premium required to do so.”

Overall Top 10 Sales from all auctions:

1. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale Coupe sold for $8,085,000 (Gooding & Company)
2. 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder sold for $5,170,000 (Bonhams)
3. 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider sold for $4,455,000 (Gooding & Company)
4. 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster sold for $4,070,000 (Gooding & Company)
5. 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C Roadster sold for $2,947,500 (RM Sotheby’s)
6. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $2,640,000 (Bonhams)
7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $2,530,000 (Gooding & Company)
8. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $2,500,000 (Barrett-Jackson)
9. 2014 PaganiHuayra Coupe sold for $2,090,000 (Gooding & Company)
10. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $1,792,500 (RM Sotheby’s)

Barrett-Jackson

The anchor of Arizona Auction Week as well as the largest and most well attended of the auctions, Barrett-Jackson benefitted from huge attendance numbers along with a variety of interesting cars on the block. Ford Motor Company featured the sale of the very first 2019 Bullitt Mustang (just days after the vehicle debuted at the Detroit Auto Show), which sold for an $300,000 benefitting Boys Republic.

Bonhams

Only two of the top-ten selling car prices came from the Bonham sale – one of the most exceptional 1958 Porsche 550A Spyders in existence ($5,170,000), and near-perfect 1991 Ferrari F40 that sold for just over $1.5 million, well above market average even for a car of its quality. Bonhams had an 86 percent sell-through rate – though post sales could change that number.

Gooding and Company

Gooding & Company finished its two-day sale some $16 million ahead of its 2017 Arizona sale. Not only did it post the high-sale of the week, but a 1931 Bugatti Type 55 roadster sold for $4.07 million and a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS brought $2.53 million. Gooding secured the week’s single-biggest sale, netting just over $8 million for a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale – a one-off car built for Batista Pininfarina himself.

RM Sotheby’s

After a par-for-the-course auction 12 months ago, RM hoped to begin the new year with significant results. The show’s headliner, a 1954 Jaguar D-Type, failed to sell despite a high bid of $9.8 million—well short of its pre-sale estimate of $12 to $15 million. However, the 1948 Tucker 48 personally owned by Preston Tucker netted $1,792,500, exceeding its estimate by $300,000.

Other auctions were also conducted by Russo & Steele, and World Wide Auctioneers. Compared with 2017, the week generated improved results for the middle- and bottom-of-the-market, while the highest-priced vehicles crossing the block netted inconsistent results. For more tips and information on collector car investments, visit ClassicCars.com.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica(1180)

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring – L Plus Minivan. You would think in this field of Minivans Toyota would have the best warranty, but of the three it only covers half the miles for the Powertrain as others do. I guess the competition is willing to cover longer because the product is either more bullet proof or they are willing to earn consumer trust. Toyota must take the consumer for granted as the years of being a front runner.
Today the market is change and arrogance will give way to those newcomers and re-invigorated older companies. They came to play – Game on.

General Information:

It is assembled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Parts – US/Canadian 72%, Engine – Mexico and Transmission – USA; Classification is Minivan. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300, Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid & Town and Country.

Handling & Performance:

For an 8-passenger large van it handles very well and that was especially revealed on the over the challenging Angeles Crest mountain course.

Styling:

Typical for this segment of the market.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

It would, at first blush, appear there is collusion in pricing. BUT, you know technology is equally shared across the industry. Thus CAD (Computer Aided Design) compute software is so precise that pricing should be very close. . . and it is.

Conveniences and comfort:

Good standard features but Exceptional when you add $2,000 for options including Park assist, smart Cruise control, forward collision warning, land departure warning and auto high beam control. In addition the Stow’n Go fold flat seating will amaze you. Nice.

Consumer Recommendations:

In the order of best warranty, Kia Sedona leads, with Pacifica and Dodge equal good and trailing is Toyota Sienna. I was impressed with the folding flat seating design as noted because it is a nice disappearing act.

Dodge Grand Caravan cannot be ignored as it is the best in pricing. But the field is rather limited so if you need a 7-8 passenger vehicle need you’ll want to test drive them all.

I particularly like the options noted above and $2,000 is well priced for the safety and convenience it affords.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler Pacifica $39,000, Kia Sedona $38,000, Toyota Sienna $39,000, Dodge Grand Caravan $34,000.

Good News:

Top performer, great fold flat seats all three rows (special), good power and slightly best in fuel economy.

Bad News:

None noted.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 engine, 9-speed FWD automatic transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags, LATCH child anchor system, rear back up camera, blind spot and cross path detection, rear park assist and stop, security alarm, sentry key theft deterrent system, remote start system, keyless entry and go, remote proximity keyless entry, hill start assist, stability control, capless fuel filler, active grille shutters, tire inflator kit, active noise control system, 2nd and 3rd row stow’n go seats, power 8-way driver and passenger seats, heated front and second row seats, heated steering wheel, Uconnect 8.4, access and theatre package, seatback video screens, 3-channel wireless headphones, Blu-Ray/ DVD player, USB port, Video USB port, 3-channel video remote control, 13 Alpine speakers, 506 watt amplifier, Sirius XM Satellite radio with 1 year subscription.115 volt auxillary power outlet, 2nd and 3rd row window shades, 17” aluminum painted wheels, fog lights and power heated fold-away mirrors.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. February 20, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

18 City 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,895.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen(1179)

2017 Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen TSI S with 4Motion or as the name implies… all wheel drive. What a great fun transportation car in part because of the Turbocharged engine. Small displacement as they are the turbo removes all sluggishness when speed / acceleration is needed.

Love it also because from all my experience with the industry VW as a company has always been forward thinking and the Germans have a great work ethic.

General Information:

It is assembled in – Mexico; Parts – US/Canadian 11%, Mexico 34%; Germany 15%, Engine and Transmission – Germany; Classification is Small Station Wagons. Cars from Volkswagen: Beetle, CC, e-Golf, Eos, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf Gti, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan & Touareg.

Opinion / Observation:

Lately there has been an absence of CHP on the highways of Southern California. Do you have knowledge of the phenomena or an opinion? Let me know your thoughts. joe@atthewheel.com.

My intuition and observation is that: 1) the economy is bad and tempers are deadly 2) cops have not been supported for many years under the Obama Administration demonizing police. 3) Revenues are up tremendously from all the rampant rush for revenue because of California Governors reckless spending. Where am I going wrong here?

Driving Tips:

Stay alert at all times. Driving a car is a great responsibility, which I’m sure you know, but we all need to be reminded from time to time.

Handling & Performance:

Well if you don’t have a large number of people you need to carry, this is a perfect size for a few people. It is easy to maneuver and tight spots are not a problem. I contrast that handling with my Ford F350 crew cab long bed hunk of metal and plastic that is near impossible to park anywhere.

On the power side the Turbo makes all the difference in the world. I can’t imagine having a car without a Turbo. The technology takes a smaller displacement engine and makes it as good or better than a bigger engine.

Styling:

VW has surely been a distinctively designed car over the years. . . the Beetle (Bug), of course, being the leader in ‘different’.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly in today’s world tends to be good, and VW is typically as good as it gets in class.

Cost:

All are very close in purchase pricing and good values generally. Chevy Cruze stands out as having the best Warranty of the bunch and the best fuel economy.

Conveniences and comfort:

For the money I particularly appreciated this model being equipped with Adaptive or Smart Cruise Control. This almost always is an option but well worth the added cost, as it is perhaps the most convenient and contributes most to a stress free comfortable driving experience.

Consumer Recommendations:

Fortunately there isn’t that many in class, so you can test drive all pretty easily to get a feel for the best one for your application. For me, since the prices are very close I’d opt for the VW for performance, the Cruze to support American made products at this particular time and best warranty and fuel economy, Hyundai because it is the new kid on the block and I like the company and finally Mazda and Toyota bring up the rear.

Recognized Competition:

Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen $22,000, Chevrolet Cruze $23,000, Mazda 3 $21,000, Hyundai Elantra GT $21,000, Toyota Corolla $20,000.

Good News:

Great value,fast and fun to drive.

Bad News:

n/a.

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter TSI (meaning it is a Gasoline Direct Injection as for a distinction between the TDI that designates Diesel Direct Injection) 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 4Motion (meaning AWD – all wheel drive), four wheel independent suspension, power steering, front and side airbags with side curtain bags, 4-wheel ABS discbrakes, stability control, intelligent crash response system, LATCH child safety system, tire pressur monitor, 16” alloy wheels, halogen headlights, power heated foldable mirrors, front wipers with heated washer nozzles, rear window washer wiper, black roof rails, manual air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, leather trimmed steering wheel, brake lever and shift knob, heated manual front seats, split folding rear seat with armrest and pass through to trunk, cloth seating surfaces, front and rear reading lights, rearview camera, 6.5” touchscreen, AM/FM/HD radio with CDE player, USB and Aux-in, 8-speaker sound system, Bluetooth mobile telephone connectivity, Sirius XM satellite radio, cruise control, multifunction display with trip computer, power door locks and windows. adjustable multifunction sport steering wheel, leather trimmed steering wheel brake lever and shift knob, heated power drivers seat, split folding rear seat with armrest and passthrough, leatherette seating, rearview camera.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. February 12, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

22 City and 30 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $24,930.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack(9000)

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack First Drive Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack First Drive – a Guest Column By Phil Shuyler

So you want the space and seating of a crossover, and the height and driving feel of a sedan? Looks like you’re shopping for a wagon! And the new Volkswagen Alltrack could be right down your alley.

For trims, you have a choice between the S, SE and SEL. Our favorite is the SE, which includes keyless access, push button start, Fender Premium audio, and a panoramic sunroof. Of course if you want all of the bells and whistles, step up to the SEL.

Handling & Performance:

The peppy 1.8L TSI direct injected turbo 4-cylinder engine chimes in and says “I’m ready to take you there.” Once you’re done having a conversation with your car, it’s time to hit the road.

The Alltrack gets 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with 170 horsepower and 199 ft. lbs. of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and a 6-speed manual will be available in early 2017.

Taking a wagon off-road has never been easier, with the 5th generation 4Motion all-wheel-drive, which comes standard on all trim levels. The ground clearance is 6.9”, which we found to be sufficient, even when traversing over some relatively uneven terrain. It may not be an off-road vehicle, but you can certainly take it off-road. Standard fog lights will also help keep the trail illuminated as you explore the backcountry.

Styling:

Let’s talk about styling. It’s not boring, that’s for sure. The fender moldings and roof rack give it a look that says “let’s go outdoors”

Cost:

Pricing starts at $26,950 for the S with an automatic, and the manual will start at $25,850.

Conveniences and comfort:

Available driver assistance features include a standard rearview camera, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, high beam control, park distance control, parking steering assistant, and adaptive cruise control. We’re a big fan of adaptive cruise, and if you haven’t tried it before, I encourage you to give is a go during your next test drive. Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. The parking steering assistant worked surprisingly well in our testing. In an uneven parking lot with faint lines and moss growing on the pavement, once we drove past an open stall, we would be notified that a space was open. Just put it in reverse, and voilà, it will park and do all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is keep a foot on the brake, and a smile on your face.

On the inside, the seats are firm, but comfortable. All trims do include heated front seats. There’s also an optional panoramic sunroof, which can give you a truly stunning view of the forest canopy overhead, or beauty interweaving power lines in the city. Cargo space is 30.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 66.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down, which is right on par with the compact crossover segment. One of the nice things about a wagon compared to an SUV or crossover, is their lower load height, allowing you to put things in and take things out with ease.

For infotainment, there’s a 6.5” touchscreen, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The system is smooth and easy to use.

Consumer Recommendations:

The Alltrack went on sale in October, so all of you wagon adventurers can now get out there and take one for a drive.

Recognized Competition:

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack $28,000, Volkswagen Golf SportWagen $28000, Toyota Prius V $28,000, Subaru Impreza $24,000.

Gas Stats:

$2.65 Gal avg. January 30, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City and 32 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $28,000.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Ltd 2.0(1178)

2017 Hyundai Elantra Ltd 2.0 Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Ltd 2.0. Elantra comes in five trims: SE, Value Edition, Eco, Sport and Limited. MSRP pricing ranges from $17-24,000. It is among the top of the list for warranty, and tops in fuel economy of all competition noted in this evaluation.

The Limited is a little more on the conservative side but is the only trim with optional features I am most interested in: Collision warning, Emergency braking, Lane Departure warning, Lane Keep assist, Smart Cruise Control and Automatic high beam assist.

General Information:

It is assembled in Ulsan, Korea; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Korea 97%; Engine and transmission – Korea; Classification is Midsize Cars. Cars from Hyundai: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra GT, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Ionig, Santa Fe, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, Tucson and Veloster.

Opinion:

Driving on the highways today is a daunting experience for some and an opportunity for others to make believe they are Mario Andretti or any number of profession race drivers.

Here is my suggestion: If you are driving like a mad-man on a mission, you’d better have a woman passenger, in the car, about to deliver. Otherwise you are simply an irresponsible hazard on roads shared by young and old alike who want to avoid a bad day.

Slow down and give the rest of us a break. If you want to race go out into the desert or rent some time on a race track.

Handling & Performance:

This Limited version of the Elantra, unlike the Turbocharged 1.6-liter engine Sport version, will not be as responsive but the performance is more than adequate for every day driving. But more important is that it has more enhanced handling feature options that I care for that make it more attractive to my and really everyone’s driving needs.

Styling:

Similar design to all Hyundai models. Simply very nice.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

It is among the least expensive, purchase price wise, and at the same time it comes with the best warranty – thus it is very competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very good array of standard features but for $1,900 you can have all the optional items noted in the Overview above.

Consumer Recommendations:

Hyundai Elantra is a must see and drive of the competition noted.

Recognized Competition:

Hyundai Elantra $23,000, Honda Civic $23,000, Mitsubishi Lancer $23,000, Nissan Sentra $23,000, Toyota Corolla $24,000, Chevrolet Cruze $22,000, Kia Forte $22,000, Mazda 3 $25,000, Volkswagen Jetta $23,000.

Good News:

Great value all around.

Bad News:

n/a

Standard Equipment:

2.0 litre 147 horsepower Gasoline 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, dual continuous variable valve timing, Drive mode select (Normal, Sport & Eco), 17” alloy wheels, Stability control, traction control, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, front, side and side curtain airbags, ddrivers knee airbag, Hill assist control, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert, rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, LED daytime running lights, side mirror turn indicators, 6-speaker audio system with 7” touch screen display, Sirius XM radio, Android and Apple carPlay, dual USB charging, power door locks and windows, Blue Link connected car system, dual climate control, power driver seat with lumbar support, leather seating and heated front seats, Bluetooth hands free phone system, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, proximity Key and push button start and hands free smart trunk.

Gas Stats:

$2.69 Gal avg. February 5, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

28 City and 37 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $22,350.