«You can't treat a car like a human being - a car needs love.»
Walter Röhrl, rally and racing legend, 1980 and 1982 world rally champion
After building my knowledge and experiences, I began to build up a collection of classic cars. The primary focus was and still is on the Mercedes-Benz brand. The 190 SL and the W111 Cabriolet were followed by the first Pagoda model in the form of a 280 SL.
One day in June 1984 – I remember as if it was just yesterday – I was able to fulfil a long-cherished and incredible dream. I bought the most beautiful, exciting and erotic car that was ever built for me: the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. A myth! What else can you say about this car? It leaves you speechless – not only because everything has already been said and written abut it, but because of its sheer fascination.
In more than three and a half decades I have written «our», his and mine, history with the car. Countless trips, participation in club events, rallies – including the Mille Miglia – and vacation trips have all been experiences that have welded the car and me together. A friend once said that I had the only open Gullwing – because I always prefer to drive with the driver’s door open. My black wing and I are inseparable.
In the further course of the 1980s and 1990s, cars from the brands Ferrari, Porsche, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Fiat and other Mercedes classics followed. At the beginning of the decade starting in 2010, my love for Italian cars blossomed again. First, I bought some Fiat vehicles – especially rare 600 models. Countless Alfa Romeos followed thereafter. At the same time, a few Porsche 911s were added, as well as always exquisite vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including a 300 SL Roadster.
I would also especially like to mention the minibus and the van from the Mercedes 319 series. Both of these aroused an incredibly strong fascination in me. There are also some exhibits from a cult VW bus, called Bulli, in the ISELI COLLECTION. But the Mercedes 319 is always something very special and much rarer for me, because it was built in much smaller numbers. My completely rebuilt high-roof bus is well known, not least because it took part in the Silvretta Classic Rallye Montafon in 2019.
At the turn of the millennium, I was also infatuated by a collector friend from Munich and I became gripped by the topic of old tractors. These old commercial vehicles offer an incomparable fun factor and provide very special moments for real contemplation. In a very short time, I purchased three Porsche tractors; more would then follow.
The ISELI COLLECTION continued to grow enormously in the years that followed. But at some point you come to the point where ambitions change – also with me. One day, I made the decision to change my priority: in the future, the aim of the Collection will not be based on the number but on the exclusivity of the vehicles that are included. In recent years, for example, very special vehicles have been added that have had great histories. As a result, I will part with some of my collection, although obviously with a heavy heart. Most of the vehicles in the Collection are in very good collector’s condition and have considerable historical relevance.