«Life without cars is conceivable - but pointless.»
Daniel Iseli, based on Loriot (Vicco von Bülow), 1923 to 2011, German humorist
I was born with an immediate passion for cars – its the only way to explain the intensity of my continuing interest that has lasted for many years right up to the present day. I was completely focused on cars from my earliest childhood. This was definitely driven by father, who had such love of cars that he bought one or even two new automotive innovations every year. Throughout my childhood, I began to work intensively with vehicles of all makes and models from an early age.
My father, born in 1909, always kept himself informed about progress and the current developments and he always wanted to drive the latest models. This is why he imported cars from the USA for more that 20 years: whenever a new car type hit the market in the fall, he ordered it. Among those that he imported were many cars that still inspire me today and which have really grown dear to my heart. At the same time, as a second car, he always drove a sports car, mostly from the Porsche brand.
My mother also drove a Porsche for decades. Beginning in 1958 with a Porsche 356A in Meissen blue, through to the 356B, 912 and various 911s, she remained loyal to the brand into her old age. My parents’ friends also owned beautiful cars, as did some of our neighbours. With this background, I was always in direct contact with interesting cars and was able to observe them intensively.
For me there is nothing more fascinating than cars from the 1950s and especially the 1960s. Since I was born in 1955, they have been been with me not only through my childhood and youth, but throughout my entire life. My instinct for collecting certainly began in my childhood. It all started with model cars, which I only played with at first – but then began to collect. My reading choices were definitely not comic magazines but, of course, car magazines. I read all the car brochures I could get my hands on, and the walls in my room were fully decorated with pictures of cars.
I could stay in our garage for hours. Whether at home, in my father’s company or in workshops, the greatest thing for me was to be close to the cars. And so my understanding and relationship to cars of all brands grew. I learned to drive a car at the tender age of seven and thanks to many vacation days abroad, I was able to live and connect my interest and passion very well.
In August 1971, when I was 16 years old, I bought my first car, a 1962 VW Beetle 1200 for CHF 300. I spent many hours with this car, “pimped it up” and then sold it to a student for CHF 1’200. I was happy that he was able to make a long, but very smooth journey with the car across Africa. With the sale proceeds, I was able to buy a 1964 Austin Healey Sprite. This was followed by a MG Midget, other VW Beetles, and other cars. I reached the next milestone in June 1976 when I bought a Mercedes-Benz 190 SL. This car met my expectations in every way and remains fully in my memory. It was the first major restoration that I carried out and when I attended club meetings, especially in Germany, I made many friendships that I still maintain today.
The classic car that has been in my collection the longest is a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Cabriolet (W 111). This car, which I bought in the summer of 1981, was the first to have the honour of being presented.