For those that love automobiles, horsepower and the best of the best of classic cars, you don’t get better, faster or more fantastic than the world famous Beverly Hills Car Club, which is one of the largest classic car dealerships in the world.
Founded in 2008, its owner, Alex Manos, has quickly become America’s expert and one stop shop for anything to do with buying, driving or owning a classic car.
Alex explains, “When you are driven by an enduring passion for classic cars, you have to make sure you share your vision”.
From his youth, Alex was enamored by classic cars and felt like they were drawn to him too. “When you have grown up in the backseat of your parent’s cars and different classic cars have been pointed out all the time, it’s not surprising the passion I have for these cars has been from the beginning. There’s a magnet, a synergy that exists that I can’t ignore.”
His collection is extensive – over 350 beautiful cars are housed in a 135,000 square foot facility. In the warehouse, Alex has all makes and models from Aston Martins, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes Benz and Bentleys. Amongst his rarest cars Alex owns an exquisitely rare 1928 Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe, as well as one of the biggest Porsche collections outside of the factory in Germany.
Alongside many European models, he also has a large American classic car selection including Chevrolets, Fords, Mustangs and Pontiacs. According to Alex, a magazine once compared visiting the warehouse to visiting a toy store.
The most powerful car in his collection, and so one of his most treasured toys, is a 1984 Porsche 930 Turbo Coupe with close to 1000 horsepower. Another of his loves? The aforementioned T 1928 Rolls Royce which only has 20 horsepower – showing that size isn’t everything.
Alex’s crown of his collection has to be a 1961 Mercedes 300SL Roadster which he purchased from it’s first owner who bought it from the dealer – an original car! Alex says, “There’s so much to love about the car. It changed my life and I felt that I could do anything I put my mind to. There’s also the incredible design, the style, the sheer originality.”
Despite his already hugely impressive treasure trove of automotive horsepower, Alex already has his eyes on what he wants to add next. The Ferrari 250GTL “Lusso”, Porsche 904, BMW 507 Spyder and Aston Martin DB5 are top of the list.
If you are looking to buy a classic car, Alex is the ultimate encyclopedia of valuable information. All About Horsepower got a few of his top tips!
He explains, “The biggest priority is to make sure you do your research and buy a car you love. Also take into consideration that these are older cars which may have problems. But if you love your car it will be one of the best relationships you can have. With all the automotive beauty staring right back at you, you may think you have a mistress. After all, it’s definitely a love relationship that you will have with your car. Another major point is to be patient and follow your heart. Find a car that excites you, because that’s the best choice to make. Then leap into action as these cars do not come up too often. Whatever the case, I always recommend becoming friends with a mechanic – someone who will know your car inside and out.”
Buying a classic car is clearly a huge investment, and sadly, with investments come risk. Alex has some reassuring words of wisdom about what it means to invest in a car. “The investment is the car you have purchased because you love the car – you have tons of fun and enjoyment with it and if that car happens to have gone up in value, and most classic cars do with a little bit of time, then it is a win-win. For more serious investors, I would recommend looking at cars with historical relevance – race cars can add value. Celebrity owned cars can also add value. Some investors will start out with a project car and build and renovate it to concours quality. But this could take time and the journey will be worth it.”
For Alex, a classic car will always be a better choice than a new car for very simple reasons. “The aesthetics of the classics appeal to me so much more because it is style and design versus the necessity of convenience. European cars are all unique in their design – you can tell that an E-Type is a Jaguar and it can’t be mistaken for anything else. There’s also the magnificent craftsmanship behind each one. European cars are built to handle the road, especially the way the wheels grip the surface. New cars are great, but a lot of them look the same which can’t be a good thing for the creative world. If you walk into a parking lot, a classic car will always stand out.”
For the perfect way to start your New Year as a lover of all things automotive, take a look at the newly refurbished Beverly Hills Car Club and take a look at the classic cars that could be yours if you choose to start your own car collection or just upgrade your lifestyle!
Follow Alex @mralexmanos and @beverlyhillscarclub.