Sometimes a classic car collector is driven by the pure desire of acquisition, assembling a voluminous stable of countless “plums” of varied insignias. Jay Leno, with his collection of 169 cars, is just such an insatiable collector.
Then, there’s another kind of collector — the one with a singular, visceral passion for a particular insignia. Jerry Seinfeld typifies this collector, having amassed almost 50 Porsches in his collective journey.
Michael Siegel, owner of an executive search business specializing in placing IT professionals, is just such a collector. For him, there is only one love—Mercedes-Benz, and not just any or all Mercedes, but specifically those of the 1980s.
So far, he only has three 80s Mercedes in his collection, for which he has already added on to his garage. These plums are a navy 1982 380-SL, a black 1987 560-SEC, and a navy 1988 560 SL. His collection was initiated 11 years ago, when he saw the ’82 MB 380-SL at Aventura Motors in Southampton.
The fact that the word, “car” was the first word Michael uttered proves his 4-wheeled passion began very early. Collectors are often drawn to specimens that harken back to a simpler time in their lives; that evoke memories and dreams of their youth. In this case, Michael is no exception.
His fascination with Mercedes began, not surprisingly, in the 1980s. A neighbor in his Long Island neighborhood growing up, Eileen Marcus, owned a 380 SL. Michael was immediately taken with everything that separated the Mercedes from all of “the usual” cars. Its style, quality, and impeccable craftsmanship were palpable even to 9-year old Michael. That the 560-SEC was the car Sue Ellen Ewing also drove on “Dallas” only further fueled Michael’s attraction to the glamor and prestige of the Mercedes-Benz insignia.
His collection was initiated 11 years ago, when he saw the ’82 MB 380-SL at Aventura Motors in Southampton. To Michael, the 1980s represents a pinnacle of design and drivability—before computerization took over, making it seem as though the car is driving the driver, rather than vice-versa.
In 2013, Michael made a pilgrimage to his “Mecca,” the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, and was amazed at how the city seemed to revolve around the automotive icon. He had indeed found his heaven.
As most avid collectors well know, vintage cars require plenty of TLC. And, for Michael providing his babies with the necessary attention to keep them showroom-beautiful is a labor of endless love.
Michael claims that he won’t be adding to his collection. But then again, he has yet to acquire a sedan. So, who knows?