California Mille: Condolences

27 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on California Mille: Condolences

Martin Swig with his son at Sears Point in 1989

Esta, David and Howard,

Martin I lost a piece of my Together with your dad and I run lots of adventures and loved moments.

Martin will be on my side for thousands and thousands

I’ll remember him, with Toni and Ornella, as a friend, a great organiser and an actor of the motoring world.

His his capacity of being a friend the end, without limits, and his while driving his Alfa whose picture is always in of me, will never leave me.

Beach week will be the same without him.

I you a big hug and I’m praying with you


Dear David,

I you might not get this e-mail for a considering the circumstances.

I am so sorry to of Martin’s passing.  It is truly a to everybody who knew him.  He be a little more important to me some other folks.

I moved to the US he was the first to give me a job at the / Isuzu store on van Ness.  I with him for 10 years.  He taught me an lot about the car industry and about old

  He was a good friend and he will be missed.

Can you let me know of the arrangements,

My sincerest condolences to you and all of your

Dear Esta, David and

It has taken me a couple of weeks to to you, as words seemed to me, as I tried to express my sadness the loss of Martin. As a friend of 18 dating back to my first CA in 1995, I developed an enormous of respect and affection for Martin. My as profound as it is to me, must pale in to yours.

Martin was smart, and informed. He was a true enthusiast who all cars irrespective of their During one of our last conversations, he that I bring my Volvo on the knowing that it would be the car there. Many humorous about my adventures with in Italy come to mind, as I on all the good times that I with him. My life is for having known him.

His has left a big void in all our lives. the wonderful memories of Martin, bring you comfort.

Merle and I be at the memorial on Friday.

With condolences,

Stan and Merle

Martin was and will remain a in the industry. Having known him for 55 when first introduced to him by my at the young age of four,and who worked him at Strasburger Motors in Menlo in the late 1950’s, this brings great sadness.

Martin was a inspiration, and educator to all of us, us to his wonderful world of unique

A innovator, establishing the first on 16th and Portrero, encompassing many franchises under one when most manufacturers single point stores of and morter. Truly a master of ingenuity and negotiation.

I had the unique to work with him for many in San Francisco, by which he gave me my job in the Auto industry in 1978, at Toyota of San Franscisco, and eventually the with the likes of Michel and Ed Koch.

His automotive events unparalled in uniqueness, imparting a quality, with a carefully group of automotive enthusiasts, who loved, drove, and enjoyed cars.

The industry has lost a motivator, and inspiration, and our hearts. and go out to his family and associates. His passing was too

We will all truly miss however his legacy will on for future generations, as will the cars we are all simply the caretakers

Unknown from

My and mentor Martin Swig on July 3. Martin was one-of-a-kind, a businessman who had a great passion for old especially Alfas. He was always and honest in his advice to me, and at the same nurturing. I will think of him time I turn the key on my Giulia Veloce, and know that he is smiling as I drive off down a road, going nowhere in just as fast as the 1600cc take me.

Keith Martin, Car Market

So sad to hear about 78 is way too young to be sent off to the great car in the sky. My first introduction to was in 1994. I tried to enter a car in the Mille Miglia and it was rejected, so I ads in car magazines that I would pay all if someone would let me be the co-driver.

  saw the ad and called me, and set it up so I could rent a blue Siata, which had been accepted by the Mille I arrived in Italy,  I did the pre-event at the castle near Soragna and met him for the time. A month later I did my California Mille and met Costantino who ran the Mille Miglia, and was a close of Martin’s.

Costantino use to come to every year and pass out a announcing the next year”s date. For several years put on a cocktail party at the Mission where the announcement was made.

The Mille Miglia has been a commitment in my life, running a car in the 17 years in a row, beginning when he was instrumental in getting me in the time.  So many of those overlapped with the many that he did the event. Reading the of the Mille Miglia I was so impressed that a Lancia B-20 in second in the 1951 Mille, all the Ferraris but one, that I had to one, and leave it to  Martin to one for me.

I have done the California many times since, and the Mille Autunno started, I think was initially called the in Morro Bay, many of us at the chance to enjoy another Swig creation. One December called me and said he wanted me to with him in his New Years Anti-Football so early New Years morning, a hangover, I flew into San where he picked me up in an old sedan, was the correct vehicle for the event.

To me, was THE car guy, pioneering doing the Miglia, creating his own copy of the for all of us, his love of Alfas and all things If he ever cut himself, I have wondered if a little motor oil have run out of the wound with the

God bless you, Martin.

to Martin. I always enjoyed [him] at WAJ dinners and of course at the races. His words still in my ears when I told him I was a Formula Ford from the

Make sure you are stupid to finish it and go racing!

Although we met face to face, I have heavily influenced by Martin from driving up to Automobilia used to run that store work there? please in. let’s hear some stories) to reading about road rally exploits. our crossed many a time. I met had a good word to say about and I am happy to add a few. as one who has inspired through my actions, I hope knew the depth of the influence his actions created. it was simply the way he his life that made it OK to with the ‘sickness’ that of us have. sports cars!

My to the Swigg family, along all the friends and associates. Now I’ve got to skin and need to get some in my eyes. maybe I’ll get the girl off the jack stands and it to SF in ten days!

Thank you Martin. no for disc brakes in the afterlife, four wheeled drums be just fine!

Brian -San Jose,CA


So very sorry to the news about your You and Howard are lucky to have had him you as long as you did.  We loved into Martin whenever it You may not know that he was an important in the salvation of The Candy Store in the early 1990’s.  I had become and the place was falling apart me–original members were (Tom Perkins, Herb etc).

  Martin convinced and Ken to become members and try to jumpstart us to life.  They did, and gang was pivotal in restarting the

Please convey our sympathies to Howard and all.

Mike and Jo

Dear  David

My name is Gilles. I am a friend of your we had been introduced a few years ago by Castaing an old friend of mine

I I met you, at your home a few ago. you owned a Renault 5 .   at time I was managing the French Team COURAGE ( manufacturing Protos for Endurance in LE Mans) and of our clients were racing at Infineon Race track. and I this opportunity to visit Dad .

And recently 3 weeks ago we got a lovely with your Dad and Mom at his favourite Restaurant in Sausalito .  Your mom was French with my wife. who was to meeting her.

With Dad. we talked about proud of your job with …similar point with me son Benoit ( 33) used to be a car specialist at Office in Geneva between and 2005. his boss was Simon and we kept excellent friendship Simon. Now he is in Paris, working for Insurance  in Charge of Events and

On my side I still own an AC Bristol 58. a motorbike Triumph Bonnevile 72. owned Alfa GT Junior but I owned also  Big Healey TR4, TR6. Single Alpine Renault.

Martini and recently F3000  March. I to race with the AC coupé in and Hill Climb Races

2 years (2003-2005) I was managing of AUTO MUSEUM of Geneva MotorCar Show …where I a corner promoting the California ….one year I organized the Auction Sales during the Car for Bonhams within the Museum. and I your Dad and Mom visited me in Geneva I was living

So, David. I am with you all my best positive thoughts to you and with a very great of your Dad. who will to be with all of us in all related matters Classic Cars

Please to your mom my best thoughts this recent dinner in where I couldnot imagine  so close departure

Very Warmful and  friendly to all your family


Harry Hart

July 11,

Martin had a great sense of He was asked to describe the appeance of my Mondial cab by Keith Martin who was it sight unseen. The car was near in every respect but when phoned Keith he told him it was a piece of junk.

After teasing by Martin, He told that the car was beautiful, if Keith buy it, that would be fine, he would buy it himself.


July 11, 2012

Every with Martin was fun and informative. One I particularly enjoyed … “The of Western Civilization began the advent of disc brakes. In the of drum brakes, people courteous and gave distance to other. Now, they’re on bumper honking their

July 11, 2012

I will Martin! We had qa wonderful moment in the mountains of Patagonia. It was a Mil Millas in Argentina, and we were going the mountains near Esquel: I was a modern 150 MPH big 3.0 Opel Omega six I used to have and drive long distances in then free South America of the and Martin was in his splendid white 300B with a later 426 and Corvette brakes….

It had recently it was flat out downhill and how it handled the big behemorh! I never forget

Found him later at Brescia and admired his way of living and his flawless Correrai ancor piú vite strade dal cielo! long may you run in the of Heaven…


Rio de JAneiro,

Greg Moore

July 11,

Before I bought Cory Lancia Flaminia Pininfarina which Martin Swig had and driven for several years, I him a call, just to solicit his “No, you’ll never run it in the it was built in 1959. Yeah, I the leather is great. I did it right,” he me. “If the car already chose you, and you can it, why wouldn’t you buy it?” Five later it’s the best car I ever owned.


July 12, 2012

Wherever went there were (beautiful, interesting and historic) and good food and wonderful Some of the best days of my were spent running the back roads of California Martin and the great people he to enjoy his adventures. He knew and understood cars, and best of all of the people who designed, built and them.

Martin, I’m going to you. Peter Brock

I first contacted Martin three years ago I was looking for and input into my novel 1000 Mile Dream”. I had no who he was nor his stature within the motorsport He was extremely helpful with and advice and we ended up corresponding and forth rather regularly. I it the “California to Canada Connection”.

He was generous with his help and even though we had never met to face i considered him a good friend. His passing was too sudden. May he in Peace.

Robert F. Williams

12, 2012

I entered the Historic racing circuit in 1981 my 1952 Siata Daina, and been partcipating for the past 31

Martin was always encouraging to me to participating, and wanted me to take my car to the Miglia in Italy. I regret I did not take his suggestion. Whenever was a fallen comrade from the fraternity, I would always see at the memorial service.

I would that I noticed that his lived to be 98, and told him I knew he had genes. I hoped that we had many more years to the autosport. I was very saddened and to see that he is no longer with us.

I need some encouraging to continue the hobby, I will think of his kind, friendly, and words.

Ed Gilbertson

July 13,

At my age, life goes way too I have lost yet another friend and one of my favorite car guys. was always busy with and track things, and I was always with show and judging

But I always enjoyed it whenever we get together, driving at Mille serving together as Honoraries, or sitting and having a sip and sharing again those old war stories the cars get faster with telling.

His replies to questions priceless. Ask him why he did nutty things and he respond “I have never up and I don’t intend to.” Ask him why a was a bit too rough in the California Mille and he put his hand on your shoulder and say that is how we separate the men from the When I recently acquired a of early Ford roadsters, he and said, “Ed, you are the only guy I who has gone from Ferraris to

I am of the 50’s and always wanted a Deuce and an original ‘34 Roadster. But of all, I had achieved the Martin good-carkeeping seal of approval.

guy, great loss. I am shook; we had just talked doing some cool at the next Cars and Coffee Well, Sherry and I will be on August 4. But rather than it will be more like memories of ultimate car guy Martin.

Kate Nyland

July 13,

I was honored to work for Martin for 8 and watch the “birth” of hs dream, the Mille. He was a gem of a man. His eyes light up when he came up any excuse to get his friends out on the road.

I the day we had to meet with the CHP to sell on the idea of having the Mille, and to to Martin explain ( sell) it would be 1000 miles 75 cars on California backroads and the eyes of the officers get wider and and somehow convincing them no one would speed or cross a line….the rest was history. He them. He lived his dream, it ended too soon.

The world miss you Martin, but the memories of all of us who you. will keep spirit alive! Thank you for all you to my life.


July 14,

During my college years in the eighties, I coincidently ran into an ad for a job at his new “Automobilia” store at the San Francisco I wasn’t looking for a job, but ran there as fast as I could and the verbal automotive knowledge given to me by his good friend Mr.

It was a dream job as I could talk all day, study when it was and watch the stream of new cars go by in to watching vintage cars to life after only their existence from a The key position of the store in the front me to eavesdrop on many a business he had, from courting to dealing with difficult discussions. Mr.

Swig, adorned in his blue blazer and khaki’s, was firm and polite.

His passion for Romeo’s rubbed off, and my today is adorned with his I could think of nothing than watching (and him return to work after a lunch driving his Alfa 1900 SS Zagato.

His respect for cars was clearly evident simply being a successful I remember asking then why he did not have an Alfa Romeo and it was related to how the Alfa execs not even consider driving the second generation Supra. How I that Supra! He was one of the only that did not make fun of my immaculate U.S. year Toyota wagon.

His dealership was adorned both an early Toyopet and an Isuzu Bellel at a time most would comment about them.

We will all miss you!

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