The Jury

Martin Sigrist. He still owns his first car, bought 30 years ago and 4 years older than himself. For the classical music specialist Martin Sigrist it is very difficult to let nice things go. So it is not surprising that his fascination for cars has never left him. Since childhood he has been deeply involved in the stories and anecdotes about the most beautiful sideline in the world – the car. The almost 50-year-old qualified head of marketing communication refined his writing craft as an advertising and project manager in the Swiss Museum of Transport. At Automobil Revue, Martin Sigrist finally turned his hobby into a profession, and has been an editor at Auto-Illustrierte since summer 2019. Whether written down on paper, implemented in an exhibition or commented live: For Martin Sigrist, cars are much more than a means of transport: “They are a vehicle of our culture, bearers of emotions and a means of conquering a whole world and making friends. The important thing is: the cars themselves don’t do anything, it’s the people who do something – but cars give a wonderful reason to do so.

Rénald Egloff. Why was I invited to join this team? I always had the feeling, that some of my genes were infected by the exciting motorworld in 1957. Grandpa Joe was  my absolut „hero“ on his 1957 BSA A10 and no wonder that I learned driving motorbikes before sitting in a car. All of the many bikes I rode were built in the fifties and sixties and cruising with my wife Claudia and our Airdale Debbie in the 1956 BMW R67 with Steib sidecar was BIG fun! But there was yet another „hero“ heavily influencing: Jerry Cotton! I don’t know what attracted me more – his gun or his car … but the E-type definitively woke my passion for sports- and race cars of that period. When my dad asked me what I wanted to become as a grownup, I always replied: “Director” to earn much money and “Detective” to drive fast cars and chase thieves. Getting retired now, I ended my career as CEO in the pharmaceutical industry and besides Motorbikes, vintage cars became a true passion – coincidence? Our first „oldie“  was an 1957 MGA in which my wife Claudia and I got married, followed by a 1964 Giulia 1600 SS. Today we are proud owners of a 1967 Fiat Giannini 500 TV, a Abarth Zagato 750 GT Corsa and a 1964 E-Type 1st series – that‘s how dreams become true! But its not only about driving and tinkering, its also about spending nights as detective investigating and documenting the history of our „babies“. With our little Zagato, we were very proud to win the first price at the Concorso d’Eleganza Lugano for the best documented car in show offered by The Motor Chain!

Roberto Bernasconi. I’ve been passionate about classic cars since the age of 16 when I began my professional career at Mercedes-Benz. Over the years, owning, driving, and restoring classic cars, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the diverse range of brands and manufacturers from the 1940s to the mid-70s.

During my time in leading marketing positions, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to and evolving significant events in the international classic car scene. Notably, I focused on enhancing the impact of sponsorships for events like the “Grand Prix Historique in Monaco” and the “Concours d’Elegance” at Pebble Beach, California.

My love for classic cars, engineering, and the automotive industry has taken me on incredible journeys around the world. I’ve participated in various classic car events as a driver, judge and event organizer.

I have been recognized in 2013 by the “Classic Car Conference” in Italy for my efforts in promoting projects that unite the passion for classic cars with the interests of financial institutions. One of my proudest achievements came in in 2019, when I successfully completed my studies in restoration and conservation of vintage vehicles, earning a diploma from the esteemed “Federación Mexicana de Autos Antiguos y Colección” (FIVA).

I’m continually inspired by the beauty and history that classic cars embody, and I’m committed to preserving and celebrating these automotive treasures for generations to come.

Ignacio de la Puente. I’ve been surrounded by the passion for cars and everything that runs with an engine since I was a child. My first memories take place in my father’s Mercedes 560 SEC, that he bought as a present for my mother. Those vivid memories are the ones that I think made me fall in love with this world, like riding in his Lotus Esprit Turbo when I was five years old, feeling the engine roaring and the smell of leather and wood of the Audi V8 Lang, they always take me back to my childhood.

When the time came to start driving, he passed me the 560 which wasn´t the brightest idea from a financial standpoint as I would have to pay for any maintenance. But it’s also true that the car reignited my passion for the automotive industry after some years of apathy, and that car has taught me many important lessons about patience, perseverance and not giving up even when it would be wiser to let it rest.

And with that renewed love for cars I found, or better to say, The Motor Chain found me. With Julio’s guidance I started to get familiar with the app and the importance of a thorough documentation of a car’s history, not just for the owner, but to pass it on to the new owners that will follow us when the time comes to part ways. As we are just temporary custodians of the machine, we are obliged to keep its history with us alive.

Antti Mäkitalo. Born into a family of drivers, my enthusiasm about cars is almost as old as I am. As soon as my legs had grown long enough to reach the pedals, I learned to drive. In my teenage years my grandfather, a professional driver, made sure I got a grip on the mechanics. An engineer and computer science guy by education, and digital innovation and growth consultant by profession, I have accidentally ended up customising and digitally modernising most non-classic cars I ever owned. While somehow an adrenalist with my hobbies of flying airplanes and playing music on stage, and obviously driving, classic cars are intrinsically full of adrenaline and spirit and are meant to be driven. And while the driving experience remains non-digital, I am happy to be a part of the TMC story and help improve the ownership experience through digitally making the work around preservation, provenance and authenticity easy as pie.

Frederic Vert. Frederic Vert’s passion for the automobile goes long back in time…. Still a baby, the only way to get him to sleep was to take him on a tour around neighborhood in his father’s Citroën DS! This passion has never left him since. More than a means of transport, the automobile represents for him a companion of adventure and life. Especially when it’s old! Although tech-savvy, Frederic admires vehicles devoid of electronics, which to him represent magnificent pieces of engineering and a demonstration of human inventiveness. And Frederic loves all cars, from the most prestigious to the humblest, from the sportiest to the most comfortable, whether American, Asian or European. It is true that during his passionate life he owned all types of automobiles and loved them all with their qualities and faults, accumulating documentation and technical knowledge for many models. Even if it seems that he has a slight preference for Zuffenhausen’s creations, on which he could discuss for hours …

 Nils Willner. I’m a German-Swiss engineer who is obsessed with old cars and engines. I’m the author of “The Ultimate Classic Car Guide – How to Buy, Maintain & Repair Classic Cars” and the founder of EVC – European Vintage Cars.
As an engineer, I worked for several Swiss companies in the machinery industry, pharma and the medical industry. In the last decade, I worked for Microsoft as a technical specialist and consulted enterprises with their IT infrastructures and Cloud strategy.
But my private passion has always been with old cars and vehicles which lead me to change my profession once more and this time to the thing I love the most: Everything that has wheels and an engine.  
Besides admiring and raving about all things motoring, I also love to get practical and maintain and repair as much as possible without altering the originality of a classic. To see a 30-year-old car that is in its most original condition as if it just had left the factory and how it was intended by the engineers gives me great enjoyment. Especially if the vehicle is repaired without using any new replica parts or modern tools.

Julio Saiz. Some people might say I am a car collector, but I prefer to describe myself as a driver who gets emotionally attached to his cars making it difficult to sell any of them. I still own my very first car which I bought with a bank loan in my early 20s. I am computer science engineer with circa 20 years’ experience working for big corporations, mainly focusing on information systems governance and security. 3 years ago, I decided to merge my IT knowledge with my passion for driving and founded The Motor Chain. My mission is the preservation of classic cars. We want them on the road, driven with health and safety. The Best Documented Car in Show award intends to highlight the importance of documenting our classic vehicles and reward the efforts of those owners doing so. I would love to meet you in any of the fantastic car events happening in the world and in Switzerland in particular.

Benoit Dumont. Born in Paris but lived and worked in 7 countries, I come from a family of car lovers and makers. My grand dad was a pilot during the first world war and always had a passion for everything that drove and flew. He even built a few prototypes at the time that enjoyed some forms of glories. This passion must have passed through my genes as I started to collect miniature cars as soon as I can remember, tuning them, painting them to new liveries and dreaming of owning and driving the real thing at some point. Growing up in the Indian Ocean, oldtimers were almost inexistent or at least well hidden, so I started to fulfil my dream back in Europe with the purchase of my first car – a 504 coupé Pinifarina. From that day on, my passion for car design and stories never faded away and I became the proud owner of numerous classics Porsches and Ferraris. My main targets were affordable models with non-conventional appeals, but always with a focus on individuality, design genius and purpose. This has transpired to a life moto and has been following me ever since. In fact, I remain as fascinated and excited by the story of the cars, the engineering beauty, the design as by the driving experience itself. My passion for cars even guided me towards sponsoring and coaching a classic racing team in Sweden, while at the helm of a company. When getting to know The Motor Chain, it was natural for me to want to get more involved and start being part of this Journey.

Matthew Kenigstein. Growing up, I amassed a collection of Hot Wheels, Matchbox Cars and models. I grew up listening to stories of my father’s first car…a Ford Gran Torino he purchased as a recent immigrant to the USA. I couldn’t keep my eyes off 007’s Aston Martin on TV and watched the most impressive 70s muscle cars lined up at the train station car shows by my hometown. Those images and my appreciation for cars has never ended. Today, I have the pleasure of seeing those childhood fascinations come to life and live in The Motor Chain. I’ve spent my career combining the best elements of people and technology, working as an IT and HR executive in the consulting industry and for world class organizations. My passion for innovation led me to TMC, where I’ve had the privilege of introducing a new way of documenting classic history and a new award recognizing it to be debuted at the ZCCA.

Mattia Grandori. I am a consultant for car collectors, to whom I offer brokerage services and digital solutions to satisfy and facilitate each phase of car ownership. My company, MATTIA GRANDORI GmbH, is a boutique that inspects, evaluates and sells the most precious cars, to the point of managing entire collections as private assets. I have the vision of innovating collecting by combining the automotive culture, which I inherited from my father, Luca Grandori, with digital innovations, to make the passion for beautiful cars even more exciting. In June 2021 I celebrated the third aniversary of my company, which today represents Zagato and Manifattura Automobili Torino. And I couldn’t be prouder. In the “Luca Grandori Collection” we had more than 40 cars, including a rare Jaguar XK 120 Coupé ex Ecurie Ecosse, a Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato, a Ferrari 250 GTE, an Alfa Romeo Alfetta Zagato Station Wagon, one of a kind in the world , and a Maserati 3500 Vignale Spider. In my free time, I race cars and go-karts. I love all kinds of sports and collecting books. A passion is experimenting with new ingredients in the kitchen.

Ferruccio Nessi. In the 1970s I was a student at the University of Bern. Even  then I could be seen behind the wheel of a sports car, which made my classmates jealous. The trick was that in addition to my studies I was also involved in the car trade. Just think, an Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV cost at that time CHF 1,000 ! Since then, more than 40 years have passed, and I’ve mainly devoted myself to my profession as a lawyer and notary public, without losing my passion for four wheels. With a 1928 Riley Brooklands Works car, which took part in the 1928 and 1929 TT, I have participated in 7 MilleMiglia and numerous other races. Somebody may have seen me at the wheel of a beautiful red and white 1957 Corvette. In the last few years I have been devoting myself more to historic regularity rallies such as the famous Monte Carlo, driving a 1965 Mini Cooper s.  I think that cars with their own history should come out of garages, to the delight of young and old alike.