David is co-founder and managing partner of The Bay City Motor Company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Finance from Principia College in Elsah, Ill., and has four decades of business experience in entrepreneurial, corporate and nonprofit environments. Twenty of those years, he owned car dealerships.
Officially, his roles at TBCMC are sales and acquisition. Mostly, he’s a matchmaker.
“I love cars, but I love connecting cars to people most,” David says. “When they get the car they’ve always dreamed of, that’s pretty cool.”
He started his first collection of cars at age 4. (OK, they were Matchbox and Tonka, but a collection nonetheless.) He completed his first real car restoration at age 11 (a 1961 Mercedes 190 SL) and owned his first full franchise by age 28.
David estimates he’s seen close to 600 cars come through TBCMC. “I’ve loved them all, or we wouldn’t have them here,” he says. But when pressed to choose favorites, he notes a 1953 Packard Caribbean, one of fewer than 40 in existence. He had known the car personally since 1957. It was in his parents’ friends’ collection in Virginia, and he would visit it during childhood trips South.
Other childhood favorites include his father’s 1955 Mercedes 300 Gullwing, a family friend’s 1934 Duesenberg SJ Duel Cow Phaeton, and his grandparents’ Chrysler 300 Letter Coupe. He also notes the 1935 Hudson Teraplane that TBCMC sold to Universal Studios for use by Johnny Depp in the movie “Public Enemies.”
“I have a very strong network to get to cars that others can’t get to,” David says. “I’ve built this network for decades through straight dealing.”
It’s that strong network and years of relationship building that have helped him become a car-buying concierge, of sorts. His instincts and insight are unmatched when it comes to knowing the psychology of buyers — and the cars that match them perfectly.
When buying a collector car, David recommends first and foremost knowing your purpose for buying. He says to be honest with yourself about whether it will be one to drive or if it’s an investment only.
“Take your time and buy rationally instead of emotionally,” he says.
When he’s not at work, the father of three likes boating, camping, RVing, traveling, classical music and photography, and he is active in his church.
He is also a grandfather to five, ages 6-11.
“That trumps everything,” he says.