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There’s no universal indication you’ve made it to the top of your profession, but if your cell phone number is locked into the contact list of dozens of A-list celebrities and the title “guru” is attached directly to your name, you’re doing right.
Manos was born with a passion for exotic cars, and he’s spent his entire life pursuing them, attaining them and selling them to a worldwide client list that is as exotic as some of his automobiles.
Alex Manos is the “Car Guru of Beverly Hills,” and he’s earned the title, recognition, and success that come with owning one of the most impressive collections of classic cars in the world. Simply put, Manos was born with a passion for exotic cars, and he’s spent his entire life pursuing them, attaining them and selling them to a worldwide client list that is as exotic as some of his automobiles. He’s at the top of the food chain of one of the sexiest industries on the planet, but like most uber successful entrepreneurs, Manos and the Beverly Hills Car Club got to the top by tapping into a quality that is incredibly apropos considering what he does for a living: drive.
“I’m a hard-working person, and I know that hard work combined with dedication usually results in success, but when I really think about it, I didn’t think I would get here,” Manos said.
What Alex means by “here” is not the rarified air of being a successful business owner among other classic car dealers in Beverly Hills. His journey to LA was a natural one because it’s the logical place to showcase and sell these types of classic cars, as there are potential owners and clients everywhere. The “here” he’s referring to is this level of success, which includes the Beverly Hills Car Club, a 135,000-square-foot shrine that contains more than 300 cars, including every imaginable make and model of exotic gems like Aston Martins, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes Benz and Bentleys.
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“The cars are my life from morning until night, seven days a week,” Manos said. “Our showroom used to be open five days a week, but for the past ten years, it’s been open six days a week. This is just what I do. This is my life.”
If it sounds like he lives a glamorous life…well, outside of the non-stop commitment to his craft and the Beverly Hills Car Club, he does. His extensive list of VIP clients includes Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian-West, Kanye West, Migos and Jennifer Lopez.
“I’ve found my famous clients to be very hands-on. They want to smell the car, feel the car. They want to drive the car before they buy it and make sure it’s the right car for them,” Manos said.
Manos’ collection of classics at the Beverly Hills Car Club includes some crowned jewels. He’s been featured numerous times on national news and entertainment programs for an ultra-cool car that is as much of a movie star as some of his clients.
“The James Bond Diablo is a Lamborghini Diablo that was featured in the James Bond movie Die Another Day,” Manos said. “It’s a car that people just drool over. I’m personally a big James Bond fan, and, to me, there’s nothing cooler than driving a car that was in a James Bond movie.”
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It’s a car that people just drool over. I’m personally a big James Bond fan, and, to me, there’s nothing cooler than driving a car that was in a James Bond movie.
American classics are a huge part of Manos’ collection, too, including Fords, Mustangs, Chevy’s, Cadillac’s and Lincoln’s. All of his cars are true investments for his clients. They are automobiles that increase in value, similar to great artwork.
What’s fascinating is how one of the greatest classic car dealers occasionally stumbles into finding new treasures for his collection, such as his current favorite car, one owned by Michael Jordan in the mid 1990’s during the height of his popularity with the Chicago Bulls.
“A friend of mine saw the James Bond car and proceeded to tell me that his cousin was working on the roof of someone’s home in Los Angeles, and, in the garage, was a car that used to belong to Michael Jordan. A 1996 Mercedes S600 Lorinser,” Alex Manos said.
“I am a huge Michael Jordan fan, and I told my friend I didn’t believe him, but he faxed me a copy of the title that showed it actually did belong to Michael Jordan and his wife, so I knew he was telling the truth. The coolest thing about this car was, when you start it up, the car phone lights up and, on the display, it still says ‘Air Jordan.’”
Manos needed that car, so he got the name of the owner through his friend’s cousin, contacted him and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Now it’s in his collection. It’s a story that could only happen to the Godfather of the classic car industry, a true-blue guru that has turned his love of cars into the ride of a lifetime.
Tom Zenner is a regular guest columnist for ICONIC LIFE as he interviews fascinating people from his glamorous, celebrity-filled world from his vantage point living in Los Angeles. We’ll profile those style makers and trendsetters right here.