David Disiere has always had a great love of classic automobiles, however, it wasn’t until 2003 that he began building his own private collection. Over six years he acquired 60 antique and classic cars across a range of marques and styles, before selling 40 in a production sale in order to focus on European sports cars and pre and post WWII classic cars.
David’s current collection includes 22 automobiles purchased both at home and abroad, across a variety of prestigious marques including Saoutchik, Mercedes, Delahaye, Porsche, Corvette and many more.
To date, David Disiere has entered two vehicles from his collection into the illustrious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – an event regarded by many in the classic car world as the most prestigious Concours contest in the world. In 2016, David won First in Class in the Delahaye Postwar category with his 1948 Delahaye 135, and this year he entered the Postwar Open class with a 1952 Delahaye 235 Coupe.
To enter the Pebble Beach Concours, a vehicle must be in mint condition and conform to original specifications. To even be invited to show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is in itself an honor. Only the best of the best are invited, and many entrants who participate with new entries each year – sometimes over decades – are unable to place first in their categories.
David Disiere’s current collection of 22 vehicles are housed in various locations across the country. Let’s take a look at some of the rare cars in the Disiere collection.
1948 Saoutchik Cadillac
During WWII, automobile production ground to a halt, and there were few chassis available to coachbuilders when the industry ramped back up at the end of the war. The luxury automobile producers that had remained in business were undertaking coachbuilding in-house for the most part instead of outsourcing to independent coachbuilders like Jacob Saoutchik.
With the debut of the Cadillac Series 62, Saoutchik saw an opportunity to develop a custom concept car for Cadillac. The chassis size and large engine made it a good platform for the coachbuilder, plus it would expose his work to the more lucrative American market.
Saoutchik was known for his flamboyant designs, and the 1948 Saoutchik Cadillac may be his most extravagant model. The two-door convertible with seating for four is characterized by sweeping fenders in the iconic teardrop style and impressive chrome accents. Intricate details abound on this particular version, from the cane work flanking the side panels on the exterior to the luxury dual-tone interior.
This 1948 Cadillac Saoutchik Cabriolet is one of only two custom ordered Saoutchik Cadillacs ever built. The second was finished in violet and black, and although ordered by Paul Kassoff, it was sold to Louis Ritter. The second car, which now belongs to David Disiere, was made for Hollywood star Dolores del Rio.
1949 Cadillac Convertible
One of the first postwar Cadillac redesigns, the 1948-49 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible was one of the most elegant cars of the era. The 1948 was the first convertible introduced by Cadillac after updating its prewar models to a luxury marque standard. It was also one of the first models to have power windows, a long hood style power and parking lights that wrapped around the fenders.
The 1948 and 1949 models are almost identical in design, with an updated interior dash featuring a horizontal speedometer appearing on the ‘49.
The biggest difference between the two models is the engines. A 346-cid flathead V-8 ran in the ’48, whereas the ’49 featured the new 331-cid overhead-valve, high compression engine, which provided more power than its predecessor.
1956 AC Ace
Similar in design to Italian roadsters, the Ace featured tubed framework, sleek lines and a curved windshield. The Ace was one of the first postwar sports cars to come out of Britain, debuting at the 1953 London Motor Show.
Developed by AC, one of the oldest English car manufacturers, the roadster featured four wheel independent suspension and a simple, sporting chassis. The 1956 model was upgraded with Triumph TR3A gears and included front disc brakes. The engine also received an upgrade during the year to a more powerful Bristol engine after some 200 cars had already been produced.
In later years, the AC used the Ace design as the basis for the Shelby Cobra.
1961 Facel Vega
Named after the Vega star (the one in the sky, not a celebrity), the Facel Vega was introduced at the 1954 Paris Auto Show to worldwide praise. It became a very exclusive brand due to its high price tag, and was popular with film stars.
Although most models were two-door hard tops, some convertibles were also made. With a supremely graceful design, the Facel Vega was also heavy but powerful, going from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in under 10 seconds.
Despite its success with the Vega, the company closed in 1964 after the failure of the Facellia model due to mechanical trouble. The French automobile manufacturing company developed by Jean Daninos was short lived, surviving only 10 years after its 1954 launch.
Stay tuned for more beautiful, classic automobiles as we feature more cars from David’s collection over the coming weeks and months.