Alexander Wongchuking loves toys. But what kind? Well, it’s the toys that grown men love – CARS!
He has a strong preference for European machines, to be precise, a preference that stems all the way back to his late father who exclusively bought the German-engineered Mercedes-Benz.
He mainly collects classic cars and modern high-performance models, such as the two-digit Benzes plus a slew of supercars and luxury models including a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II, Jaguar F-type SVR and a Ferrari 458 Italia to name a few.
Check out some of the cars in his current line-up (Only classic Benz 300 Adenauer, 220A and 280S are original photos; the rest were taken from various sources; see reference list below):
How his love for classics grew
Alex, as he is fondly called, is the Wongchuking family’s resident car nut. After his father passed away three decades ago, he was handed the late cigarette tycoon’s workhorses – a 1951 W187 Mercedes-Benz 220 Cabriolet A, 1960 W189 Mercedes-Benz 300d and 1970 W108 Mercedes-Benz 280S. And that was where the love for classics began.
Some enthusiasts say, classic cars are rubbish and probably a waste of money. Top Gear’s James May once said, if they were any good, they’d still be made. Many people would argue that today’s cars perform faster, handle better, more comfortable, safer and cleaner. Suffice to say, cars are now better in just about every way. There’s nothing wrong with these statements.
However, if you ask Mr. Wongchuking, keeping or collecting cars regardless of their place in the automobile timeline is a combination of different factors at play. We can consider the nostalgia, the design, the performance, the market value, the exclusivity, the thrill of the hunt and a lot more other reasons.
For him, the “value” is often less about the physical or performance aspects of the car and more about the sentimental or historical value that the car brings.
“The sentimental or historical value transcends the car itself. It’s the memories, events that surround the car that give much more value to it, personal or otherwise,” Mr. Wongchuking quips.
We can look at an ordinary commuter vehicle as an example: the 1948 General Motors TDH-3610 City Transit “Montgomery” Bus that became a symbolic figure in the end of racial segregation in the U.S. due to the Rosa Parks incident making the bus transcend value beyond its service and years. In fact, it is now being kept in the Henry Ford Museum since 2000 and was bought for a whopping 250% more than its original value at US$428,000.
A car, in terms of practicality, is a vessel that takes one from Point A to Point B. For Alex, his cars are vessels of fond memories of time past. It is a way of showing immense value to the legacy of their father’s memory who in many aspects was a well-loved and well-respected man.
That alone makes his cars utterly and simply priceless. In fact, there are some who have offered to take any of those classic Benzes out of his hand but Alex swears he would never give these up. Not for any price.
What this space is all about
This little space in the vast cyberverse is all about sharing and relating with those who love cars in general. Thanks to the wonders brought by the Internet, we are now able to converge with others who share the same passion and interests as ours and that is what Alex intends to do.
By day, Alexander Wongchuking is a businessman and investor… And a car lover 24/7.
*Car photos taken from the ff. sources: