The German, who has lived in Santa Monica, near Los Angeles, since 1993 and has also had US citizenship since 2014, is really looking forward to the day out in the Fintail. “This automobile has a timeless beauty; it’s just like a dream from my childhood and youth,” he says. “This was a vehicle that only the well-off could afford. It wasn’t a car for someone earning an average wage. As a kid, I would often stare wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the Fintail when one went past. I come from a simple background. We simply couldn’t afford a dream car like this back in those days.”
The 230 S is parked outside the house he bought his parents many years ago – and where he always stays when he’s visiting his old home town in North Rhine-Westphalia. He comes here about three or four times a year, he says. We are in the leafy outskirts of Recklinghausen. Countless birds are singing, the gardens are large, the houses well cared for – a small, and surprising, idyll.