Howard Swig – Head of Auctions at Bring A Trailer LLC
Howard Swig serves as Head of Auctions for Bring A Trailer LLC. With experience at Cartelligent and Car and Driver Magazine, Howard brings extensive automotive industry knowledge.
He’s an active racer himself, competing in SCCA Spec Miata events and supporting vintage racing communities. On this episode of Petrolicious, Swig discusses his father’s passion for Alfa Romeos that lives on through California Mille Miglia events.
Early Life and Education
Howard Swig is an avid car enthusiast who has parlayed his enthusiasm into a rewarding career. Currently serving as Head of Auctions for Bring A Trailer Auctions, his experience comes from previously serving at Cartelligent and Car and Driver Magazine.
David holds an avid passion for classic Mustangs, currently racing an SCCA Spec Miata as his hobby. In his free time he enjoys discussing cars with others and helping people find their ideal vehicle.
He founded the California Mille, a touring event for older cars, in 1991 and owned one of the first major multi-franchise car dealerships in America. As an active philanthropist he donated millions to education, arts, religious groups and Democratic causes while his wife Lura Martin Swig Bastek passed away in 2008. They had three children.
Martin Swig was a collector and racer of vintage cars who founded the California Mille, an event that brings vintage sports cars over 1,000 miles of hilly Northern California roads for racing competition. This race pays homage to Italy’s original Mille Miglia race held between 1927 and 1957.
Swig owned multiple car dealerships and was an active contributor to Sports Car Digest and other publications. He leaves behind his wife Esta; two sons David and Howard as well as Annalisa Poirel from his previous marriage; as well as several grandchildren.
Howard Swig serves as Head of Auctions at Bring a Trailer and brings with him extensive auctioneering experience from Cartelligent and Car and Driver Magazine. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Michigan.
Achievement and Honors
Howard Swig was an influential philanthropist who contributed millions of dollars to art, education, religious organizations and Democratic causes. Additionally he owned multiple professional sports teams such as California Golden Seals and Cleveland Barons.
Swig died at age 86 in 1980, leaving his fortune to his heirs. They have carried on his legacy of charity by supporting arts- and education-focused causes.
He finds great pleasure in classic Mustangs, so his hobby of collecting them comes naturally. At Bring A Trailer, he and his staff serve as gatekeepers, accepting only about 40 percent of daily submissions. Their selection process involves undersung exotica, fan favorite affordable rides with significant fan followings, and oddities; those are typically the types of cars which sell best on this platform.
Howard Swig and his staff serve as Bring A Trailer’s auctions head and act as its velvet ropes, accepting roughly 40% of daily submissions – which include exotica with understated fanbases as well as more accessible vehicles with amassed fanatical followings.
Martin Swig created the California Mille, an annual four-day, 1000-mile tour modeled on Italy’s Mille Miglia event that ran between 1927 and 1957. Since its inception, this event has attracted classic cars from all around the globe.
Swig is married and has two sons, including David who races a Jaguar E-Type in SCCA Spec Miata racing series and collects vintage and historic racing cars. They currently reside in Sausalito, California.
Net worth can be calculated as the sum total of all of your assets – such as cash, retirement accounts and investment portfolios – less the sum total of liabilities such as mortgages, car loans, credit card debt and student loans. Over time, assets may increase while liabilities may decline.
Swig was an avid supporter and contributor of Democratic candidates such as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos; he owned properties both in San Francisco and Manhattan through Swig Weiler & Dinner Development Company (SWDDCO) of both locations.
Swig is survived by his wife, Esta; son Howard Swig (car sales at Bonhams auction house); two daughters; four grandchildren and sister Angel Bastek.