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Welcome to Kidston SA - devoted to the world’s most beautiful motor cars

On 1st February 2006, after founding and running Bonhams’ European operations for a decade, my colleagues and I opened for business as an independent ‘boutique’ advisory firm for motor car collectors around the world. Your trust and our activities since then have exceeded all expectations, and I hope those of you with whom we have done business feel we have established a high standard of service and a friendly, long-term relationship. We have published a series of customer testimonials for all to see; please let us know what you think, too.

I believe we offer a unique array of facilities to aspiring and experienced collectors alike. Our website provides an overview of our services, showing how we might help you; please feel free to contact us here in Geneva, whatever your requirements. We promise discretion and transparent, objective advice of the highest order.

Beautiful motor cars are a lifelong passion and through our enthusiasm and experience we strive to add value to everything we do. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

The Team

Simon Kidston

Simon Kidston

Founder

With a family background like his, it’s hardly surprising that Simon Kidston has carved an international reputation in classic cars. Simon grew up near Siena, Italy, and studied in Switzerland, but started his career in 1988 in the car auction department at Coys in London, which he found himself running three years later. In 1996 he left to co-found Brooks (now Bonhams) Europe in Geneva and over the next decade was responsible for staging high-profile events such as the annual Les Grandes Marques à Monaco Sale in Monte Carlo, also creating the Ferrari auction in Gstaad and the Pur Sang à Longchamp Sale in Paris. Early in 2006 Simon announced he was branching out on his own to found Kidston SA, still based in Geneva, a consultancy to aspiring and high-level collectors that has since become synonymous with Private Treaty sales of the world’s rarest and most beautiful motor cars.

Simon is the nephew of 1920s aviation record-breaker and Bentley Boy, Commander Glen Kidston. His father, Commander Home Kidston, was just as much of a motoring enthusiast as his Le Mans-winning older brother, owning and racing a succession of magnificent cars that included Bentleys, Bugattis and Mercedes-Benz (“long before anyone dreamed of keeping them”, laughs Simon). Simon has succeeded in returning some of them to family ownership.

Simon enjoys historic events at the wheel of his Lamborghini Miura SV and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing and believes cars should be driven. He judges at the famed Pebble Beach and Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance, and since 2000 has been ’the voice’ of the Villa d’Este concours in Italy. He writes a monthly column for Classic Cars magazine and has presented the ’World’s Finest Cars’ shows on Smithsonian Networks TV in the USA. His other passions include skiing, good food, bad ’80s music and, as he admits with a wry smile, "I’m a bit of a James Bond film buff, actually". His colleagues have a bet on how long it will take him to learn to fly - having tracked down and acquired the unique Gipsy Moth racing biplane his father owned in the 1930s - given the constant excuse that there’s always "one more car deal" to conclude first.

Emanuele Collo

Emanuele Collo

Business Manager

Born in Milan, Italy, Emanuele’s passion for classic cars was encouraged from a young age by his uncles, both keen historic racers. Emanuele soon found himself attending events in his home town and at the nearby Monza circuit, later supporting the family team in rallies further afield and eventually co-driving.

Concurrently pursuing a Business degree at Italy’s famous Bocconi University, Emanuele first contacted Simon Kidston to ask for an internship as part of his studies. Simon’s surprising advice was to join him in the business, and in the summer of 2008 Emanuele moved from Milan to Geneva to start his career at Kidston SA as a junior classic car specialist.

He has since learned the business inside out, built up his own client network with particular emphasis on Italian, English and German enthusiasts and collectors, and established a reputation for a professional, close-liaising relationship with clients. He oversees Kidston’s price and history database, closely follows client restoration projects, enjoys supervising Kidston’s magazine and video shoots and in the little time he has left bravely accompanies Simon as co-driver in frequent adventures. His own pride and joy is a 1973 Porsche 911 with original ’Milano’ licence plates, and although he is fascinated by both pre- and post-War cars, he is Kidston’s ‘go-to’ expert on ‘Youngtimers’ (with apologies to the Oxford English Dictionary).

Kirsten Stromstad

Kirsten Stromstad

Office Manager

Norwegian-American, Kirsten grew up in an International private boarding school on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Her childhood’s favorite vehicle was her father’s 1956 Landrover well known in Gstaad as “La Vache”, with its hard-top and doors decorated in a typical Swiss fashion representing “la montée à l’alpage” by Hedi Olden, former owner of Hotel Olden in Gstaad.

Over the years, Kirsten has built solid professional experience in a variety of areas ranging from the non-profit, education, hotel & tourism and consumer goods sectors. Kirsten brings to us not only her language skills: English, French, Italian, German, with basic knowledge of Swiss-German and Norwegian, but also her service-oriented approach which is well-suited to the demands of a business where clients come to expect precision and attention to detail.

Kirsten is the main point of contact for new client enquiries, marketing and advertising, event organisation and the Kidston team’s constant travel schedule organiser.

A graduate of Middlebury College (B.A.), Kirsten also earned a graduate degree at Colorado Technical University, one of the first accredited online degrees available at the time (Executive M.B.A).

Cristiana Wicht

Cristiana Wicht

Accounts and Finance

From the north-east of Italy by birth and Swiss by marriage, Cristiana was recruited by Simon to Bonhams Europe in 2005 with responsibility for the auction firm’s European Accounting and followed her colleagues to Kidston SA in 2006. She supervises sales settlements, business accounting and supplier relations.

Mathieu Debarges

Mathieu Debarges

Logistics Manager

Bringing a wealth of diverse experience to the Kidston team, Mathieu has an impressive 15 years in the fitness and leisure industry under his belt – not to mention a year in the world of pro-cycling (UCI) and qualifications that include a Masters in the Science and Techniques in Sports and Physical Activities.

Thanks to his natural enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, in 2006 Mathieu launched his own personal training company, which he ran successfully for nine years. However, in 2015 he found himself longing for a fresh challenge.

Joining the Kidston team – where he concentrates on assisting customers with import, transport and registration – has allowed Mathieu to usefully engage his abundant reserves of energy, and capitalise on a lifelong passion for 'classic objects' that until now had focused on vintage cameras and hifi equipment.

Mathieu speaks French and English, and in his free time is often out on his bicycle, dreaming of the Alpine 110 he's set his heart on.

Guido Scassellati Sforzolini

Guido Scassellati Sforzolini

Car Specialist

A fascination with history and fast cars almost inevitably steered Guido towards the classic car world. From a family of pragmatic Italian lawyers with no automotive blood in their veins, but who nurtured a deep love of artistic heritage, Guido learned to cherish "vintage everything": clothes, watches, wines - and later cars.

He's lived in Brussels, Rome and Los Angeles, where he studied business at USC and "was heavily influenced by the American way of thinking about entrepreneurship and defeating challenges". Now in Geneva, he works with Simon and Emanuele on everything to do with consigning and selling cars. In particular, Guido specialises in restoration, visiting Italian craftsmen and reporting back to clients on progress and guiding them on decisions to be made.

Rugby is another passion of Guido's, but most of his time - in work and out of it - is reserved for fast (red) cars. True to his Italian heritage, Guido admits to favouring Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari - and the coachbuilder Zagato.