Meet the team
Simon Kidston - Founder
With a family background like his, it's hardly surprising that Simon Kidston has carved an international reputation for himself in classic cars. Simon, 46, grew up near Siena, Italy 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 which 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 including Bentleys, Bugattis and Mercedes-Benz.
Simon enjoys historic events at the wheel of his Lamborghini Miura SV and Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing and believes cars should be driven. He judges and commentates at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and since 2000 has been 'the voice' of the Villa d'Este Concours in Italy and, since 2008, the Mille Miglia. He also writes monthly columns for Sports Car Market and Classic Cars magazines and has presented the 'World's Finest Cars' shows on Smithsonian Networks TV in the USA. His other passions include skiing, good food and as he admits with a wry smile "I'm a bit of a James Bond film buff, actually." He's slowly learning to fly- having tracked down and acquired the unique Gipsy Moth racing biplane his father owned in the 1930s - albeit more safely and sedately than his celebrated uncle's aviation exploits.
Our thanks to Bentley Motors magazine, from which this text is reproduced.
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 advice on a career in the classic car world whilst the latter was still running Bonhams' European operations. Simon's advice was to first complete his degree, and after graduating in the summer of 2008 Emanuele moved from Milan to Geneva to join 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 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, follows client restoration projects, enjoys supervising Kidston's magazine and video shoots and in the little time he has left has bravely accompanied Simon as co-driver in frequent adventures. His own pride and joy is a 1973 Porsche Carrera RS with original 'Milano' licence plates which he has yet to drive.
Alexandra Belz - Office Manager
This spring sees office manager Christa Sutter retiring after 13 years working with Simon; she leaves with our very best wishes and the goodwill of many clients who have become firm friends. Instead we welcome fellow German Alexandra Belz who has worked all over the globe including Hong Kong, so the fast pace of the classic car world should come as no surprise.
Cristiana Wicht - Accounts and Finance
From the north east of Italy by birth and Swiss by marriage, Cristiana joined Bonhams Europe in 2005 with responsibility for the auction firm's European Accounting and followed her colleagues to Kidston SA in 2006. She oversees sales settlements, business accounting and supplier relations.
Francesca Botta - History and Price Database
Francesca joined Kidston SA in 2011 after moving from her native Italy and brings her enthusiasm to bear in the development of the company's price index and database containing history, sales records and photographs of thousands of significant classic cars in order to chart their whereabouts, condition and value for current and future clients. Francesca also runs the company's social media presence on Facebook and is responsible for the lavish history albums which accompany every car we handle.
Brett Theus - Database
Brett, born and bred in Geneva, is a lifelong classic car enthusiast who spends most weekends tinkering with his MGB GT and Mazda MX5, which he is at pains to point out is a 'first series' model. He joined Kidston in 2011 to help compile our mammoth database, filtering the sales data of auction companies to ensure consistency of style and accuracy of information- 22,000 sales and counting- and also assists in historical research, comparison tables for buyers who have given us search mandates and the organization of our motoring archive and library. Some say that his Aston Martin DBS owning father named him after a certain Aston Martin driving, British TV playboy...