The Collectors: Michael Berman
The Los Angeles-based designer keeps a stunning array of classic cars at his equally alluring Palm Springs residence
Los Angeles designer Michael Berman is known for crafting unique residences that gracefully meld traditional elements with splashes of élan. However, when it comes to his collection of vintage cars, his taste tends to the more flamboyant. His fleet of marques from the 1960s and ’70s echoes the exuberant flair of Palm Springs, where he stores his pistachio-green Lincoln Continental Mark III with a Cartier clock and 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 XL convertible.
“My philosophy for collecting cars has always been to search for what appeals to my heart,” he says. “There is a huge classic car community in Palm Springs, and you often see them driving down the road, contrasting the purple mountains, butterfly-roof lines, and amazing sunsets. It’s incredibly cinematic.”
First find: “A 1964 Oldsmobile Starfire in original condition was the start of my collection. The long, sleek ‘cigarette box’ silhouette has always been my favorite auto style. The glossy black-lacquer paint was so reflective it was like liquid, and the channel-quilted black leather interior was mesmerizing to me. I still own this car and don’t think I will ever give it up—it’s cherished like my firstborn.”
Dream machine: “My 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo GT Hawk in rose mist is my prized possession. The interior is striped two-tone ivory and rose vinyl, and the carpeting is a rose-colored bouclé. When I am driving this car, I feel like Mike Hammer in a pulp fiction novel cruising the film noir streets of old Los Angeles.”
A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2023 Late Fall Issue under the headline “The Collectors.” Subscribe to the magazine.