During my college years in the early eighties, I coincidently ran into an ad for a part-time job at his new “Automobilia” store at the San Francisco Autocenter. I wasn’t looking for a job, but ran over there as fast as I could and passed the verbal automotive knowledge test given to me by his good friend Mr. Heigho. It was a dream job as I could talk cars all day, study when it was slow, and watch the stream of new cars go by in addition to watching vintage cars come to life after only knowing their existence from a book. The key position of the store in the front allowed me to eavesdrop on many a business conversation he had, from courting dignitaries/customers to dealing with difficult labor discussions. Mr. Swig, adorned in his signature blue blazer and khaki’s, was always firm and polite.
His passion for Alfa Romeo’s rubbed off, and my Garage today is adorned with his influence. I could think of nothing cooler than watching (and hearing!) him return to work after a business lunch driving his Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Zagato.
His respect for Japanese cars was clearly evident beyond simply being a successful business. I remember asking then about why he did not have an Alfa Romeo dealership, and it was related to how the Alfa execs would not even consider driving the amazing second generation Supra. How I wanted that Supra! He was one of the only ones that did not make fun of my immaculate final U.S. year Toyota Crown (Kujira) Wagon. His dealership was adorned with both an early Toyopet Crown and an Isuzu Bellel at a time when most would comment negatively about them.
We will all certainly miss you!