Brandes Elitch grew up in the fifties in South Orange, New Jersey. When his parents brought him home from the maternity ward, he wanted them to stop at the Packard dealership to see the new cars, but he could not speak yet. He has spent the rest of his life trying to rectify this. Brandes attended Syracuse University (BA), New York University (MBA), and Santa Clara University (JD). In 1969, he bought his first new car, a Citroen DS 2LT, which he still owns. Side by side in the same garage are some other favorites: an SM, NSU RO 80, various Alfas, Jaguars, and Chrysler Imperials. He has spent his professional career in the field of payments and cash management, and for four years was a lecturer on investment theory at Cal State. Among many car-related passions, Brandes has written a mostly-monthly column for VeloceToday.com for the last eight years. He lives in Healdsburg, CA, with his wife Petya, the cars, and a live-in mechanic, who he hopes will never leave. His son, David, is a world-famous rock and roll drummer, and his daughter Nicole is a nurse practitioner at Mt. Sinai hospital in Manhattan.