Photographs: Jesse Dittmar
Most everyone in Weston knows that car guy: Alden Sherman. With an eye for exotic foreign cars like Bugattis, Jaguars, Ferraris and Rolls-Royces, this car collector is all heart when it comes to his neighbors. The upcoming Alden Sherman Classic, a car collectors event, benefits the Weston Senior Activities Center. We wanted to learn more about what drives this local legend.
How did your passion for cars start?
“There were no girls around. I’ve been fooling with funny cars, crazy cars, sports cars, all my life. I liked cars, model airplanes, radios and machines. You rode a horse, rode a bike or drove a car. I used to ride a horse to school for six miles.”
When was your first time behind a wheel?
“I learned how to drive in a Rolls-Royce. I was twelve or fourteen years old. I knew the local cop, and we took the driving test at the same time.”
What’s your favorite car?
“2000 red Jaguar XKR. It’ll go like hell. I was cruising along, cop pulled me over, says, ‘You know how fast you were going? Ninety-three.’ I said, ‘Sorry.’ He said, ‘Don’t do it anymore.’ ”
What have you seen change in the car industry?
“No one knows the cars. Cars are meant to be driven. Lots of people collect cars, but don’t know what to do with them. They put them in a showroom and keep them polished. They last longer when they’re driven. I paid $600 a piece for the Bugattis. The value of those cars is more than a thousand times what I paid for them.”
You were in aerospace manufacturing and created your own company. Do you have any business advice?
"We never borrowed money. I think that’s very important. We built this business slowly with our own money. We never bought anything we couldn’t pay for. And we made money.”
Jim Petty, Chair of the Alden Sherman Classic, about Alden Sherman:
“Alden embodies what all of us car guys want to become. He has the ability to not only invent things, but also to take things that exist and think of how to make them better. That’s a gift. That’s hardwired, and he does it with modesty.
“The Alden Sherman Classic will be like Alden—approachable, always willing to help, tell you a story, teach you something. We want kids to come and learn about these cars at a young age. It’s not just for the most elite, not just for the participants; we want to make it interesting and welcoming. The Alden Sherman Classic will always be that.”