Interview and photography by Sean Smith
Briarcliff Classic & Imported Car Service is approaching its 40th anniversary and has never left its current location in Briarcliff Manor, New York, for that entire time period. Owner and founder Bob Millstein, an automotive enthusiast from a young age, sat down and spoke with Petrolicious about his legacy, BCI.
Q: What started your interest in cars?
A: My brother, who was 10 years my senior, was given a 1949 MG TC when he went off to college. He promptly started racing the car, and I joined him in his adventures at 10 years old. As I grew older, I was given more responsibility working and crewing with the car. In addition, my father was also intrigued with cars and his last two was a Porsche 912 and a Volvo P1800.
Q: What was your first car?
A: My first car was a 1958 Austin Healey “Bugeye” Sprite. My father purchased the car for $100, and my brother and I fixed it up for the street (we lived in upper Manhattan at the time and had to park the car on the street). I ended up driving that car through my college years.
Q: Where does your love of English cars come from?
A: English cars, for the most part, were inexpensive. Also, my brother raced an English car and they were the first cars I learned to work on. MGs, Austin Healeys, Mini Coopers were all variants of the same technology so it became very easy, because if you worked on one you could work on another.