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“Some people say, ‘I don’t know why I’m into cars,’ but for me, it was crystal clear,” says Robert Herjavec, one of many Sharks on ABC’s long-running Shark Tank, as he sits on the again of his Rolls-Royce Cullinan’s tailgating seats on a late summer time morning, at a location he’d want to not disclose for security functions.

“I’m an immigrant. I came here with my dad and I’m an only child who escaped from a communist country [Yugoslavia], and we came to Canada with one suitcase and no money. The whole melodramatic story. A few years later — I must have been about 10 years old at the time, and I’m walking down the street with my dad and we see this thing coming down the road and I say to my dad, ‘What’s that?’ And my dad says, in his thick accent, ‘That Cadillac?’ And I’m like, ‘What’s a Cadillac?’ ”

The Emmy-nominated TV host and producer continues, “The Yugo was the hot car [back in Yugoslavia] and so my dad says, ‘That Cadillac … [that’s] for rich people.’ And the way he said it and the way he loved cars, that was it for me. I was hooked. I didn’t know what a Cadillac was, I didn’t know what rich people were, but ever since then, I wanted cars.”

Herjavec’s assortment consists of this multimillion-dollar 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, of which solely about 700 have been made.

Photographed by Adam Amengual

The steering wheel of Herjavec’s 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari

Photographed by Adam Amengual

The son, who now has houses in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, later purchased a pearl white Cadillac Sedan DeVille for his father. “Whether you like cars or you don’t like cars, the car meant something to my dad. He was speechless when I gave him the keys,” remembers Herjavec, who married his second spouse, skilled dancer Kym Johnson, in 2016; the 2 met when he competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2015 and was paired together with her. For himself, Herjavec has since expertly curated an eclectic assortment of classic, luxurious and sports activities automobiles, every of which is emblematic of his automotive wishes.

“From a very early age, I associated cars with aspiration,” explains Herjavec, who labored briefly as an assistant director in Hollywood earlier than making a fortune in pc safety and data know-how. “Some people fall in love with cars because of the mechanics or because of the engine. I fell in love with cars for what they stood for and what they meant and for the freedom they represent.”

One of his most notable automobiles is a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, which was as soon as Frank Sinatra’s and is seen in a well-known photograph from the identical 12 months. After Herjavec acquired the Ford, he was capable of purchase the fedora Sinatra wore within the photograph, too.

His assortment additionally features a 1958 Porsche 356; a 2019 Porsche Speedster; a limited-edition 2020 Ford GT; an ultra-rare 2021 Mercedes-AMG GTR Black Series P One version, one in every of solely 275 made; a 1971 Ferrari Daytona (“Truly a perfect car,” he says); and a particularly collectible multimillion-dollar 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, of which solely round 700 have been made worldwide.

This 1956 Ford Thunderbird was owned by Frank Sinatra. “I love Frank and my wife loves Frank. I had to get the Thunderbird; it’s so Rat Pack cool,” he says.

Photographed by Adam Amengual

This 1956 Ford Thunderbird was owned by Frank Sinatra. “After we bought the car, we found pictures of Frank getting into the car at an Italian restaurant from the ’60s. I have those pictures in my office. And recently we found the actual hat Frank is wearing — it’s amazing.”

Photographed by Adam Amengual

If you may analogize automobile gathering to life, it’s the LaFerrari that represents the dangers of being an entrepreneur.

“People at all times assume when you might have a specific amount of success that it’s such as you undergo this door and your life is nothing however rainbows and unicorns and pet canines ceaselessly. People don’t understand, regardless of how profitable you may be, there are unhealthy days. I went by way of a spell the place I went by way of a very tough private time and a tough time for the enterprise and I needed to make this resolution. I didn’t have quite a lot of spare money — both I hold the automobile and danger the enterprise or I promote the automobile. So I offered it to a man and made him promise me that he would by no means promote it to any person else and I made myself a promise — sooner or later I might purchase this automobile again, however by then I’ll have a lot cash, I’ll simply write a verify for it and never even give it some thought.

“So fast-forward seven years later,” he continues, “I sell a piece of my business for a substantial amount of money and the first thing I do is I call the guy, like I’ve called him every year, and say, ‘Please sell me the car.’ He’s like, ‘I really love the car.’ Long story — I talked him into it and I buy the car back and just write a check for it.”

Since Shark Tank is now 14 seasons in — the brand new season premiered Sept. 23 and consists of Gwyneth Paltrow as a visitor Shark — the query arises: Has his entry to uncommon automobiles gotten higher because the collection has progressed and his fame has elevated?

Photographed by Adam Amengual

Herjavec’s 2002 Morgan Plus 8 Roadster

Photographed by Adam Amengual

“It’s funny you asked that: About 10 years ago, I realized one of the benefits of being a celebrity is the car manufacturers will give you access to certain cars. I never want a deal. I just want access. As you know, there are very special cars out there, and being on Shark Tank, I’m the car guy on the show and I’ve become known for that.”

But even for a automobile man like Herjavec, typically gaining access to a sure automobile continues to be a problem. “My wife thinks this is nuts, but for some of these cars, you have to interview with the president of the company, and when you pass it’s a great feeling, but even I can’t get certain cars. When I couldn’t get the Ford GT, I called my good friend Jay Leno, and I’m like, ‘Please, Jay, can you put in a call for me?’ I use that favor very sparingly, because I don’t ever want to be that guy, but I leaned on Jay to help me get the Ford GT.”

When requested how the emotional facet of being a automobile collector pertains to his pragmatic enterprise facet, Herjavec pauses for a second and says with amusing, “Well, first of all, I lie to myself because I only buy stuff I love, but I tell myself it’s a good investment or there is some pragmatic element to it. But I love to hunt for cars, I love to search and love to find them. I love to find the meaning of the cars on my own and my tastes are very eclectic. Look at my Morgan,” he says, waxing on about his love of the cherry crimson 2002 Morgan Plus 8 Roadster. “I love the emotion behind it and I think for you to own a Morgan, you’ve got to appreciate what a Morgan is. I love things that are pure in purpose. It’s not luxurious, but if you want a top-down British — and I mean a truly British experience — it’s the Morgan.”

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG GTR Black Series P One version was accessible solely to consumers additionally buying the upcoming Mercedes-AMG One hypercar. “I had to be interviewed by the president of Mercedes to get the One and I was so nervous,” says Herjavec.

Photographed by Adam Amengual

Robert Herjavecs’ 1971 Ferrari Daytona.

Photographed by Adam Amengual

After years of negotiating offers on Shark Tank, you’d assume that one of many most important Sharks — a person who has negotiated greater than $16.5 million price of offers, in accordance with Sharkalytics, a web site that tracks the investments on the present — would have some ideas for negotiating a tough discount for a automobile, however right here Herjavec once more laughs. “That’s such a great question because you would think that, right, I’m a good negotiator, but I’m the easiest guy in the world to sell a car to. I feign negotiation, but if I love the car and I’m like, ‘Ready, let’s go,’ I already have my checkbook or my card out and I have this huge smile on my face, and then I’ll tell you, ‘I want to deal,’ but you know what, I don’t mean it. If I love it, I just want to buy it.”

This story first appeared within the Sept. 28 challenge of journal. Click here to subscribe.





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