Winfried A. Seidel was born in 1939 and raised in Bielefeld. In the 1950s, he trained as a telecommunications technician. Seidel had been interested in automobiles ever since his childhood days and was even close to buying an old Mercedes-Benz 170 V in 1955. His father, however, though being a mechanical engineer himself, had little understanding for his son’s love of vintage cars – there were new and better cars after all. And so Seidel was still riding his Lambretta scooter when love brought him to Mannheim. At the time, the young man was a drama student and after finishing drama school, he played at theaters in Mannheim and Heidelberg for 15 years. Parallel to this, he set up a toy shop together with his wife.
It was during this time that Seidel bought his first vintage car. This historical vehicle sparked off a passion in Winfried A. Seidel who was already living in Ladenburg at the time. He not only began setting up a collection for himself but also endeavored to engage in an exchange with other classic car buffs. In the upshot, he became one of the founders of the active classic car scene in Germany. In 1971, he was elected president of the Mercedes Veteranen-Club – a position he held until 1995. Upon his retirement, he was appointed honorary president by the club members in recognition of his merits. The classic car specialist organized the Veterama for the first time in 1975 – an event that has since developed into the greatest veteran and vintage car marketplace in Europe, staged in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen.
Seidel’s own collection of automobiles, two-wheelers and technical memorabilia has been growing continuously over the years. In addition, the engineering freak, actor and Veterama organizer established close contacts with the family of Karl Benz, being increasingly fasci-nated by the life and work of the automotive pioneer who had died in Ladenburg in 1929. This is borne out by Seidel’s Benz biography “Carl Benz. Eine badische Geschichte” (Carl Benz – A Tale from Baden) which was published in the summer of 2005.