Behind the Wheel

David Swig, Director

David is a lifelong car enthusiast, collector, vintage racer, and all-around car guy. He began his driving career on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais in high school, and later graduated from Santa Clara University. In his younger years David pursued automotive journalism and was active with titles such as Motor Trend and Road & Track.

David has been extremely active in the field of collector car auctions since 2010. He works as a Specialist for RM Sotheby’s. He regularly travels to collector car auctions and events throughout the world.

In addition to his day-to-day involvement in the collector car market, David is a regular participant in historic car activities, including circuit racing, road tours, and concours d’elegance events. David and Howard have organized the California Mille since Martin’s passing in 2012, and David has been at the start of every California Mille since 1991.

David has also devoted time to automotive academia through his three-time participation at the Symposium on Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car, held at Miles Collier’s museum in Naples, Florida.

While his interests span the spectrum of the collector car hobby, David’s main interests are sports, sports racing, and rally cars. He often races his 1957 Monsterati Special at historic race meetings on the West Coast, and in 2016, he drove the 1958 Scarab MK1 to victory at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

David has participated in at least a dozen California Milles in a variety of interesting cars. A personal highlight was piloting the 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione in the 2017 California Mille.

Howard Swig, Director

Howard is a Bay Area native and lifelong car enthusiast. Like his brother, what started out as a hobby and automotive passion turned into a career. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he took a job in the Technical Department at Car and Driver magazine. From there he entered the new car retail business at buying/leasing broker Cartelligent. More recently, he shifted his focus to vintage cars at the enthusiast website and marketplace Bring a Trailer.

Howard is an active racer, competing in the Spec Miata series with NASA and SCCA at tracks around California. He is a supporter of the vintage racing community, campaigning the likes of prewar Chryslers, postwar Fiats, and even a Mercury Comet!

Stephen Girlich, Organizer

Born and raised in San Francisco, Stephen Girlich comes from a humble automotive background. While several family members and friends were involved in the local automotive industry growing up, Stephen gravitated towards the slot car/kit car racing-scene as a young kid in San Francisco’s Japantown, winning several races over the years against international competitors.

After graduating from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history, Stephen fortunately ventured into the Bonhams car department where he first met his mentor and friend David Swig. During his tenure as U.S. business manager, Stephen oversaw more than $500 million in car sales from 2013-2017 and managed over 10,000 international motoring clients. Most notably, he played an integral role in the sale of a 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO, which sold in August 2014 (at Monterey) for a world-record $38 million dollars at auction.

In 2017, Stephen joined Alliant Insurance Services to grow the brokerage firm’s exclusive partnership with the HMSA (Historic Motor Sports Association) and provide customizable insurance platforms for other motoring enthusiasts in the U.S. It was also in 2017 when the Swig family asked Stephen to join the California Mille team as event manager and take over the reins from Dan Radowicz.

When Stephen is not working at Alliant or attending various motoring events, he enjoys spending time with his wife Haeley in wine country. Stephen is an avid cyclist, but also enjoys exploring the Bay Area’s world-class food scene.

Ron Wren, Sponsorship & PR

Ron Wren brings to his job as Marketing Director of the California Mille decades of hands-on experience in broadcasting, public relations, promotion and freelance magazine writing.

He is the former Director of Advertising, Promotion and Publicity for ABC’s KGO-TV in San Francisco, Publicity Director of KPIX-TV and, for more years than he will admit, head of his Walnut Creek-based Wren Advertising & Public Relations.

In addition to developing suitable sponsors for the California Mille, Wren focuses alerting fans to the “greatest free car show of its kind in the world” that brings thousands to San Francisco’s Nob Hill each April to see the cars and meet the drivers of the California Mille.