Driving toward Beverley Hills, the landscape and the tone of the neighborhood changes visibly as you move from a wealthy to a seriously wealthy one. This shows in many ways, some subtle, others less so. Along the generously wide avenues off Sunset Boulevard, the residences become larger, the distance between each more generous, and their larger lawns are better manicured. It is no surprise that the entry-level price tag for a house on one of these leafy streets is in the $10 million range.
The cars in their driveways are also more expensive, and everyday cars like the Mercedes E-Classes seen in front of the houses a few miles down the road give way to S-Classes here.
And it is not just new cars on show here either. We first clocked a gorgeous silver 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB going the other way, and then a mile down the road, a yellow Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster posing outside a swish looking street café. Driving past the café again two hours later there was a similar car in white, and a silver Porsche Carrera GT had joined the sidewalk supercar show.
The sight of these Italian exotica certainly set the tone for my day, as we had a date with a very special Lamborghini Murciélago, one that would certainly make the heart of any car enthusiast beat a whole lot faster.
Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Malibu and the surrounding areas as far out as Pasadena are the residential mecca for movie, TV and sports personalities and those who made their big money in commerce among those professions. Halfway down nearby Sunset Boulevard, Platinum Motorsport’s premises are pretty prominent so there’s little chance you’ll miss them. They have a satellite showroom close by on Melrose Avenue for good measure.
Founded in 1997 by brothers George and Jack Keshishyan, this high-end automotive boutique quickly made a name for itself by supplying exclusive cars to the rich and famous in L.A. and beyond. Today, this thriving business has become the realization of theirs and many customers’ dreams, and the roll call of big names on their client list is a long one that stretches as far afield as the Middle East.
“We started off in 1997 with the idea of a one-stop company for wealthy car enthusiasts,” Jack explained. “A place they could come to realize their personal automotive vision. While there are some really good companies here in L.A. that customize American cars, we set out to offer a bespoke automotive haute couture service for high-end European cars from Mercedes to Rolls-Royce.”
Along the way, Platinum branched out into high-end car rental as well, while their collision repair center specializes in returning high-end and exotic cars to pristine condition should their owners make an error of judgment.
Repairing such cars to as-new condition requires a very high level of expertise. Most of these skills are also pertinent to the perfect marriage of a standard factory car with the aftermarket body styling additions that are part and parcel of Platinum’s customization program.
“The Bentley GT in both coupe and GTC form is a very popular car with our clients,” Keshishyan explains. “While we have built many of these cars, I am proud to say that no two are ever alike. We know that the thing wealthy people hate the most is seeing another car exactly the same as theirs, especially in this relatively small community. So we ensure that if we build two white widebody GTs, the interior trim or wheel design is always different.”
Reaching a decision on the final specification for a car can be either a quick process or a long, drawn-out one, it all depends on the client. “Sometimes a client knows exactly what he or she wants and all we have to do is sign off paint and trim samples,” Keshishyan says. “The reverse is true with clients who want something unique but do not actually have a concept in mind. Then we have to show them photographs of past work, and run through the possibilities.