Style. Classic Mens Style. These are the first words that come to mind after being in touch with Sven Raphael Schneider – he prefers Raphael – founder of Gentlemans Gazette.
As the founder and resident Arbiter Elegantiarium, Sven Raphael Schneider has been sharing his passion for classic style and fine living with Gentleman’s Gazette readers since 2010.
His obsession began at the tender age of 14, and he has since amassed an ever-expanding classic wardrobe, a significant collection of 20th-century fashion references, and a keen understanding of what it means to be a gentleman in this day in age.
When he’s not interacting with readers or designing Fort Belvedere products, he enjoys cooking, photography, drinking port, exploring the cuisines of the world, and playing with his daughter Louisa. Besides that, Raphael really enjoys driving fast cars on curvy roads. And that’s what we’re going to talk about, mostly.
Best road trip so far
As said, Raphael really enjoys driving fast cars on curvy roads. But he also hates commuting or driving long stretches. “Living in Minneapolis, MN in the central Midwest in the US means you have to drive through boring landscapes if you ever want to go on a roadtrip and I am just not fond of that at all.”
Boring roads and landscapes is not what we want to read about, so lets skip this part and look ahead.
Which road trip is on your bucket list and why?
Highway 1 in California – a.k.a. California State Route 1 or CA 1 or SR 1 – is epic. And that’s what Raphael says too. “I would like to drive up and down Highway 1 in California. I would enjoy the scenery, the food, and stop at places like Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, as I am a big fan of old, grand houses.”
“Apart from that, the US has a fantastic wealth of nature and I would like to visit Montana, Lake Tahoe etc. but as I said, I would try to minimize the boring driving part and maybe rent a really nice care at my destination.”
What car would you take on that road trip?
So, Raphael enjoys driving fast cars. “For example, on a trip to Nashville, I flew there and then I drove a Ferrari F430 with a modified exhaust so it sounded devine. I also had a chance to drive a Ferrari California and a 69 Mustang and Camaro. Frankly, the F430 was the very best for me, because I loved the feeling on the road, and the speed. The California was too cushy and the muscle cars really just felt like big squishy sofa. If it was me and my wife going on a road trip, I would want a convertible like a F430, F458 or F488.”
But, there is so much to choose from. Confession time. Because this stylish gentleman started of like we all did. “As a kid, I loved to play the various iterations of Gran Turismo on the Play Station, and I always liked Lotus because they were lightweight and had good handling. But I have never driven one in real life. Alternatively, I would like to give the Porsche GT3 a go, a lot of people have raved about it and I have never driven it.”
“If it was me with my daughter, I would want to drive a Bentley Flying Spur or if I needed more trunk space an AMG E63 Estate. For a long road trip the interior of a car is important. Cooled seats, nice squishy carpets and beautiful leathers and wood is what attracts me to the Bentley. On the other hand the AMG E63 Estate is a hatchback with a little over 600hp, and with is adaptations, it can be a relaxed family cruiser or a wonderfully sounding car and fun car to drive. I am actually thinking about buying one as our next car…”.
And then back to the inner Raphael, the Gentlemans Gazette founder. “If it was to dress up, I would drive a Mercedes Benz 500k from the 1930s. I saw it at the Mercedes Benz Museum, and it is simply gorgeous.” Well, we can’t disagree there. Only 342 were built and a road trip in this grand touring car would be super special for sure.
The co driver and the talking
Next question. Who would you like to accompany you, on this epic road trip? Raphael: “My wife really enjoys cars but she is not too fond of me driving quickly. I think it is most fun to drive a fast car with someone who is equally into it. I think we would talk about the car all the time.”
“If I was driving the Mercedes 500k with my wife, we would talk about the the beautiful landscape, the restaurants we would go to (we are both foodies), and the places we would stop at.”
And, of course, what about the clothing?
If someone knows what to wear during travelling, it is Raphael. He says “It all depends on the car of course, with the exception of one thing: driving gloves. I would wear them in all of the cars. I’d try to match the colors to either the interior or the exterior of the car. In a Ferrari, I would wear a polo shirt with short sleeves, some seersucker pants so I don’t overheat and thin soles boat shoes so I can feel the pedals well.”
“In the Bentley or AMG, I would wear a suit or combination but you always hang the jacket in the back hook, so you don’t sit on it because driving with a jacket on is hard on the jacket and will shorten its lifespan.”
“In the Mercedes 500k, I would wear a genuine 1930s suit with patch pockets in a brown tone, and maybe a Panama hat if I can make sure it doesn’t fly away in my convertible.”
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