He cannot imagine his life without cars

Christian H. Kramer

Cologne, Germany
Christian H. Kramer is a Charter member and director of Communications of the International Chief Judge Advisory Group which focusses on Originality and Authenticity. He has been a life long car enthusiast and has worked in the industry for over 20 years as a classic car historian, value appraiser, F.I.V.A. Scrutineer& collection advisor. He owns a small car collection and is a frequent participant in notable Concoursd’elegances as well as historic Rallies’.
Born in 1964, raised and educated in Cologne, Germany. Christian H. Kramer became a member of the German Air Force in 1985 and served for several years as a flight crew member. After his time in the Air Force, he studied economics in Cologne and grew his IT consulting company that hw had founded when in the Air Force. As cars always played an important role in his life, he soon became involved in car sales and after a few years started to consult with collectors. Since the late 90s he represented three individuals with extensive automobile collections in the USA and Europe and located cars for them all over the world. For about the last ten years he has concentrated on the scrutinizing and appraising of classic cars as well as advising collectors in their search to improve their collections. He is presently serving as a judge at several Concoursd’Elegances around the world. Additionally, he is an accredited FIVA Scrutineer and works directly with four different national Authorities (ANF) in Germany, the UK, USA and Switzerland. He appraises large collections throughout Europe for insurance purposes.
Chris has been an admirer of cars since childhood. He was a child who took his favourite Porsche 911 model with him to bed rather than a teddy bear. He was fortunate that his parents’ neighbour happened to own several interesting cars – one was a 1975 Porsche 930 Turbo, another one was a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3. He fondly remembers the summer day when his neighbourstook him for a spin in these cars and he experienced their capabilities. On that day he was first infected with the ‘car virus’ that remains in his blood to this day.
His first car was a Fiat 127. He “inherited” it from his mother at the age of 18 when he got his driver’s license. Over the years the cars became faster, more powerful and bigger.
He is honored to be the chief judge for the 2017 edition of the 21 Gun Salute Concours& Rally. He is also presently the chief Judge for Masterpieces and Style at Dyck Castle in Germany and also the joint chief judge for the ZouteConcoursd’Elegance in Knokke, Belgium. He served as a class judge for the Pebble Beach Concoursd’Elegance as well as chief class judge at the Pinehurst Concoursd’Elegance in North Carolina, USA, the LajollaConcoursd’Elegance which is near San Diego, USA and the Sydney Concoursd’Elegance. He is also a charter (founding member) of International Chief Judge Advisory Group which is a group of experienced chief judges who support serious class judging and offer volunteer support to judges and organizers.
He cannot imagine his life without cars. His interest is fuelled by the combination of freedom, technology, and heritage. “Cars are an essential part of our history and it is important that we keep the cars as original and authentic as possible.” For this reason, he dedicate a substantial portion of his time and energy to this cause. “If we do not educate future generations about automotive history, we may lose this part of our heritage forever,” he added.
He considers the technological progress in automobiles over the years to be the most important aspect of the transition of industry from a horseless carriage to a slick looking vehicle with a coach built body in the current day and age. The combination of technical development and the coachbuilder’s design aspects, fascinate him.
The driving experience is what attracts him the most, there is nothing better than taking one of his classics out for a drive.
He prefers being called a collector rather than being called a restorer. However, he holds some restoration experience with the vehicles in his collection. The biggest projects he has undertaken have been to get his two 300SLs back on the road. Both of them had a huge repair and maintenance backlog which led ultimately to engine failures. Although his focus is as a scrutiniser and appraiser, he also supervises restorations.
He is very attracted by the late pre-war and early post war-cars as they represent a transition time and fast technological progress. The change from a frame built construction to self-supporting chassis, as well as the introduction of fuel injections for the engines, mark a milestone.
For him, Mercedes-Benz is a marque that defines the best of design & technology, part of it is the fact that Prof. Ferdinand Porsche constructed many cars in pre-war time for this manufacturer. He has recently added a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5 convertible to his collection of vintage & classic cars. The car represents the final era of the hand built Mercedes-Benz cars. It is one of the only 1232 examples.
There are several cars that he admires. His personal favourites being the Alfa Romeo 6C2300/2500 of the pre-war time and the 8C, then of course the 6 Cylinder Kompressor Mercedes and the BMW 328s, which, during racing, gave the big cars a hard time. The Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs and the Porsche 356s and 911s from the post-war era are among his favourites.
He combines true passion for his motorsport interests with exceptional expertise to make him an expert in his field.

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