Visionary – Keith McCormick

President, Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions

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Photo by Ethan Kaminsky


Keith McCormick loves doing business in the Coachella Valley. “The rental factors here are ridiculously low and the volume of visitors is just outstanding,” he says. “It’s also a very friendly community. You can get access to council people and city hall. If you’ve got a gripe, you’ve got easy access, whereas if you live in a big city, you go through all the hoops and hurdles. Over here, we don’t have that problem.”

McCormick is president of Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions, a collector car auction and classic car dealership. “We moved here in 1981 from Blackpool, England. The weather there was just terrible,” he says. “To be able to display cars every day, without the rain and snow, is such a boon. We started an event in 1985 with around 150 collector cars. Now we get 600 cars at each auction. People love the old nostalgia, just like they do with the homes here. And we’re two hours from

San Diego, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, where there’s a lot of accumulated wealth. The market here for collector cars is outstanding.”

His business success also has a positive overall affect on the local economy, McCormick says. “Currently we’re putting about 25,000 people twice a year through the gate, and that results in people not only spending money here at the car auction but in our local hotels, restaurants, and retail. We also employ 110 people twice a year when we do a collector car auction. We have the same people from 20-odd years ago today that are growing old with us, if you will.”

He cites the easygoing resort lifestyle as another factor in his love for the desert. “I live a mile away from my business. You’ve got no traffic jams. I can run here in the morning if I want. Or come on a bicycle. Where else can you go to work and have this kind of a living? This is just an outstanding place to come to work every morning and have the sunshine on the mountains to view. I love hiking the mountain trails here, and you can get out nearly seven days a week all through the year.

“I mean, where else can you get that? We are living the American dream.”

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