Behind the tinted glass of the Frank Monise Motors lobby, there are some not-so-subtle hints that ‘Monise’ (pronounced moe-neece) is not your average shop. For starters, the walls are lined with photos, some recent, and others older than the business itself, which began here in Southern California back in 1948. Vintage race posters featuring a number of Monise race cars fill in the extra space, and a number of trophies sit perched on shelves.
It seems all but impossible for Rob Cumberbatch to have turned into anything other than an automotive fanatic. If it can’t be blamed on the weekends spent with his father at car shows in his 1957 Hillman Minx, and the afternoons spent in the garage working together on a Jensen Healey, then perhaps his love for machines can be attributed to the trips home from school in his mother’s BMW 2002, or her weekend toy, a Lotus Excel.