Santiago H. Michalek was born near Buenos Aires, Argentina. His artistic ability presented itself early in life, following the influence of his grandfather, who introduced him to drawing. Santiago warmly recalls how, as a child, he and his grandfather drew horses while sitting on the veranda of his childhood home. Those intimate moments sparked a lifelong passion in Santiago, who has been advancing his craft as an artist and a painter ever since.
In 2003, Santiago started his own business, restoring vintage models of Volkswagen beetles and buses. He successfully turned his hobby of tinkering and love for VWs into a profitable business with multiple restoration projects. He also began to notice that VW owners shared a certain common quirk: each was completely devoted to Volkswagen vehicles, often passionately so. This fierce devotion resonated with Santiago, whose fondness for VWs compelled him to become a master on the vehicles, with a near encyclopedic knowledge of their makes and models throughout the car company’s history.