BROOKVILLE - When Steven Greenberg was a 14-year-old growing up in a middle-class Detroit neighborhood, he attended a car show and saw a "beautiful" lady standing next to a car and "fell in love." Not with the female model, but the model of the car: a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.
From that moment, Greenberg, the retired co-founder of Laurel Eye Clinic, was in love with the Cadillac.
So, he began collecting Cadillacs - a lot of them. He has "about 60" of the cars on display at the Greenberg Cadillac Museum in Brookville.
"I had my first Cadillac when I was a resident in ophthalmology," he said. "My family always drove Oldsmobiles, and we went to the Oldsmobile dealer to buy a car. Right next to the '66 Oldsmobile was a '65 Cadillac.
"My wife was doing Headstart, and she said she couldn't drive around in a Cadillac.We bought the Olds, and she started thinking about it and said the Cadillac was a beautiful car. We bought the car. Six months later, it was stolen."
Greenberg then purchased a '66 Cadillac, which is the car he drove to Brookville.
"When it finally died, I bought another one, restored it and painted it the same color," he said. "It is now part of the collection."
After he started his practice in Brookville, he found his dream car, a silver 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible, just like the one he saw at the car show in Detroit.
"It was in Potter County and I bought it for $3,000," he said. "That was my first old Cadillac."
Greenberg believes the '58 Eldorado is the most beautiful Cadillac ever produced.
He still calls it "my favorite car."
According to Greenberg, only 814 of that model were made and very few are around today. The cars were assembled by hand and, according to Greenberg, it was the most expensive car in the world at that time.
Before his retirement, he was hesitant to work on the cars.
"I didn't want to hurt my hands because that is my profession," he said. "So, after I retired, I ... decided to get into it. I linked up with a great master mechanic and another retired body many who taught me how to paint. I learned to do the upholstery with some help from my wife."
His wife, Deena, said helping her husband with the cars is "fun," provided she doesn't have to do any of the "dirty work."
"I like the upholstery part," she said, "but nothing to do with the engine. I am here all week with him holding the seat while he does the upholstery."
Steven Greenberg said his wife "loves it" so much that "she will see a car and tell me I have to have it."
He said he tries to buy original low-mileage cars or original cars that need restoration.
"When you are restoring a car, you try to get everything just like it came out of the factory," he said.
To make that happen, Greenberg collects upholstery books.
"I have them back to 1931," he said. "Before that, GM didn't even keep them."
Greenberg said it is no problem getting replacement parts for the older Cadillacs.
"Either you buy it or fabricate it," he said. "There are companies that make all of the engine parts. People will come to me with a car they want to sell because they can't keep it. It costs me very little money. It's just fun doing it."
He received a call from the owners of the old Cadillac garage in Oil City and was asked if he could use an old Cadillac.
"It was abandoned when the garage closed," he said. "They told me if I wanted it to come and get it. I did, and we cleaned it up and it is a beautiful 1987 Fleetwood Brougham. Sometimes I just fall into them.
"The cars tend to find me. People know I collect them and they call me."
Greenberg also has some of the earliest Cadillacs in his collection.
"I have a 1906 and a 1905," he said. "Every 1906 was the same deep red color."
Greenberg needed space for his growing collection; so when the old Ford garage in Brookville became available, he purchased the buildings in 2009. He added another building a few years later.
"I'm running out of room again," he said. "I am pretty saturated."
Another building serves as his workshop. Two cars are currently being restored: a rare 1942 Cadillac and a 1906.
"The '06 is probably the most scarce," he said. "There are only 10 or 12 of those still existing."
He also has an '05 Cadillac.
"It is very rare. I don't know if there is another one of those existing," he said.
So, what's left to add to his collection?
"There really isn't too much more that I want except maybe a 1959 Eldorado Seville, and I want one four-cylinder Cadillac," he said.
Unless, of course, another Cadillac finds him.