With springtime long overdue and fair driving weather right around the corner, we decided to check in with our friends at the Classic Car Club Manhattan to see what they’ve been up to. More luxury cars, an annual pilgrimage to Germany, happy hours galore, and new chapters in Los Angeles, Miami and the Middle East are just a few of the things on their agenda for 2013. We caught up with Michael Prichinello to get the lowdown. Michael is the Classic Car Club co-founder and a FoundersCard Member since 2011.
1) What’s new over at the Classic Car Club?
Classic Car Club is an ever-evolving, changing club. Most recently, we’ve added some explosive cars to the fleet, including a rally prepped EVO and the new McLaren is coming on line as well. Aside from the cars themselves, we’ve launched a more sophisticated race team at CCC consisting of members that want to take their driving experience to the next level. The roads are thawing out too so our event calendar really begins to take shape around this time. We’ll be hosting a number of track days at different facilities in the North East and as every year, we’re planning a pilgrimage to Nurbugring in Germany – the holy grail of trackdays for petrosexuals.
2) How did the roads treat your members this winter?
Three years ago, it seemed the snow would never leave, but typically, like this year, New York winters are relatively mild. Our A/C Shelby Cobra, a very wide open car, spent many days on the road this winter, as did our Lotus Super Se7en – two cars one would assume were hibernating. But when the snow falls we strap on some aggressive snow tires and take our four-wheel drive rally-inspired cars out for some fun. A Ferrari in a straight line is great, but an STi sideways in the snow is always better.
3) Did the garage make it through Sandy unharmed?
Luckily, we faired very well. Canal Street earned its name because it’s the lowest point in Manhattan and it used to literally be a canal – horses would pull barges across it to keep the city moving. We were sure we’d be under water so we moved the entire fleet to different garages throughout the city, making sure they were all safe and secure in second floor or higher levels. We then unleashed a battalion’s worth of sand bags around the club in an attempt to keep the water out. The water came right up to our front door and receded after seeing there was no cars to claim. We were very lucky and feel fortunate.
4) Tell us a bit about some of the vintage vehicles currently housed in the CCC garage.
Recently, we picked up a pair of drool-worthy muscle cars – a 68 SS Camaro and a 68 Dodge Charger. Both are in spectacular condition in and out and should star in a monumental New York chase scene. Big V8’s, throaty exhausts – they’re beautiful burn out machines. For those that appreciate a European approach, our 1955 550 Porsche Spyder is ready for the warm weather. It’s a sparse little car made famous by James Dean. It offers two seats, a steering wheel and little more other than a crisp, sharp driving experience and an exhaust note that would make any car fan weak at the knees.
5) What about some of the more modern, cutting edge automobiles currently available to CCC member?
We call our supercar fleet the “Carbon Collection”. Right now is a great time to be a car guy or gal, as technology and outlandish power are being packaged into cars very well. Our 458 Italia Ferrari is probably the most awe inspiring, visceral car we’ve ever driven. We have a Lamborhini Gallardo with an aftermarket exhaust system that, when you step on the accelerator, cracks wide open and barks out a tone that’s akin to thermal detonation. A very striking SLS AMG Mercedes awaits for its next drive with its gullwing doors wide open in the club and a new McLaren is set to debut at CCC soon.
6) You frequently host events in the clubhouse. Tell us a bit about those.
We’re a social club first and foremost. It’s so much more than just driving. In the past month, we’ve organized a ski trip, we hosted an endurance kart racing series, enjoyed a wonderful scotch tasting event, hosted a cocktail evening with Duncan Quinn, experienced a private viewing of the new Corvette before the rest of the world had access and even toured the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin. With the warming weather, we add group rallies through upstate, we’ll test our skills trap and skeet shooting and of course, racing.
7) I assume the driving occurs before the weekly happy hour, correct?
That’s correct. CCC has an open bar and lounge for members, and on Thursday night it’s common to have about 100 or so members come down for happy hour. We don’t drink and drive though. We drive and then drink – it’s all in the order of things.
8) The last time we caught up, we learned that CCC was gearing up towards expanding to LA and Miami. What’s the inside scoop with that?
The scoop is those locations are in full gear, as well as the development of a club in the Middle East. There’s a real appetite around the globe for Classic Car Club locations and we’re evaluating and working towards opening up a number of locations in the coming months.
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