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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Classic Car Club: SoHo

While not everyone can agree with Jay Leno's sense of humor, even the most bitter critics of Jay Leno's chin have a hard time denying the awesomeness of his car collection.

Given the opportunity, wouldn't you like a collection like that of your own? But let's be realistic, not all of us can make a fortune hosting the longest running TV show on NBC. What's more, as a New Yorker, there wouldn't be anywhere for me to put my collection even if I had one. Never mind the maintenance and insurance, I can't imagine what a hassle it would be if I had to move my fleet of supercars twice a week because of alternate side parking.

In a city of 17 million people, I can't be the only car guy around that's craving for the chance to get behind the wheel of my dream cars. Wouldn't it be great if I could drive a classic Jaguar E-type, enjoy it for that rare sunny Saturday afternoon, and let someone else worry about everything else? That's where the Manhattan Classic Car Club comes in. In order to find out what CCC is all about, my friend Jeffrey Butler of Motoriginal and I decided to meet up Wednesday afternoon to visit its SoHo establishment in person.


When Jeff and I walked in, it became apparent that the Classic Car Club might not be the best name to represent the place after all, and I mean that in a good way.  

Is it a Club? Well, yes it is, but you'll be surprised. You won't find a "No Girls Allowed" sign hanging by the door nor a bunch of elitist yuppies wearing "members-only" jackets, because CCC is actually one of the friendliest places for car enthusiasts in the entire city. Adam was the first person that walked up to speak with us. Once a member himself, Adam became such a believer of the concept that he decided to join the CCC team.

Really, the concept behind the Classic Car Club is almost too good to be true. Essentially, once you become a member of the club, it simply becomes a matter of booking the day or weekend for the car of your choosing. An annual club membership starts at $4,500, granting you access to the most eclectic collection of cars you'll ever see. You'll also get 24 hour access to the Classic Car Clubhouse (there's happy hour too!), as well as a calendar of events including private track days, international rallies, wine tastings, and karting days, all shared with fellow club members and enthusiasts.

$4,500 is about as much as a beater Honda. What's more, if a membership still doesn't seem like a sound investment, you still have the option of splitting the membership cost with a friend!


Does it only offer Classic Cars? Rather than to offer a selection from only a certain vintage, the CCC inventory is a wide ranging spectrum of toys; from a Shelby GT350, a custom open-top Ford Bronco, a Shelby Cobra replica, an MG, a selection of air-cooled Porsches, and a DeLorean, to contemporaries like an Acura NSX, an Ariel Atom, a Merc-Benz SLS AMG, a Ferrari 458 Italia, and more. Dear Lord!

The variety isn't random. In fact, Classic Car Club's inventory of automobiles are thanks to countless hours of scouring the internet and classifieds. Sure, some purchases might have been impulsive, but many required careful consideration. CCC was especially specific regarding its choice of Acura NSX, looking for a 1991 (first model year) painted in Formula Red for its great historical significance. However, of the 40+ cars, Adam confessed that the Alfa Romeo GTV would probably be his most favorite of all.

Jeannette, who has been working for the CCC for more than 4 years now, had a moment to speak with us as well. She was especially partial to a Chevelle, until CCC got rid of it not too long ago. Jeannette revealed something quite interesting -- although CCC's employees often get emotionally attached to certain cars, the Club never holds onto a car for too long. A rotation of vehicles, some bought, some provided by its members, keep the inventory fresh and assure the members that new toys are always just around the corner.

We asked Adam if we were allowed to take pictures of the collection. He told us to go crazy.

1975 Alfa Romeo GTV

1969 Jaguar E-Type



1974 2.7 Porsche 911




2006 Ariel Atom




1991 Formula Red Acura NSX


Shelby GT350





1969 MGC

1981 DeLorean


Shelby Cobra

1969 Porsche 911T


1969 Ford Bronco Custom (Left), 1968 Pontac Firebird 400 (center), 2000 BMW Z8 (Right)


1974 BMW "M2", a 2002tii with a 2.3L E30 M3 engine



Walking in from the front entrance, the CCC seemed like a typical showroom floor. Then, as you start walking towards the rear, the place transforms into a working garage, reminding you that unlike your average high-end car collection, each and every car must be a daily driver and CCC goes to great lengths to make sure that they're all in good working order.

Reluctant to leave, Jeff turned to me and said, "Why can't I just live here?" My sentiments exactly.

Special thanks to Adam and Jeannette for making us feel welcomed! Go check out CCC at their official website here: www.classiccarclubmanhattan.com

Also, photos here are provided by Jeff. For more pictures, check out his Flickr album. You could also follow him on Facebook. You should follow us too!

7 comments:

  1. Love all the pictures here. All are truly classic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. one of these days, i shall make the plunge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love all the pictures here. All are truly classic!

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  5. That’s what you call a Jaguar! Those cars are amazing and I especially dig that black Jag with a red interior. It’s rare for a high-end establishment to be as welcoming as this place; if you say that they regularly change the stocked cars, then I would love to visit and ogle those awesome toys.

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