FEATURES : AUTOMOTIVE

Classic Car Club

By Tom Ran

Published November 4, 2013

Owners Michael Prichinello and Zac Moseley in front of a 1965 Shelby Cobra

Photo: Tuukka Koski

Owners Michael Prichinello and Zac Moseley in front of a 1965 Shelby Cobra

Cars in the shop (clockwise from top left)–1996 GT2 variant Porsche 911, 1975 Alfa Romeo GTV, 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible, and a MV Agusta Brutale.

Photo: Tuukka Koski

Cars in the shop (clockwise from top left)–1996 GT2 variant Porsche 911, 1975 Alfa Romeo GTV, 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible, and a MV Agusta Brutale.

The 1966 Ford GT40 sits quietly on the cobblestone street of the Meat Packing District.

Photo: Tuukka Koski

The 1966 Ford GT40 sits quietly on the cobblestone street of the Meat Packing District.

The GT40 roaring down the road.

Photo: Tuukka Koski

The GT40 roaring down the road.

The 302ci V8 400HP rear engine on display

Photo: Tuukka Koski

The 302ci V8 400HP rear engine on display

The beast under the hood

Photo: Tuukka Koski

The beast under the hood

The 1966 design is as relevant today as it was then. Ford released the Ford GT based on this design in 2004.

Photo: Tuukka Koski

The 1966 design is as relevant today as it was then. Ford released the Ford GT based on this design in 2004.

Michael Prichinello inside the GT40

Photo: Tuukka Koski

Michael Prichinello inside the GT40

Previous1 of 8Next

Michael Prichinello has a passion for life and speed. His eyes light up whenever he talks about one of his cars or a motorcycle project he’s working on with a friend. The excitement he expresses is contagious. It’s easy when you’re in a showroom and garage surrounded by some of the world’s most desired cars.

Like many of us growing up, Michael and his business partner, Zac Moseley had posters of excotic cars in their bedrooms. Unlike many of us as grown ups, Michael and Zac were able to fulfill their boyhood fantasy by acquiring many of those cars. They are the founders of the Classic Car Club in Manhattan. It’s a club that boasts an average of 40 vehicles in their fleet, ranging from Ferraris and Porsches to classic BMWs and Jaguars. The numbers fluctuate depending on the season with the collection constantly in rotation. It’s a car lovers paradise without the headaches of owning one. You can have access to them but only if you’re a member. Membership package start at $4500 a year and can go up to $13,000. The average member spends about $11,500 annually.

We met Michael and Zac at their Soho location. The showroom was being converted into a film set for a shoot later that week. Though many of the cars had been hauled off to one of their storage facilities there were still a handful of classics on hand. Among them were the famed Porsche 550 Spyder, made famous by James Dean, a 1965 Shelby Cobra, and a 1966 Ford GT40 – a monster of a car that gave Ford four consecutive Le Mans wins over Ferrari. We chose to ride shotgun in the GT40.

The Scout: When did your passion for cars begin?
Michael Prichinello: I think unlike most people, my love for cars wasn’t progressive or something that just happened. I had a mind melting moment. When I was about 9 or 10, my family and I flew to San Francisco and spent two weeks driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, all the way to Mexico. Early in the trip we pulled into beautiful little Carmel, CA, which is close to the Concours d’Elegance. The car show just so happened to be going on that week unbeknownst to us. When we pulled onto the main street, our Buick rental was the only non-supercar on the street. This is before the “intertubes” and web videos, so the sight just melted my juvenile brain. Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis. They were lined up and down the block and it was a riot of engines, design and spectacular automotive beauty. That was the moment I knew I wanted these cars to play a part in my life.

The Scout: What was your first car?
Michael Prichinello: I grew up in Long Island. You know where this is going. My sister Karen is five years older than me and she really, really wanted a Firebird. She wound up buying a ‘91 Trans AM S/E automatic, light blue. It was fast, but wrong in a lot of ways. She also never drove it so she gave it to me. It wasn’t me at all, but I was 16 and it had four wheels, was in new condition and it was quicker than any car my friends had. I had a love / hate relationship with it, but it was my access to freedom and I’ll always thank my sister for that. The first one that was truly mine was a ‘94 Sport Chevy Blazer. I slept on the beach in it, went skiing in it, everything. I adored it. It wasn’t a sport car, but it was rugged and perfect for an adventuring teen. We had a lot of great times together, me and that Blazer.

The Scout: What did you and Zac Moseley do before opening Classic Car Club?
Michael Prichinello: I had a PR and marketing firm and still do. It’s called Modern Message and we specialize in men’s toys more or less. We work with great brands including David Yurman, Meridian Audio and Ariel Atom. Zac was a lighting designer for architecture. If you’ve been to any in spot around the globe like Perry Street Cafe, Spice Market or anything else prior to 2005 when CCC came on line, you’ve seen his work.

The Scout: Your bio on Huffington Post cites that you have 42 broken bones. How many of those were attributed to car crashes?
Michael Prichinello: The number is up there. I don’t know what the actual number is, but I’ve broken every rib at least once, my hip, my back, both wrists at least once, you name it. Not many from car crashes, but I grew up playing ice hockey and I was a super avid skateboarder. Those two sports started off the broken bone business. I’ve always been a bit of either a dare devil or unaware of my limit. I’m not sure what side of that it is, but I have that action sport gene. Later in life I got into motorcycles and every now and then on track, my ambition outweighs my ability and I break a few things when I have an off. These days, I’ve reached a skill level where I at least know where my skill ends and where I’m in uncharted territory, so I’m able to go a little faster while doing it a little smarter. If you ever need some rehab advice, give me a ring.

The Scout: The London chapter of Classic Car Club opened in 1995. How did the Manhattan location begin?
Michael Prichinello: Phil Kavanagh is our third partner. He was the one with the brilliant idea. Zac and I were lucky enough to meet him and import the brand and the business. Phil grew up as a Londoner obsessed with American R&B and American Graffiti. I suppose it was in the cards. I’ve learned in life and in business that if you find people that match both your energy level and your passion for something, anything can happen.

COMMENTS

Your Name

Email Address

Add Comment