A few minutes into a private tour with Classic Car Club Manhattan co-owners Mike Prichinello and Zac Moseley, we stopped to admire the completely new and massive professional-grade kitchen. And Moseley was on his phone. He apologized, explaining that there were mere minutes left in an auction, and CCC was currently the top bidder on a classic BMW 3 Series convertible. So, naturally, we all gathered around and watched a real-time bidding war go down, musing about how much the car might bring and making yacht rock jokes. It went for too much — there were better examples for less, Prichinello said, flashing a knowing grin. The guys at CCC are always on the hunt for better.
A couple years back, when CCC moved from their cramped Tribeca digs up to a sprawling, 40,000 square foot space overlooking the Hudson River, Prichinello explained that the building would eventually be reimagined into a dream-status “clubhouse,” replete with a massive terrace and bar/restaurant, meeting rooms and lounge spaces. The idea, he told me, was to provide Clubhouse Memberships for those who couldn’t or would rather not purchase full-on driving memberships. That concept is now a reality: Classic Car Club has transformed, thanks to a $4 million remodeling project, and Clubhouse Memberships are primed and ready. “But,” you ask, “if you can’t take a fully-restored orange Bronco or electric green Lamborghini out for a weekend drive, what’s the point?” The point is: if you’re in the NYC area and love cars as much as you love hanging out, you’re gonna want a Clubhouse Membership.
Clubhouse Memberships, which cost $180 per month, do actually include access to drives — just not solo outings on public roads. Instead, those with one of the limited number of memberships, which will start being allocated on June 1, can “use the restaurant, bar, lounge, race with us, [plus go on] track days, rallies, group drives, use the simulator room and more.” That “more” Prichinello refers to refers to CCC hitting the ‘member event and adventure’ quotient hard. “We will be hosting more than 50 events for our members,” Prichinello said, “including track days in the US, Mugello in Italy Spa Francorchamps in Belgium [and on] the Nurburgring.” Members will be able to “participate on our race team (both car and motorcycle) and race the Baja 1000; join a culinary rally though Northern Europe, a rally through Cuba; and attend weekly programming in the club facilities themselves.” And the club facilities are mind-bogglingly awesome.
Prichinello and Moseley worked with Marc Thorpe Design to plan the space, which is filled with custom furniture from contemporary brand Moroso and unique bar seating and fixtures by Vibrazioni Art Design (or, as Prichinello described them, “two talented guys that work in a shed on a farm in Italy”). Art is everywhere — original paintings and huge custom murals, photographs and more. Even the bathrooms are high-end, classy places to hang out.
There’s a room upstairs filled wall-to-wall with three cutting-edge racing simulators by Motion Simulation — the first of their kind and “the most advanced available.” These feature 200-degree projector screens and seats with full motion capability, to mimic what’s on-screen. Here, members can practice their skills and/or compete against each other.
Probably most impressive is the dining and bar situation. Chef Jesse Ford joins CCC at the helm of the kitchen I mentioned above, where he dishes out heightened American lunch and dinner fare for members and their guests. The bar is a gargantuan slab of cement stocked with beer, wine and custom cocktails.
What this boils down to is that the not-too-new but vastly overhauled Classic Car Club Manhattan is the freshest members-only establishment in NYC, and hands-down the place for anyone who likes great cars, casual but beautiful spaces and excellent food — and appreciates having endless fun on tap.