When something very special comes up, normally we are pretty decisive. It took us a day to make a decision on the McLaren Senna and a weekend to agree to go forward with the Aston Martin AM-RB 003. The decision to put a deposit down on a Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S has taken more than a bit longer. From my first inquiry to a signed contract has been an eighteen-month journey. This has to be a new record for us on a car. Normally my attention span is measured in lunar orbits at best.
A bit of background on SCG, they have been around as a race car manufacturer and team since 2010. The big change however came in July 2017 when SCG registered with NHTSA in order to make road-legal cars in the United States. The 004 is SCG’s second car after the multi race winning 003. The SCG 004S/CS is really SCGs first “micro mass” production road car. SCG has several other cars in development and is now building a factory in Danbury, Connecticut. SCG has moved from just building pure race cars that meet FIA standards, to now also building road cars such as the 004S/CS and Boots, which meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Why did it take so long? Two reasons, first a ski house and second my experience with a couple of other small supercar manufacturers: Mosler ( Our Mosler MT900S) and Koenigsegg ( Living with the K’egg CCR). On the first, that was really just a matter of cash flow planning. The second is a bit more complicated and had a lot to do with wanting to make sure SCG was going to land closer to currently thriving Koenigsegg than the now defunct Mosler.
A bit of background on SCG, they have been around as a race car manufacturer and team since 2010. The big change however came in July 2017 when SCG obtained NHTSA approval as a low volume vehicle manufacturer, allowed to produce 325 road legal cars per year in the United States. The 004S is SCG’s second car after the multi race winning 003. While there is a road version of the SCG 003, the SCG 004S is really SCGs first “mass” production car. SCG has several other cars in development and is now building a factory in Danbury, Connecticut. All of the above gave me the confidence that SCG was on the right track, has a clear long-term business plan, and will be around for the long run.
The connected dots that got us to a SCG 004S are the Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale -> McLaren F1 -> McLaren Speedtail. What they all have in common is 3 seats with a central driving position. This 3-seat layout in a mid-engine supercar is one that I have been deeply intrigued with since I read an article on the 365 P back in the late 1990s and saw my first McLaren F1 seventeen years ago. Unless your net wealth is in the 9 digit range, the first two qualify as unobtanium and we didn’t make the cut on the 3rd. In November 2017, when I first heard that SCG was developing a 3 seat mid-engine supercar, I was very intrigued and sent off an email to SCG requesting more information. The response was immediate and once I saw more of the details on the car, 6 speed manual, 650 bhp supercharged V8, carbon fiber tub and carbon fiber body panels, I was smitten.
Unfortunately, timing in late 2017 did not work me personally, so I had to pass on getting one of the founder edition build slots. On the positive side, this meant I didn’t violate my personal rule against early builds on new cars. Despite not having ordered a SCG 004S at this point, I did stay abreast of developments at SCG through 2018 and into early 2019. During this period the SCG development pipeline expanded to include the SCG Boot, a modern high-performance all-terrain vehicle in both road and race specs, the 60’s classic designed SCG 006 Glickenhaus Coupe and Glickenhaus Spyder with the Coupe being available also as SCG’s GT4 race car. Rounding out SCG’s ambitious plans is the 007 which will be a Le Mans LMP1 hypercar with 25 road legal versions produced alongside the race cars. All of the above will be built at a new factory being constructed in Danbury, Connecticut.
In February 2019 I ran into a photographer friend who has shot a few of our cars in the past. We got talking about different manufacturers and SCG came up. He mentioned that he was good friends with Connor Cogan, the President / COO of Glickenhaus North American Racingand would be seeing the SCG Team in Florida the following weekend. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind asking Connor to email the latest on the 004S. The following week a comprehensive packet arrived in my inbox with photos, a purchase contract containing pricing, and info on the company as a whole.
Over the next two months Connor and I exchanged multiple emails as I inched towards putting down a deposit on a 004S. Connor is an enormously patient gentleman who addressed all my questions and concerns thoroughly and on a timely basis. A few business trips on my end got in the way, otherwise I am sure it would not have taken two months to wrap everything up. What finally pushed us across the line was the New York Auto Show. I knew SCG would have a significant presence and the few SCG 004S 2020 build slots that were left would probably be gone that weekend (which they were). For us, the 2020 timing was important as I like to make no more than one major acquisition in any calendar year. Right now our timetable is: 2019 – McLaren Senna, 2020 – SCG 004S, 2021 – McLaren 760LT Spider (my guesstimate, I have no inside information), and 2022 – AM-RB 003.
The SCG 004S is a not an inconsiderable financial commitment for us. Getting comfortable with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus as a company was critical to our decision to go ahead. Going back to my earlier comment about learnings for both our Mosler and Koenigsegg ownership experiences, we needed to be comfortable that SCG is as committed to building great road cars as they are to winning races, that the company is on firm financial footing, has a multi model product pipeline, and has a basic understanding of marketing fundamentals. I believe they do across all of these points and am very much looking forward to taking delivery of our SCG 004S late next year.
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