In April 2019, we put down a deposit on a Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S. At the time the SCG 004 (Decision Time 004S) was not much more than a CAD render but with over 7,500 hours of engineering design and simulations behind it. Last week all that work came to fruition and the SCG 004 is now a running prototype and has just completed a full shakedown at the Cremona Circuit in Northern Italy. In the meantime, SCG also build the Boot, an all-terrain mid-engine vehicle racing vehicle that won its class at the Baja 1000, beating Ford. Not bad for a micro manufacturer out of Connecticut. As a reference on how impressive the progress has been, we put done a deposit on an Aston-Martin Red Bull Valhalla one month before the SCG 004 in March 2019. The only update I received in the balance of 2019, other than the choice of name, were some CAD images related to work on the aero in December. We have since pulled the deposit on the AM-RB Valhalla for reasons that should be apparent to anyone who has followed the recent financial drama at Aston-Martin.
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.
What initially got me interested in the SCG 004 was that it would be the first three-seater with center driving position available in the US since the iconic McLaren F1 was imported under the Show & Display exemption back in the late 1990s. The base road version, 004S, is built around a carbon fiber tub, with all carbon fiber body panels and is powered by a supercharged 650 bhp supercharged V8 supplied by GM. The 004S will come with a 6-speed manual gearbox and the suspension is inboard pushrod. There is a more track focused version of the 004, the 004CS which will have an extra 200 bhp, 7-speed paddle shift gearbox, center lock wheels and more aggressive aero. To insure driver comfort given the center driving position, SCG has designed in a significant amount of headroom with a fully adjustable Sabelt seat and an adjustable steering column. Excellent visibility is a given with the large wrap around windshield and the cockpit on the road cars should be light and airy with the glass roof. As the 004 is being designed as a race car first and then adapted to the road, servicing should be quick and easy as all the major components are designed to be easily accessible and replaceable. As an example, a clutch change should not take more than one hour. What’s particularly impressive here is the amount of carbon fiber utilized both in the tub and body which not only reduces weight but gives the car incredible rigidity and safety. This all from a small US company at a time when the world’s leading supercar manufacture is still building the vast majority of its cars out of the same material a can of Coke comes in.
First deliveries of the SCG 004 are scheduled to start this summer and all thirty 2020 build slots are long sold out. Prior to the road cars being turned over to their anxious owners, the racing version SCG 004C will compete in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in May. The racing version of the 004, the SCG 004C, is built to GT3 specs and once SCG has sold 200 road cars, the SCG 004C will be allowed to compete in the GT3 class. I’m not sure how many 004’s in total SCG is planning on building but would like to see them declare a cap on the production run as it will both drive interest and support values long term, especially in today’s oversaturated Supercar market (Too Much of a Good Thing).
One thing SCG is discussing which will both encourage long term ownership of their cars and support values is to leverage all the lessons gained from the racetrack. These learning will be used to create upgrade packages for the road cars on a regular cadence. If you consider that every mile driving the Nurburgring is equivalent to 100 miles of normal road driving and a 24-hour race weekend equates to 300,000 miles of wear and tear in the toughest conditions, there is a wealth of learning to leverage to continue improving the customer road and track cars. Since SCG’s race and road cars share the same chassis, engine architecture, suspension architecture, etc. many of the lessons from the track will be directly applicable for creating upgrades for the road cars. Instead of planned obsolesce like other supercars, a SCG will continue to evolve and improve with age.
What has been totally different to any other car I have ever ordered is the amount of transparency Jim & Jesse Glickenhaus provide on the SCG 004’s development on a daily basis. There is a private message feed that all of us who have placed orders have access to. The Glickenhaus’ regularly post updates and provide information to us well before its public release. The message feed is a fascinating learning process as different components of the car come together, are tested, improved upon, and discussed (Building the 1st SCG 004). What is also remarkable is how the Glickenhaus’ are open to feedback from the “Founding” customers. I can’t imagine Ferrari ever asking or being open to feedback on the dashboard, cockpit layout, suspension set up, etc. During the recent shakedown test of the SCG 004C in Northern Italy, we received updates after every stint on what was both working really well and what changes to the set up were being made to improve performance. Based on what I saw from the initial laps, grip, downforce, and low-end torque are all strengths. As a depositor and future owner, this sort of transparency builds an enormous amount of confidence that you have both made the right buying decision and will be getting a very special car that will likely exceed expectations.
Jim and Jesse Glickenhaus are well on the way to building a very special, unique supercar company. While Europe has multiple thriving small super and hyper car manufacturers, it’s been a very long time since one was successful in the United States. In many ways the company Jim & Jesse are building is tailored for today’s world. Its open, accessible, transparent, with a large social media presence. Its customers are invited inside the company and feedback is both welcomed and expected. When they say they are going to do something, it happens, and timelines are both real and respected.
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