Scuderia Southwest Festival of Speed

0
1080
Dawn at Scuderia Southwest's Festival of Speed.

And now Via Corsa was able to sit down with each of the five board members of Scuderia Southwest:

VC: How long have you been apart of Scuderia Southwest?

Rus Lack: When I was 60-years-old, I was given a Ferrari Testarossa for my birthday, and I am 68 as of today (laughs). Eight years ago, I went to Italy on a tour of the Ferrari Factory and the museum, and I stood in front of a Testarossa. I said, “You know this is my favorite car.” My wife handed me a key, and said “There is one waiting for you in the garage at home.” I had seen guys driving around with other Ferraris, and when you have exotic cars you look for guys who know how to fix them and do maintenance. I started going to coffee with the guys in 2008, and we hit it off.

Steve Mrav: I founded the group with Terry Daniel back in 2006. Originally, I was Regional Director of the Ferrari Club. I like this group because it opened it up to different makes of cars: Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, etc:

Peter Volney: I have been coming to the Motorsports Gathering at Gaineys since 2009 when I bought my first high performance car here after I moved to Arizona twelve years ago.

VC: What made you want to join this group?

David Crofford: When I bought my Ferrari, I joined several clubs. The Scuderia Southwest guys were definitely car guys. It was a great group of guys that you could talk to about performance, maintenance – they’re just true car guys. I wanted a Ferrari all my life. I remember having discussions with a buddy in high school, saying one day I will buy one. It was a lifelong goal. When I finally bought one, I wanted to hang around guys with a similar passion.

David Allan Golf: Everyone I met in the group I had found to be down-to-earth car nuts, that loved not only loved Ferraris, but all sorts of exotic and domestic cars. We like to have a good time, and we all enjoy driving cars.

Peter Volny: My wife and I moved here in 2004. When we first moved here, it was just my wife and I, we didn’t know anybody. We would meet people and would go to dinner or outings with them, and we just weren’t clicking with these people. We had a hefty turnover of people we were socializing with but not building lasting friendships with. It wasn’t until we got involved with Scuderia Southwest and the whole car thing, that we developed very close friends that my wife and I truly have come to respect and admire. We’ve met some wonderful people. Events like this are a chance to get together with some friends and have some fun.

Scuderia Southwest board members, from left: Rus Lack, Peter Volny, Steve Mrav, Ethan Allen Golf and David Crofford.

VC: How has your passion and enthusiasm for the sports car culture translated to help create this event?

David Allan Golf: This work I am able to do with Scuderia Southwest is highly entertaining. We get to leverage cars for the public to see and raise money for charities; it’s great and really makes it worthwhile. I love it when people come see cars and stoked to see people come up and ask questions about the cars and we can both share our passion of cars with each other.

Rus Lack: Many of people that own exotic cars are very benevolent about their enthusiasm and donating money to different causes. We have people that give hundreds of thousands of dollars to various causes. We have great sponsors that help us in other ways, like Russo Steele that help us with marketing and the Millenium Group and the McCormick Hotel in letting us bring the event on the grounds today.

Peter Volny: I think if you’ve got a passion for something, then you become quite knowledgeable about it. That helps you identify what cars you want, what sponsors you want at your events. If you’re passionate in talking to the sponsors, and my main responsibility with Scuderia Southwest is finding sponsors, I can go into that with a lot passion because I love the cars.

VC: What is a car you’ve seen at a monthly gathering, Festival of Speed or any other event/rally that would be your dream car?

David Crofford: I have two types of dream cars: current cars and vintage cars. As for a current car, the LaFerrari is of course amazing. My dream-trophy vintage car is a 288 GTO, and we won’t have one of those out here today, but one day we will.

Ethan Allan Golf: After driving a Porsche 918 Spyder, I found the car to be sticker than heck, but lacked visceral, I mean just didn’t have the sound. The car that I passed on was a 599 SA Aperta. That’s really one of the current modern Ferraris that I consider becoming a classic, well it’s already becoming a classic just because of its look and they only made 80 of them. I just love the 599 SA Aperta. It’s just a stunning car visually with those flying buttresses on the rear. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful car. If you gotta go back to old cars, good grief, it’s really difficult. Most of those Ferraris and Maseratis in the early to mid 1960s were very similar in their Spyder forms and in their shapes and curves. I love those cars.

Steve Mrav: My dream car to take home would be one that I own, believe it or not. It’s a Lamborghini Countach. Since I was a kid, it was the poster car. Very exciting to get to own it because I didn’t see a lot of them as a kid, they didn’t build a lot of them.

VC: What has been your most positive experience with a stranger at Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering or Festival of Speed, particularly any involving younger automobile enthusiast?

David Crofford: When I was young, I would have done anything to go see exotic cars, and if somebody would have ever offered me the chance to sit in one, I probably would have had to change my pants (laughs). So that’s the reason when I stop at a gas station, and some young kid wants to come take a picture with my car, I am happy to take his picture for him and I let him sit in the car. At our monthly gathering, occasionally some young kids will go up to us and ask for a ride and I am happy to do that because I remember what is like at that age. I took my Ferrari 458 Italia to Texas to see my mom who lives in the country. I took my sister for a drive in a small town gas station and a pick-up truck carrying about seven high school kids hoped out and wanted to get a picture with my car.

Ethan Allen Golf: I was driving my Ferrari 458 Spyder in Southern Oregon, and this kid was out walking a dog with his grandparents. He went over and started looking at my car and was fascinated by it. He ran to catch up to his grandparents and they came back with him and we talked and had a really nice chat. He got a picture with the car and was so happy. It’s stuff like that that is great because we were all that kid once before.

Rus Lack: Kids ask us, “How do we get one of these cars?” We would like to start a charitable foundation that would be “Keys for Education.” The key is to get an education, and then you’ll get these cars. Whether you do the savings route or get a good education, you will be able to get these cars. Most of us are older and we have had the experience of life and made money and willing to share these words of wisdom to younger guys. We get a lot of young enthusiasts at these events and we get to talk with them. We express to them, get an education and you can get ahead in life.

Peter Volny: I know what I was like as a young kid in school. I loved cars, and I got involved in cars. But my parents forced me to complete an education and go off to college. I am very glad that they did that because without that I would never have had the opportunities to earn the money to pay for the cars that I’ve got. I think it’s tremendously important for those of us who have been lucky enough and successful enough to get these cars to explain to younger people, especially the guys who seem to be dropping out of school at a greater rate than girls, that they need to get an education. Without an education, they’re not gonna earn the money to get cars like that. It doesn’t have to be a university degree, doesn’t have to be a college degree. In computer sciences and trade areas, highly skilled mechanics who know what they are doing, are earning a lot of money and able to have their own cars.

Steve Mrav: Young kids when they want to sit in the car, it’s fun to see them really into the cars and to do that cause we were all that kid at some point. I remember sitting in a Corvette for the first time when I was younger. When there is a young kid who is really into it, we always let them sit in the car and get a picture of them in the driver’s seat or standing next to it.

Scuderia Southwest holds their monthly Motorsports Gathering the first Saturday of every month. Also in February they will be hosting the Concours in the Hills at Fountain Park in Fountains Hills, Ariz. The previous three installments have been seen huge increases in car registrars and spectators. Last year’s event had 513 cars, 15,000 spectators and 67 sponsors. All the proceeds for that event go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, who they raised over $90,000 for last year. Check out more from Scuderia Southwest at scuderiasouthwest.com.