John Benton’s 1967 912
Steve Alfon’s International
Club founder Ary Mega
BMW Porsche together at last
German car contingent
Moto, Miata, more
Beautifully restored Datsun
Bike lift, bench press
Another Auto Conduct-curated car show helped open the potentially cool CVMPUS car club in L.A. last weekend, with a nice selection of 911s and a few other cool sporty cars driving in to mark the occasion.
CVMPUS – pronounced “campus” – is like the cool car club of your car-enthusiast dreams. It has four lifts for working on cars, five or six lifts for working on motorcycles, a full gym for working on pecs and a big-screen TV lounge for working on your TV-watching skills. Upstairs is under construction, but when finished, it will have a kitchen and more space to hang out. You can’t store your cars on the CVMPUS compound — there’s not enough room for that — but you can definitely store your car dreams.
“It’s a new social space,” said founder Ary Mega. “It’s for the all-around person who likes to be hands-on with cars.”
Opening the club with an Auto Conduct show was the perfect way to launch it. Auto Conduct, as you may recall, is a series of pop-up, curated car shows each based on its own theme. They are run by Ezekiel Wheeler, formerly of Jaguar Land Rover and Faraday Future but also a former journalist at European Car and Petrolicious, an ad agency guy, and a car designer who exited Art Center before he got his degree. As with all Auto Conduct shows, this one had a theme around which the cars on display were chosen.
“The theme for this show was “DIE HARD,” Wheeler said. “It was for owners who kept their cars for 10-plus years and who’ve stuck by their cars through thick and thin. It was inspired by a quote from an owner of a 1971 Datsun 240Z a friend of mine encountered. The friend tried to convince the owner that he should call him if he ever wanted to sell the car. The owner simply replied, ‘Son, you don’t sell a car you’ve owned for over 40 years.”
Thus, parked on the CVMPUS campus were: a 1965 El Camino in the same hands since 1997, a 1971 Datsun 1200 owned since 2001, a Jetta coupe in one family since 1999 and a 1967 Porsche 912 the guy has had since 1984 when he was 23.
“I bought it from one of the directors of the show Simon & Simon,” said owner John Benton, explaining the “Stuntmen’s Association” sticker in the back window. “He’d work in Hollywood all week then drive to Arizona; it was his AZ to LA car.”
When he bought it, the car had 81,000 miles on it, but they were highway miles. It became his daily driver, then his race car as he discovered POC races from 1985 to 1995. It has had 10 different engines in it but now is back to the original powerplant. Benton owns Benton Performance in Anaheim, California, specializing in air-cooled Porsches, so keeping it in perfect running order is not hard, at least not for him.
Steven Alfon’s International Scout 800A looks like a survivor. It has what is now called “patina” but used to be called “rust.” It’s only surface rust, though, and it does, indeed, look cool. At least to him and to us. Others have not been as kind in evaluating the two-door original SUV — hence the name lettered on the door: “RUSTYGREASYPEASACRAP.”
“I used to do show cars,” Alfon said. “Water-cooled VWs. This is my second ‘Desirable Peasacrap.”
He also has a 1983 Ford F-350.
Japanese collector car expert and diecast model car dealer Patrick Strong drove up in his 1989 Toyota Van. The Van had 51,000 miles on it when he bought it. He’s the second owner.
“It’s been good to have a cargo van,” Strong noted, saying he took it Radwood last year. “The driving experience is weird. It’s tippy.”
“I’ve heard you can make it go end-over-end if you brake hard enough. It’s also the slowest thing on the road. But the dash is pristine and the vinyl seats are nearly mint.”
All the guys showing their cars were impressed with the CVMPUS car club.
“This is a great concept,” said Benton. “When I was a young dude living in an apartment, a place like this would have been paradise.”
“When Ezekiel told me about this place, I said, ‘That’s a dream for any car guy,” said Alfon. “I do work on my cars at my house, but that’s on my back (on a creeper). To have a lift? Man, that’s livin’.”
You can rent a lift for an hour at CVMPUS for $29.99, or a motorcycle lift for $19.99. You can do a photo or video shoot for $39.99 an hour. A membership that gives you unlimited access to everything from the lifts to the gym is $239.99 a month. The address is 4471 Rosecrans Ave. Hawthorne, CA 90250. It’s not far from LAX, just east of the 405. So rather than sit in traffic, you could hang out at CVMPUS and watch TV till traffic dies down — or offer unsolicited advice to those members working on their cars. It’d be fun!
As for Auto Conduct, their next show will be in late June in downtown L.A. The theme will be “Scaled Down” and will include everything from Hot Wheels to R/C cars to all those models made by Art Center Transportation Design students. It’ll be held at a “vintage luxury watch clubhouse.” Who knew there were vintage luxury watch clubhouses? Exact location to be announced. Follow the details at www.autoconduct.com or on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter. Tell ‘em Autoweek sent you.
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