Photos by Owen Rumpel & Lochlan Walker
Words by Owen Rumpel
Nestled in the Arizona desert, there is a monumental concentration of high end cars. Collector cars, resto-mods, super and hyper cars. Some scattered and some clustered, one of these clusters is centred in Scottsdale, a community of higher than average luxury. The magnet that pulls these car enthusiasts together is a shared love for the culture. A congregation of like minded people that want to share their vehicles with others, learn from different members and their cars. But with all this passion comes some heartache, the pain of separating your vehicle from all those who love it just as much as you do, hiding it away with the rest of your collection or simply parking it in your garage and covering it up.
This unique problem gave rise to a very specific type of business, the car club. A shared space catered to car enthusiasts, giving them the environment to share their vehicle with others while maintaining the security and protection of such assets that would otherwise lead to the separation and individual sheltering of which I previously mentioned. Much like restaurants, there are fast food car clubs and then there are five star, unrivaled car clubs. While in Scottsdale for car week, enjoying the weather, auctions, and endless cars, we were presented with an opportunity to visit one of these five star car clubs.
From the outside it looks inconspicuous, however, when you pass through the large steel door, OTTO is anything but and can only be described as a true oasis in the desert. With a gorgeous modern design, the space is open and welcoming, sporting 49,000 sq. ft. of space and 20 private garages. Simplistic offices with floor to ceiling glass walls allow the light to fill every space. The whole facility is divided by glass on both floors, separating specific experiences. On the one side OTTO is akin to a warm home, the social area adorned with reclaimed barn wood floors that seamlessly stretch their way up the walls. Comfortable furniture scattered throughout the space reaffirms the comfort you feel while walking around. A large viewing area with a 4K projector, large bar area, billiards and ping pong make it an ideal place for members to bring their friends or family. The fully equipped meeting rooms offer members a unique place to attend to business matters as well. Every space is not only designed for comfort and practicality, but to offer a view of what lies beyond the dividing wall of glass.
OTTO changes quickly from a cozy social space to what I can only call an adult toy store. The building opens into a large hangar filled with everything from an Arial Nomad to a McLaren Senna. The floor space is covered with cars, your eyes drawn to the back two walls that are lined with triple stack car elevators. For those who enjoy a more personal space with their vehicle, the club offers 19 private garages on the property and 1 garage that is used as a detailing station equipped with a water filtered wash setup. Each garage can store 2 vehicles in a climate controlled environment, as well as offering 24/7 access to your space with the use of a personal code. Simply storing cars for a fee doesn't make a great car club, and OTTO seems to have been well aware of this while designing the business. They strive to cater to the members and not only their cars, with communal activities such as speaking engagements from prominent figures in the car industry, private track days for members, unveiling events by dealers and manufacturers, and private trips geared to the members.
OTTO has thought of everything including how to cope in the modern age, with the development of their own members app to aid with scheduling and event management. Members being the main focus, the club has set 175 as the member cap, ensuring an intimate experience for all. In a world where technology seems to push people further apart, OTTO has found a way to bring them closer together, building its own tightly knit community. Where cars and coffee is no longer a popup car show but a reunion with friends. While at OTTO, for an evening event, we were proud to be given the chance to see first hand the family they have built. We are very thankful to OTTO car club for inviting us into their family to see the community and environment they have worked so hard for.