Mario Andretti Joins the First "Car Guy's Buying Club"

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The "Carbon Fiber Club" Drives Down Prices for Car Enthusiasts

Mario Andretti says, "If cars are your passion, you need to join the Carbon Fiber Club."

Mario Andretti says, "If cars are your passion, you need to join the Carbon Fiber Club."

"If cars are your passion, you need to join the Carbon Fiber Club." -- Mario Andretti

Racing legend Mario Andretti and other automotive notables announced the formation of "The Carbon Fiber Club," a car enthusiast club whose members save on wheels and tires, performance parts, and even driving at the Mario Andretti Racing Experience. "I've driven just about every kind of car there is," says Andretti. "So I can tell you that the Carbon Fiber Club offers something for every kind of car enthusiast. If cars are your passion, you need to join this club."

The Carbon Fiber Club (CFC) provides members with exclusive deals on car-related purchases. Members get discounts not only on wheels, tires, and performance parts for cars, but also on driving schools, exotic car rentals, race tickets, and other services. "We leverage our members' group buying power to get deals," explains CFC co-founder Robert P. Minnick. "We're working with some of the biggest names and brands in the auto business. Club members get discounts on the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, Crutchfield, CEC, Skip Barber Racing School, AutoAnything, Billy Boat Performance Exhaust, Champion Motorsport, and more."

"If you're a serious car guy, this is a seriously good deal," Minnick says.

Mario Andretti agrees: "When Robert first told me about the Carbon Fiber Club, my first reaction was 'Why hasn't anyone come up with this before?'" Andretti, who is Member #0002 of the Carbon Fiber Club, showed off his CFC membership card, made of 100% twill-weave carbon fiber. "Finally, I have a wallet with some high-performance materials."

Mario is one of the "Founding Car Guys" of the Club, including Jeff Andretti of Jeff Andretti Coaching, Matt Farah of the Smoking Tire, Roger Garbow of Full Throttle Marketing, Leo Parente, host of FastLaneDaily's ShakeDown auto racing report, Seth Rose of Exotics Rally, Steve Tsuruda, the Team Owner / Principal at Tsunami Racing, and many more.

Uniting the "Car Guy Nation"

According to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), there are 25 million car enthusiasts in the U.S., who spend $38 billion a year tuning, restoring, and improving their cars. "There are millions of us car guys and gals, gearheads, auto enthusiasts - whatever you call us, we love our cars." says Minnick. "Our mission at the Carbon Fiber Club is to unite car lovers of all kinds - a 'Car Guy Nation.' Our goal is to sign up a million members." The CFC is offering Charter Memberships, with reduced membership dues, to the first 100,000 to join.

The CFC is the brainchild of Minnick, a successful serial entrepreneur. He has been recognized as the innovator of the gift card format, selling service contracts as a blister-packed membership cards more than 25 years ago. He is also a lifelong car enthusiast. "I've owned all types of cars, from my first 1962 baby blue MGB convertible, to BMWs, Porsches, Ferraris, Corvettes and Benz's," says Minnick. "I've always thought that there had to be a better way for people like me to buy stuff for our cars. When it comes to car enthusiasts, advertising is a waste. You don't need to convince our members to buy, because cars are their passion. You don't need to sell them a product or tell them what to buy, because they've done their homework. They're serious car guys, and they know what they want. We just make sure they get the best deal possible."

A New Kind of Social Commerce

The Carbon Fiber Club is part of the fast-growing private sales business, explains Min Kim, CEO of the club's parent company, Meme Networks. "The Carbon Fiber Club is similar to Gilt.com, but for shocks instead of stilettos. Social commerce and flash marketing sites such as Groupon and ideeli are shaking up the e-commerce world. Meme Networks puts a new twist on these members-only e-commerce sites, by targeting high-spend enthusiast communities." Meme's strategy is to create private buying clubs for these enthusiast markets. "What we're really doing is creating more efficient markets by bringing together merchants and members without advertising." The Carbon Fiber Club is Meme Networks' first enthusiast site, but it plans to roll out others in the coming year, says Kim. "We have our sights set on a number of verticals, including motorcycling, hunting, and sailing, that are similar to auto enthusiasts. But with the Carbon Fiber Club, we're taking our business model on a test drive."

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Mike Everett-Lane

Robert P. Minnick
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