Nearly every hobby deals with the problem of storage. If you collect stamps, antique firearms, artwork, Beanie Babies, or commemorative plates with the faces of the cast of Jersey Shore, eventually, you’ll run out of space. The issue becomes more apparent depending on the hobby. For car enthusiasts, space is a luxury often rarer than time and money. Because what is the point of owning a dream car if you have no place to put it?
Not all of us have the luxury of a secure empty lot to park a fleet of desirable metal. Some have to resort to pushing them into tight-fit storage units on the other side of town, find a friend with a yard, or deal with the jack-booted thugs in their neighborhood Home Owners’ Association. “There must be a better way,” thought car and motorcycle collector Eli Kogan.
Kogan is the founder of OTTO Car Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, a membership automotive storage facility that caters to car enthusiasts. Having a membership card is more than just a guaranteed parking space though; it’s a ticket into a world of common ground, premium hospitality, and peace of mind.
We spoke with Kogan to take a look behind the velvet rope of membership premium car storage. We wanted to know how OTTO Car Club is taking the blood, sweat, and tears out of car ownership.
Taking the Blood, Sweat, and Tears Out of Collector Car Ownership
Owning a vintage or desirable vehicle comes with a fair amount of anxiety. The constant worry of being T-boned at an intersection by a distracted driver doing a Tik-Tok video is only part of it. A vintage car owner worries about where they are going to park it for the night. You can’t trust a Gen-Z kid valet at a parking garage, and you don’t want to leave it parked on the street.
Let us not forget that owning a vehicle is a constant responsibility. Cars need to be fed, exercised regularly, receive routine checkups, and be cleaned. It’s a pet that leaks oil. There is a reason why Jay Leno has a fully operational restoration shop inside the warehouse he calls a garage. Vintage vehicles can have human-like mood swings. It doesn’t matter how pristine an antique vehicle is, time spares no one, and older cars will require maintenance.
OTTO Car Club was founded in 2018. The name is an homage to Nikolaus Otto, the self-taught German engineer collectively remembered as the father of the internal combustion engine. Going into this venture, Kogan knew he wanted to provide more than storage space. He wanted to create an environment, an atmosphere, where car people could indulge in their hobby in luxury. OTTO Car Club’s facility is 49,000 square feet complex with storage options that include private two-car garages.
[Kogan] wanted to create an environment, an atmosphere, where car people could indulge in their hobby in luxury.
Members enjoy access to private dining rooms, lounges, conference rooms, and club floor amenities like billiards and a wet bar. OTTO Car Club offers two membership packages; Social and Executive. An executive membership provides collection management services that take the stress out of car ownership.
OTTO Car Club collection management is like having a personal curator for your vehicles. They offer assistance in every aspect of car ownership. From coordinating service and maintenance with desired independent shops or dealers, organizing transportation logistics, vehicle acquisitions, and consultations, and making sure the vehicle’s inspection sticker doesn’t lapse.
OTTO offers various storage options for your vehicle(s). The main collection area is an air-conditioned open floor ensuring your vehicle will never be blocked or moved without your permission. The layout also means you get to enjoy a private car show every time you visit. There are stacked suites that remind us of toy car storage containers from childhood. These suites are connected to trickle battery chargers at all times and located in the main collection area.
The main collection area is an air-conditioned open floor ensuring your vehicle will never be blocked or moved without your permission. The layout also means you get to enjoy a private car show every time you visit.
Those seeking more exclusivity have the option of one of 19 private, two-car garages with 24-hour access. This is like renting an apartment for your vehicle, complete with air conditioning, carbon monoxide protection, and 24/7 monitoring. Exactly rates are available upon inquiry. However, a Robb Report article from 2019 stated that OTTO Car Club’s annual membership fee ranges from $5k to $8.5K. Monthly storage rates can vary from $400 to $1000. A bargain if you need a secure place to store a multi-million dollar Koenigsegg CCRX Trevita or custom-built 1932 Ford Model A street rod.
From a collector car’s perspective, a safeguarded facility like OTTO, where owners can access their vehicle(s) 24/7 and never worry about a dead battery, is an absolute luxury.
Members of Different Worlds Sharing a Common Passion
Car shows, car meets, and local cars and coffee spots can attract crowds. This is fine if you want people to gawk and take photos of your neon-wrapped Lamborghini Huracan Spyder, but not everyone wants that. Some just want to walk and talk around a vintage Porsche 356 Speedster and speak only in numbers referencing engine codes with someone who understands.
OTTO Car Club caters to its members with a variety of entertainment amenities located in the facility. These perks include access to a private dining room, a library, and a fully stocked wet bar. Members can park their vehicle and then leisure in custom furniture or play billiards. Car people are often at their happiest when around cars, and OTTO Car Club’s hospitality means you’ll never want to leave. After all, what’s better than sitting comfortably while admiring gorgeous cars?
It’s easy to portray the term “private membership” in a country club, you must wear a tie, elitist image. But it’s different when it comes to cars. OTTO’s atmosphere is based on a common interest. In the automotive community, status, politics, religion, ethnicity takes a back seat when two people start talking about cars. Kogan spoke positively about the diversity in OTTO’s membership ranging from an ambitious 20-somethings needing a safe place to store their new Honda Civic Type R to a retiree renting a private garage for a 1987 Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 rival pair.
In the automotive community, status, politics, religion, ethnicity takes a back seat when two people start talking about cars.
OTTO Car Club offers event hosting for members using its facility as a venue. These events provide the visual stimulation of collector cars without the problems one typically sees at car meets and public car shows, like people disrespecting the golden rule and leaning on the car to take a selfie. Or particular car enthusiasts who demand attention in the form of burnouts, coal rolling, or doing a Miles Davis cover with a turbo blow-off valve.
Home Away from Home
By now, you’ve probably wondered how premium car storage facilities like OTTO Car Club pay for insurance. Well, each facility treats their insurance strategy like KFC’s eleven herbs and spices recipe – top secret, so we are unable to go into details. However, a business like this wouldn’t stay open for long if they weren’t covered. We want to thank Eli Kogan for talking to us about the OTTO Car Club. Anyone who likes cars has fantasized at some point of a “dream garage” loaded with every desirable machine on their wish list.
What OTTO has done is turned that shared fantasy into reality. Sure, you can’t drive any vehicle that isn’t rightfully yours, but one can still indulge in the notion of owning a massive car collection. Your car just happens to be the one you desire to drive today – that’s all. For any car collector in the surrounding Scottsdale, Arizona, looking for a safe place to keep the desert sand and sun off their vehicles – OTTO Car Club can be your home away from home.