We recently visited the Classic Car Club of Miami located in Miami’s hip and happening Wynwood neighborhood. Typical of the Wynwood area, the Classic Car Club of Miami is located in an unassuming warehouse with cool artwork on the outside. However, the fine artistry is definitely on the inside. We’re talking about German, Italian, and American artistry in the form of exotic sports cars we all love.The owner of the Car Club of Miami, Ari Rivera, is an incredible man with a love and passion for the artistry of the vehicles that’s only matched for his love of auto racing. You see, Mr. Rivera has been on the racing circuits for over 30 years. And while Rivera still loves to race today, he’s also an entrepreneur, opening the Classic Car Club of Miami in 2013. Plus, he’s also opened the hip party, gala, event space known as Aria 21.
Mr. Rivera began his racing career back in the 90s driving Hondas and Acuras with the early VTECH engines. As Mr. Rivera’s success in racing grew, he kept elevating to higher levels of competition leading him to win 4 Super Touring Championships! A champion international race car driver, he achieved an early notoriety, teaming up with PepsiCo (Pepsi Cola Latin America) in 1999 to resurrect the GT1 cars in Latin America, known in the US as the Trans Am series. Up to that point, the cars were considered “dinosaurs” but after winning championship after championship, Rivera and his undefeated team proved the critics wrong. These track victories caught the attention of South African owned brewery, SABMiller, and with their sponsorship Rivera went on to achieve consecutive international championships; the coveted “Pole and Win” situation, where cars are starting in first place as a result of best qualifying time and also finishing in first place. He’s had the privilege of being behind the wheel of some of the worlds’ most amazing cars, forming friendships and racing with the greatest drivers of his era.
In a career spanning over 30 years, there have been many victories, but perhaps none as sweet as his first professional championship in 1999 followed by his comeback race at HSR’s Classic 24-hour Daytona 500 in 2015 with a first place finish in his class. Not one to rest on his laurels, these days Rivera and his Classic Club Miami participate in auto racing events throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico. He enjoys sharing his expertise coaching aspiring up and coming drivers as well as providing track side support for professional drivers. When not traveling the circuit or scouting new race opportunities particularly in Europe, Rivera can be found at his 21,000 square foot facility in the art driven Wynwood section of Miami, Florida. The location serves as official headquarters, an event venue for team sponsors and also is the site of Rivera’s successful vintage car business. With a lifelong passion for classic cars,Rivera specializes in investment grade, quality collectible cars, Porsche in particular, stemming back to his childhood days when his father longed for a Porsche but could only afford the less expensive Volkswagen. In addition to Porsche, he seeks out, buys, sells, collects and restores Ferrari and other fine European vintage cars inspired by their heritage, engineering and styling. But there’s nothing like the hunt for that one special collectable car no matter where in the world the search may take him.
Though all these vintage cars are prized by collectors, some remain more significant, such as the 1976 Porsche 930 turbo Carrera. The car was first launched in 1975 in Europe, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the car was made available in the United States. Rivera discovered the car in the backwoods of Tennessee, owned by an aging doctor who had a diverse collection of vintage cars on his 42-acre farm. It wasn’t until Rivera did further research that he discovered this Porschewas once owned by Elvis Presley, gifted to the doctor and had not been driven in 28 years. Another special classic in Rivera’s collection was the acquisition of the Porsche 962, March 84G, Group C-GTP, “Kreepy Krauly” sponsored by the namesake South African company. The Porsche 962 Group C class performance on the track continues to excel, ensuring the car’s place in motorsports history. The new owner vows to never part with her, and such is the case with passion. It is easy to be ruled with the heart and not the head when it is an object of desire, which is why collectors and car enthusiasts contract Rivera for his expertise and advice to ensure their investment and that of future potential buyers is focused on buying the best of the best.
Classic Car Club of Miami
As you can see below, Mr. Rivera has collected a nice variety of classic and desirable sports cars designed to be driven. He has Porsches, BMWs, Fords, Chevys, Ferraris, and more. But Mr. Rivera is definitely partial to his Porsches.
FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350
HISTORIC RACE CAR
FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302
Did any of these cars get your heart racing a little? Whether it was Mr. Rivera’s collection of Porsches, the Ford GT, the Shelby Mustang, the 427 Cobra, or the Z8, we loved all the cars. Heck, these were the cars we fantasized about as kids, and Mr. Rivera has put them all into one friendly and accessible location in Wynwood.
To learn more about the Car Club of Miami, visit their website at: https://www.classiccarclubofmiami.com/
The Classic Car Club of Miami is located in Wynwood at 2127 NW 1st Avenue by appointment only.
As we mentioned, Mr. Rivera has invested big in Wynwood and he also operates an event space across from his auto gallery. ARIA 21 is an event space for corporate events, parties, art gatherings and other events. It’s located in the heart of Wynwood at the corner of NW 21st street and 1st Avenue. The address is 2060 NW 1st Avenue in Miami. As you can see below, the location offers a 2 level entertainment spot including a stage and sound equipment for your next event.