Home Enthusiast Local car enthusiasts build more than collections, they build communities

Local car enthusiasts build more than collections, they build communities

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May 2022

We had the pleasure of chatting with Mike Simmons, Founder of the SILO Auto Club in Indianapolis, Jay Farmer, Motor District Manager in Westfield, and Chris Diasio, President of Putnam Park Road Course in Greencastle. These three car enthusiasts have something in common besides being enthusiasts and collectors: they are building a community that brings together current and future car collectors in a fun and unique way.

Simmons, Farmer and Diasio are thrilled to be the 15th year sponsor of Artomobilia, Indiana’s premier automotive event with a weekend of exhilarating experiences and its flagship event taking place in the heart of Carmel, Indiana .

We spoke with each of the three aforementioned sponsors about their respective properties and the enthusiast/collector culture they are building.

SILO Auto Club – Indianapolis

What started as a necessity for car storage has grown into a passion to bring car enthusiasts together for a more social aspect of car collecting. Simmons moved from Zionsville to downtown Indianapolis and wanted easy access to his vintage cars. He bought a building that had more space than he needed, and the SILO Auto Club was established soon after. Today, the club has become a dynamic and trendy social club for its members.

“We ended up building the club, putting in a kitchen and getting a liquor license,” Simmons explained. “We are a private club for car enthusiasts. We have members in the Lockerbie area and throughout downtown who have relatively expensive real estate, but no room for car storage. We also have people from Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, down south and everywhere keeping their cars at the club. We also regularly organize several events at the club. »

The SILO welcomes a new series, “The Pitz’ Stop with John Pitz”, in collaboration with the co-founder of Artomobilia, John Pitz.

“We’re starting to do more events with music, and we asked John [Pitz] to help us,” Simmons shared. “He’s such a great guy, and we’ve started sort of a monthly series where we’ll do car-focused panels and interviews. The first one was with John and Paul Page, which was a lot of fun. We could do some around vintage races, rallies and around [car] collection. So, the series will be an automotive enthusiast themed topic each month as we move forward.

The SILO Auto Club houses 60-65 cars in its main facility, and Simmons shared that they recently expanded into another building just down the street that can house an additional 40-50.

“We are looking at potentially expanding the building and looking at other storage options in the building,” Simmons said. “As we come out of COVID, we’re starting to think about [expanding] a little more proactively.

For more information about SILO Auto Club, visit siloautoclub.com/silo-auto-club-conservancy/.

Automotive District – Westfield

The Motor District strives to be the center of gravity for Hamilton County’s automotive community” with our 12-acre campus and the 13 buildings we have planned that will house 120-150 garages for collectors, enthusiasts and enthusiasts. of all types. The campus also includes three supporting commercial buildings. Motor District is a unique place that meets the community and lifestyle needs of those who are passionate about their interests,” Farmer said. “Without exception, it’s the perfect home for automotive enthusiasts, but it will also be a community for many other interests, hobbies and passions – motorcycles, boats, RVs, ATVs and home office, urban cabin or getaway.”

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This spring, Motor District opened its Phase 2 buildings which will be completed by summer. “Phase 2 buildings have a new variety of sizes and configurations,” Farmer said. “The pace of interest and sales in Phases 1 and 2 indicates that we are on the right track.”

The Motor District is more than just storage; it offers a private and secure community that its customers own and customize to meet their needs and the needs of their families. “As a result, we are seeing a wide variation in builds and uses, some focused on display and entertainment of collections, others on recreation and still others on the practicalities of expanding the footprint of your primary residence,” Farmer shared. “From an investment/financial perspective, Motor District ownership makes a lot of sense compared to the alternatives, both financially and practically. Motor District makes it super easy to own and customize with everything you need and nothing you don’t; the ability to own and access a space at any time is compelling.

The Motor District is an ideal community venue for all types of events, not the least of which are automotive related. “We are expanding our events that we host weekly beyond our open days with partners like Pristine Auto Spa, Hagerty, Dynamat and others, to include Cars & Coffee – we call it Mocha District – Garage Club events and even IndyCar and Formula 1 Watch Parties,” Farmer said. “You will also see our owners hosting an increasing number of private and public events in their spaces. funds for a local children’s charity and included Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

For more information on Motor District, visit motor-district.com and view the photo gallery.

Putnam Park – Greencastle road course

Putman Park is more than a race track for racing teams, auto clubs and enthusiasts. This is a 200+ acre park and country club for members, and they also host social events for members and their families. Additionally, Putnam Park offers on-site storage for car collectors. Diasio shared what makes his circuit, facilities and garages unique from others in the area.

Sponsors Artomobilia 2022
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“Putnam Park isn’t just for racing,” Diasio stressed. “It’s for car clubs and car enthusiasts. Even though it’s 30 miles west of Indy, it’s still a big part of local car enthusiasts, especially in Zionsville, Carmel, north and south Indianapolis. We have a lot of people interested in our facilities. We have everything from Hondas to Exotics racing together. Groups are based on your experience level, not necessarily your car speed.

Diasio shared that his goal was to get a lot of people who own great cars to pull their cars out of their garages and take them to the track at Putnam Park to “stretch their legs.”

“What I’m really trying to do is attract people who aren’t necessarily interested in ‘track days’, but people with nice cars who just want to stretch their legs and don’t care. no lap times,” Diasio said. “You can do it in a safe environment, at least a few times a year, and enjoy the car it was designed for. I don’t think Enzo Ferrari designed these cars thinking, ‘God, I hope that they stay in garages and never get driven, that would be my ideal situation!”

Diasio also talked about the social aspect of his racetrack and clubhouse.

“It’s also about the social aspect of the club,” Diasio said. “Members go out, drive the track, then they go hang out at the clubhouse, ride the simulators, play pool, have a drink at the [clubhouse] bar and talk about cars, work and life. We have members with Mustangs and members with Ferraris. They all have their own passions, but just like at Artomobilia, we all come together because we love cars.

Putman Park also offers air-conditioned garages with top-notch televisions and security systems.

“I don’t build old-fashioned private garages anymore,” Diasio explained. “You isolate yourself. I opened this ‘open concept’ garage in 2020 which holds 12 cars – six and six – and you are surrounded by all these beautiful cars. It’s like you’re in your own little [car] museum. We are also different in the way we build our garages. It’s all concrete block construction. Race teams love our garages because they are top notch garages that other tracks considered great tracks don’t have. The teams have a great working environment and they feel comfortable.

For more information about Putman Park, visit putnampark.com.