Glickenhaus – A future classic?
The story behind America’s newest supercar marque.
At this year’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace, one entrant got my attention more than any other. It was a car I’d never seen before, by a marque I’d barely heard of. The car was the SCG 004S. The marque was Glickenhaus.
With my curiosity aroused, I really wanted to find out more about both. How did the car come to fruition, who created it and what’s the story behind Glickenhaus itself?
The eye-catching gold 004S had made its European debut at the Festival of Speed a few months earlier, but I wasn’t there to see it. It turns out that this was the prototype car, built in Italy and owned by Cici Muldoon. That was a name I was familiar with from previous Concours of Elegances, as Cici had entered other cars she owned. But those were classic cars — a 1934 MG and a 1974 Ferrari Dino — this was a brand new supercar. I was both confused and intrigued.
So let’s pause for a moment, hit rewind and talk about the man behind the marque.
James Glickenhaus is a 71-year-old former film producer and financier. Among the movies he’s produced is the Exterminator, not to be confused with James Cameron’s Terminator franchise. He’s also general partner of Glickenhaus & Co., a family partnership started by his father Seth Glickenhaus. But Jim Glickenhaus’ passion is vintage racing cars and over the years he’s built up quite a collection.
In 1972 he bought an ex-Donohue McLaren T70 Lola from Andy Warhol Productions — a car that had won 8 major races — with the intention of modifying it into a road car.
But Glickenhaus wasn’t content just to own a few cars, he had big dreams.
“No matter how wonderful a car is, I learned it can be made better.”
In 2004 he formed Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. Based in Sleepy Hollow, New York, it was dedicated to manufacturing high-performance cars.
(FYI: Scuderia means stable in Italian. It has entered English usage mainly through professional auto racing, in which many Italian teams incorporate the term in their names. Personally, I find it somewhat pretentious for an American company to include the word Scuderia in its name. And if you were wondering about the Cameron bit of the marque, it’s named after Jim Glickenhaus’ wife, Meg Cameron.)
In 2006 Glickenhaus commissioned Italian design house, Pininfarina to re-style his Ferrari Enzo after the brand’s ’60s sports prototypes and created the one-off Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina.
Five years later in 2011, Glickenhaus built a P4/5 bodied Ferrari F430 GT2 and entered the Nürburgring 24 hours. Then he took things to the next level by building his own race car— the SCG 003C designed by ex-Pininfarina designer Paolo Garella’s company Manifattura Automobili Torino.
Not content with that, in 2017 Glickenhaus created the SCG 003S (The S standing for Stradale, Italian for street) a road-going version of the race car powered by a BMW-sourced 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. It sold in limited numbers as both a road and race car, but after graduating to Le Mans Hypercars with the track-only SCG 004C, Glickenhaus had bigger ambitions for his road cars. And that brings us to the SCG 004S.
Powered by a GM-based supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine mated with a six-speed manual transmission, this Ferrari-rivaling supercar, is described by SCG as “as a road car born on the track”.
Two versions will be available: a 6-speed manual capable of 201 mph and a 7-speed auto which will reach 211 mph.
Inside its carbon fibre monocoque, just like McLaren’s legendary F1, the driver’s seat is positioned centrally with two passenger seats placed behind. The seats themselves are custom made by Sabelt.
The 004S’ unusual appearance is thanks to its semi-spherical windshield and its curvaceous body. Indeed, wherever you look there are wild curves.
Perhaps the most stunning view is from the rear buttress looking down the side as the sculpted body twists and turns around the glasshouse.
At the rear, covering the impressive engine bay is a thermoform plexiglass hatch, similar to that found on a Ferrari F40.
Production cars are handbuilt at the firm’s new facility at Danbury Airport, Connecticut, some 45 minutes from their Sleepy Hollow HQ. The first fifty cars are scheduled to start being delivered by early 2022 and will go to the founding US dealers.
As for the price, it’s expected to go on sale for £333,903 ($460,000), equipped with forged OZ wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2R tyres.
If customers want their car with a clear or tinted carbonfibre body, that adds a further £50,811 ($70,000) to the price.
Ceci Muldoon’s car — which she named Gigi — is not just the first customer car, but is actually the Italian-made prototype. As well as the five layer deep gold paint, she chose to clad the interior in a rather questionable giraffe print.
And it’s the interior that’s the 004S’s biggest let down. Not only does it look extremely dated, but unlike the exterior, it looks like it was cobbled together with parts from other cars.
The fascia, for example, is full of old-fashioned circular dials and primitive switchgear. That garish giraffe material doesn’t help, neither does the chocolate brown trim or the Momo wheel. The whole effect gives the impression that the professional designers responsibility stopped at the exterior styling.
Despite its interior shortcomings, the Glickenhaus was awarded first place in the 2021 Concours of Elegance Future Classics category.
Behind the shot: These images were taken either using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the M Zuiko 1.8 75mm lens or the iPhone 12. The challenge as always was to come away from the event with a set of interesting images that were different from those taken by all the other photographers there. Photographed at Hampton Court Palace on 3 September 2021
About the author: Based in Sussex-by-the-Sea, on England’s south coast, Gary is a creative writer and image-maker. He specialises in out of the ordinary portraits of musicians and people with interesting faces, as well as photographing some of the world’s finest flowers and gardens. With no concerts or major events taking place during lockdown, Gary turned his attention to creatively capturing the landscapes of West Sussex. On the writing side, he also penned deep dives into some of his favourite songs beginning with Bryan Ferry’s ‘These Foolish Things’ ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials and ‘All The Young Dudes’ by Mott the Hoople. Most recently, he has written a biography of Robert Palmer and the story behind Whitesnake’s ‘Still Of The Night’. All these can be found here on Medium, along with his reviews of gigs and events and chats with musicians.