#96, Husband-wife turn personal vintage car fleet into rentals

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Erin Sollecito looks into the spacious warehouse and begins to talk about the vintage car fleet spread in front of her like they’re part of a family. She’s driven many of the vehicles rented by Monterey Touring Vehicles and knows their pedigrees.

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Sollecito, the company’s vice president of business development, is our guest this week on The Weekly Driver Podcast. The episode is particularly timely since Monterey Auto Week, now nearly two weeks long, begins unofficially on Aug. 5 and ends on Aug. 18.

A 1961 (23 window) Volkswagen Van is part of the vintage car fleet available for rent at Monterey Touring Vehicles.
A 1961 (23-window) Volkswagen Van is part of the vintage car fleet available for rent at Monterey Touring Vehicles. It’s popular for children’s birthday parties. All images © Bruce Aldrich/2019.

Monterey Touring Vehicles is the creation of Heather and Rob Gardner, a husband-wife team who live in Carmel Valley. Rob Gardner is a physician; Heather is a research scientist. And they decided their private vintage car fleet is best served as a driveable museum of individual works of art. It’s better known as a vintage car rental company.

The Gardners don’t host a rally, auction or concours. But they could and they are involved with their vehicles as sponsors of various component of the gathering of all things automotive on the peninsula.

Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss the varied vintage car fleet with Sollecito. Muscle cars to kit cars and classic convertibles to a more than 80-year-old Mercedes limousine fill the 10,000 square-foot showroom. We discuss the rental process, insurance to vehicles that may be added to the fleet and some in the current stable that may be sold.

We also talk about what vehicles renters’ favorites: a 1965 Shelby Cobra Tribute, 1965 Mustang GT (blue), 1961 VW 23-window Bus, 1965 Camaro SS (teal and white) or a 1957 Porsche Speedster Tribute?

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Please send comments and suggestions for new episodes to James Raia via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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