If you haven’t heard of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus yet, it was probably just a matter of time before you would have. Their presence on social media continues to surge, and they’ve been on the automotive press’ speed-dial for a number of years now. More than likely, this is just a prelude to more great things to come from the boutique automotive manufacturer as their notoriety increases.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus: Who They Are & What They Do
The company’s website describes, with great efficiency and purpose, what they are all about—something most boutique automakers (and even some of the establishment) often fail to accomplish. In plain sight on their homepage is the following message:
SOME COMPANIES BUILD CARS.
WE BUILD DREAMS.
We find the toughest races in the world—
The 24 Hours of Nürburgring, The Baja 1000—
24 Hours of Le Mans 2021—
and design vehicles to compete in those challenges.
Then we make road-legal versions.
It’s a pretty simple mission statement. Just a few short sentences make it clear what exactly it is they offer for their customers and the automotive world as a whole. Getting the desired outcomes however; that requires intricate attention to detail and deliberate expertise to fulfill. That, and a pure and unadulterated obsession with auto racing—and SCG have all of those qualities in spades.
Privateer Racing in the Modern Era: Jim Glickenhaus & the History of SCG
Like most of us who dream of one day forming a racing team to call our own, Jim Glickenhaus was making a living in a field entirely unrelated to motorsport before his dream came to fruition. Perhaps being a film director, producer and writer is a better segue into the world of supercar building than most other professions, as both fields require a number of the same skills.
For one, Glickenhaus has never been shy about his approach to anything he does, with cult films such as The Exterminator being as well received as they are controversial. Having this level of cojones is a bare-minimum requirement—regardless of how financially-padded you are—to individually bankroll any venture that includes not only producing cars, but racing them too.
Needless to say, Glickenhaus’ personality and natural inclinations have worked in the company’s favour. More importantly, though, the now 71-year-old Glickenhaus has had an unquestionable love for sports cars and motor racing for as long as he can remember, and this is the required ingredient that has wholly defined SCG.
The Birth of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
With the automotive world having become intimately familiar with the Glickenhaus name during the early 2000s, famed coachbuilder Andrea Pininfarina approached Jim Glickhenhaus in 2005 with a question that was philosophical in nature—and ultimately, one that would have practical outcomes as well.
“If you could build any car, what would it be?”
It was this very inquiry that would kick-start their collaboration in creating the Ferrari P 4/5, which quickly transformed Glickenhaus’ reputation from avid car collector to legitimate race car producer. The car is as special as you would expect, built upon the body of a Ferrari Enzo that incorporates Glickenhaus’ personal tastes and inspiration from his personal collection of cars.
Glickenhaus would then commission a second-generation version of the P 4/5 (called the 002) shortly after, which was designed specifically to race in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2011 and 2012. After participating in and finishing both events, Ferrari’s legal team demanded royalties going forward if Glickenhaus was to continue racing using the Italian marque’s likeness.
As unfazed as he was reluctant, Glickenhaus had other ideas. In a now infamously recalled moment, he opted to solve this dilemma by removing the Ferrari badges on the 002 with a screwdriver. In their place went a hand-drawn picture of the Statue of Liberty’s torch with the initials “S.C.G” written across the bottom.
This was far from just a symbolic gesture; from this point the company also decided that producing their own race cars from scratch—instead of modifying existing models—would be their way going forward.
By 2013, SCG had already announced to the world that it was designing and building a race car from the ground up. No later than 18 months later were the company and a customer competing in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where the completed car achieved First in Class.
That car became known as the SCG 003C and marked a key turning point for the company. The shift to becoming a boutique race car manufacturer is what fueled SCG’s transformation into the company that we know today.
“We started as kids with our nose pressed to the glass looking in, wanting to know how those incredible cars were created. Today we are the ones making those incredible cars.”
—Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
Summary of Racing Honors for Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus*
- Eight seasons of endurance racing at the Nürburgring, one at COTA and one Baja 1000
- Nine 24 Hour finishes, and two Baja 1000 finishes
- Six First in Class and one Second in Class at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and one Third in Class at the 24 Hours of COTA
- Two times Baja 1000 Winner, Class 2
- FIA World Championship Cup in Alternative Energies, 1st Overall
- 2020 24 Hours of Nurburgring, First in Class, 14th Overall
*from SCG official website
The Day of Reckoning: 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
For not being a mainstream sports car manufacturer with many decades of experience behind them—along with not being backed by multi-billion dollar corporations—these are remarkable results; and really, they’re just getting started.
Proof of this can be found in their most recent result at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans, where both Glickenhaus 007 LMH cars survived their first 24HLM race (a remarkable feat in itself), completing just 4 and 7 laps less than the winning Toyota GR010 in the Hypercar class. The #708 and #709 Glickenhaus cars finished 4th and 5th overall, respectively.
Despite his racing-inspired disposition, Glickenhaus insists that this eventual participation in Le Mans—using two hypercars he funded that bore his own name—was “never a conscious plan” and that it “grew organically”. There has never existed a rigid roadmap (nor was it an explicit long-term goal) to get to this point.
Notable Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus Cars
“If it can’t race the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it’s not that hyper.”
Now, bear in mind that not every car SCG produces is “hyper”, nor are they solely intended for Le Mans racing (or in some cases, even the tarmac). In fact, the company’s current lineup of cars serves to not only conquer the circuits, but the dirt as well.
All models—except for the 007 Le Mans Hypercar—can be specced to be “US road legal” for those who still wish to drive the car on public streets.
The SCG 003 is described by the company as being the “Ultimate Race Car For The Road”, and features a 4.4L twin-turbocharged BMW engine which produces 700 hp. It can generate up to 2,200 lbs of aerodynamic downforce while weighing in at only 2,600 lbs when ordered in the higher 003CS spec.
In 2018, Road & Track remarked that “It has better build quality than some automakers that have been in business for decades. It’s also better to drive, even in this development phase, than products from supercar makers that have been around long enough to celebrate meaningful anniversaries.”
“RAW, MECHANICAL, ANALOGUE, BORN ON THE NURBURGRING, HAND BUILT IN DANBURY, CT”, proclaims the SCG website. The SCG 004 is available in 3 distintinctive specifications, respectively nammed 004S, 004CS and 004C.
The 004S is the “base” US road legal model, which features a 650 hp supercharged V8 engine with a 6-speed manual transmission. The 004CS takes the base car to the next level of performance, producing 850 hp and replacing the manual shifter with a 7-speed paddle shift transmission.
The 004C is a pure-bred race car and is built based on the blueprint of the car which finished 14th overall at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Along with being fitted with a plethora of “racing-use-only” parts, the 004C also uses a naturally-aspirated V8 engine which produces up to 600 hp in its “endurance tune”.
If there was only one off-roading car which could be considered (by Glickenhaus’ definition) to be “hyper”, it would have to be the SCG Boot. It pays homage to the Steve McQueen Baja Boot, but comes in a modern high-performance package. The company proudly remarks that “In 2019 we drove the Boot to Ensenada, raced the Baja 1000, beating the factory Ford Bronco by 280 miles, and then drove home.”
The SCG Boot is available in either 2-door-2-seater or 4-door-4-seater specifications, with each model coming equipped with a 6.2L supercharged V8 which produces 650 hp. The interiors are minimalist in nature—but hardly spartan, as a leather trim cabin, Apple Carplay, backup camera, power windows and air-conditioning are amongst the standard fare.
The Boot can also be optioned with a front winch, roof rack, 39” tires, locking differential, air-compressor, and more.
As we mentioned earlier, the SCG 007 just completed (and placed well in) the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. Looking at the specs, it’s easy to see why.
Weighing in at just 1,100 kg, the 007 features a custom-built 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which produces 840 hp for 30 hours straight, according to the company. As a Le Mans specialist, the 007 is currently being priced and marketed to a European audience with a base cost of € 2,000,000.
Starting off as an April Fool’s Day joke in 2020, the eventual design of the SCG 008 (aka Mini Boot) makes for a car that appears to be a caricature of itself at first glance. Its look comes from squishing the body of a SCG 004 onto a Boot chassis. But fans loved it, and what was once humourous became something much more serious when they wanted to know how they could get one.
Buyers should be aware that the 008 will be sold in parts that will need to be assembled into the complete car—and crucially, they will need to source their own engine as well. “If you can build an Ikea bookcase, you will be able to build the 008”, the company has stated. As a “home-built” vehicle, most jurisdictions in the US will allow it to be registered for use on public roads.
Jim Glickenhaus’ Personal Car Collection
Jim Glickenhaus’ personal collection of rare and exotic automobiles is certainly befitting of the automotive personality and racing’s rising star. It includes the original 2006 Ferrari P 4/5 collaboration with Pininfarina mentioned earlier, a 1967 Baja Boot prototype which served as the inspiration for the SCG Boot, and our personal favorite: the 1947 Ferrari 159 Spyder Corsa, which is the oldest Ferrari car in existence.
To check out the entire collection, along with Glickenhaus’ commentary (including his “favorite driving memory” for each car), click here.
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