Posted at http://woodlandslifestylesandhomes.com/car-enthusiasts-of-the-woodlands/
Corvettes, classics and causes — The Woodlands Car Club revs up!
Sean Rizk and Dana Pritchard built a business out of nothing in the spring of 2003. “Sean was born in Iowa, but grew up in Houston — his Dad took him to Indy 500 races when he was a boy,” says Dana, who was born and raised in Staten Island, NY, then lived in Perth, Australia for three years. “But now The Woodlands is home. I’ve been here for 26 years.”
The pair found each other and followed a career trajectory into all things automotive, resulting in Woodlands Performance & Suspension (WPS). “Cars are our world,” says Dana, who is an encyclopedia of makes, models and engines. “Whether it’s an foreign sports car, custom transformation, souped-up, or a good old-fashioned American muscle car, we’re a one stop shop.”
Fortunately for Dana and Sean, work and play merge, and often for a good cause. They care about Montgomery County and both are avid supporters of The Woodlands Car Club (TWCC) founded in 2001. Dana is president amidst a wonderment of imports, classics, hot rods, exotics and domestics. In fact, her father owns a gorgeous black Corvette ZO6 and loves to show it off during events.
“TWCC is comprised of a small group of volunteers who are very dedicated and enthusiastic about our overall mission,” says Dana. “Through our love of cars we support non-profit agencies that serve Montgomery County in a variety of ways.”
Customers Turned Members
Eric Nitcher is husband to Shawn and the father of Davis (15) and Erin (12). But the family adores another baby: a 1969 Stingray Corvette Convertible. Only 16,633 were ever built. “I acquired the car in the early 1980s while in college at the University of Kansas — not a very practical car for a college student, but it sure was entertaining,” says Eric. “I put the car in storage in 2000 when the family moved to the UK for work. But upon repatriation, it was clear that the years in storage had been very hard on the car and it needed a lot of work.”
Enter Dana and Sean of WPS. A full body-off restoration was performed in 2011-12 and included a new suspension, fully rebuilt motor, all new wiring, new convertible frame and soft top, new 5-speed transmission, new after-market air conditioning and a new tilt steering column. “Pre-restoration, the car put out about 350 horse power,” says Eric. “Post-restoration, the car puts out about 435 horse power.”
Eric learned about The Woodlands Car Club from Sean and Dana and just recently joined. “I’m very active have attended two of their first-of-the-month shows on Market Street, plus their annual show in November,” he adds. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the other members and learning about the many different types of cars.”
A Club for Everyone
The only requirement is a love of cars, whatever kind of car that may be. From the coolest Mini Cooper to the fastest coupe to a monster truck, there’s something for everybody. “It’s a mutual admiration society, and everyone and their cars are welcome.” Some join for the nostalgia and opportunity to see oldies but goodies, while others appreciate horsepower and the revving of an engine. But members do more than trade stories and talk shop.
“My Dad, Bruce Carter, invited me to join the car club in 2001, and of course, I brought along Sean,” says Dana. Soon I became heavily involved and steered the club toward philanthropy,” says Dana. Combining cars and charities just made sense once Dana realized how much people love their vehicles and admired seeing the vehicles of others. With customers constantly gathered around the various cars in the shop, it was a safe bet to embed a charity component into TWCC. The general public would also want to see these remarkable vehicles, which meant more funds could be raised for the less fortunate.
The members feel it’s gratifying that their special vehicles are showcased at local events for such great causes. Local car enthusiast and photographer Jeremy Shaw likes to see people with common interests come together to help others. “I go to meets and support them,” he says. “At certain events, over a hundred cars may compete for “Best in Show,” and I’m usually there with my camera.” Fans of collectible, vintage, exotic, rare or high-end automobiles are enjoyed by crowds that swell to over 600. One of TWCC’s most popular summer events, “Cars and Coffee for a Cause,” contributes to the local charity effort — Market Street: Change for Charities. TWCC members gather at 10 a.m. the first Sunday of each month where parking meters collect change for charities.
Then comes the TWCC Fall show, at which Tom and Cindy Glancy’s 1956 Chevy Nomad recently took 1st place in the 1950s category. Robert Gaudin’s RatRod was the 1st place winner of the pre-1950 category. Wayne Nixon owns a 1930 Ford Model A, while Dan Miracle owns a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe. It’s vehicles like these that pull people out to events to raise record dollar amounts — now upwards of $100,000. Sponsorships, car shows and fundraisers happen throughout Shenandoah, Conroe and The Woodlands. Woodforest Charitable Foundation, American Cancer Society Relay for Life – Montgomery County, Habitat for Humanity Montgomery County, Montgomery County Food Bank and Children’s Safe Harbor are among the beneficiaries.