Secret Car Club discontinues Saturday village meet-ups

Rancho Santa Fe’s Secret Car Club Saturday meet-ups have been discontinued. The popular club, which was not truly a secret, brought classic cars and people together in the village on weekend mornings.

On Aug. 13, founder Chris Erickson sent out a notice to all club members.

“Watching the group this past Saturday I found that the ‘feel’ of the group has changed. A number of the cars showing up are not members of the group and the close-knit social feel has disappeared,” Erickson wrote. “I have decided after several discussions to discontinue the Saturday meets in Rancho Santa Fe. Indefinitely.”

Erickson said the club newsletter and private events will continue, only available to members.

“It’s a shame that this decision had to be made but I feel it is best,” Erickson wrote. “I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the group but it is time to make a change.”

Erickson, a longtime area realtor, started the club with some clients as a casual, clique-free, politics-free car club for everyone from “millionaires to mechanics.” The meet-ups continued to grow every weekend and evolved into a social club that helped promote local businesses such as Caffe Positano and brought in a huge variety of different people and interesting cars. The club’s unofficial motto was “say only kind things.”

On the club’s Facebook page, members shared memories of the Saturday social gathering that enriched their weekends and their lives.

“I met some good people, made some good friends and enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with my father on Saturday mornings,” wrote David Green.

Member Judith Mansfield said she loved so many different cars lining the streets, “kids of all ages taking pictures, people sitting on steps just hanging out and talking cars and friendships.”

To members, Erickson was vague about the reason behind shutting down the Saturday meet-ups and did not return a request for comment by press time. He did promise to members in his letter that the Secret Car Club will go on, it will just be taking on a “slightly different form.”

“Chris has devoted his heart and soul to this club and has made some special friends along the way,” wrote member Michele Tatum. “SCC will continue and continue to thrive.”

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