For Donnie Crevier, cars are more than a form of transportation – they are a way of life, an art form and something to be shared with the world. And for the past 47 years, that’s exactly what he’s been doing.
The Laguna Beach resident, long associated with Crevier BMW in Santa Ana, whom he led until 2011, keeps his personal collection of vintage automobiles in a warehouse that has become a de facto automobile museum and hub. events in Costa Mesa.
Launched in 2006, Crevier Classic Cars offers a rotating collection of around 120 vehicles. Some are for sale or rent, others are in storage and still others come from the Crevier collection. Formerly located on Clinton Street, Crevier purchased a new and larger property on Airway Avenue and recently obtained permits to host events for up to 300 people.
âWe worked hard to develop a storage opportunity for people who had cars and didn’t have room to put them away,â said Crevier, 76. “We stock quite a few cars and keep them clean and well run.”
Over time, the list of amenities that people can take advantage of while viewing their vehicles has expanded to include a seating area, complete with refreshments, a pool table, big screen TVs, and a growing collection of automotive themed memorabilia.
âPeople liked the look of the facility when we started, and they wanted to host events there,â he recalls. âIt ended up bringing in a lot of business for our company. “
Today, Crevier and his team are renovating the Airway Avenue site into an event center that offers a conference room, in-house catering business, and convenience packages that help people create magical, bespoke moments. . People can also drop by during office hours and look around.
âThe appeal is not just the cars, but the atmosphere inside,â Crevier said. âWe have a lot of car and old motorcycle memorabilia. It’s a pretty impressive setup when you walk in and see it.
Irene Geithner has worked for Crevier Classic Cars for the past three years as Events Director and during that time has garnered interest from local residents and businesses looking to reserve the site for everything from memorials to bar mitzvah to working parties.
âIt’s a place that offers a lot. You are in a car museum, âshe said. âAnd we’re constantly changing cars, so you never have all the same cars. It can be something new every time.
Some might think that most brides would be wary of celebrating their nuptials in an automobile, but Geithner said the number of weddings held at the venue has increased in recent years.
âA couple we had were Grand Prix fans and wanted to get married at the Long Beach Grand Prix, but due to COVID-19 restrictions they couldn’t do it,â she recalls. “So when they saw all the cars here, they went crazy.”
The huge collection of cars is located behind roll-up doors which, when opened, create an instant stunning effect.
Geithner said that when Costa Mesa Planning Commissioners recently visited the site ahead of a public hearing on whether to grant Crevier rights to the property, including a conditional use permit to host events that may accommodating up to 300 guests, they couldn’t help but be taken by the spectacular layout.
âThey walked through the door and all I could see was they were heading straight for the classic cars and asking about all the cars,â Geithner recalls. âIt’s the same with everyone who comes in – it’s just a good experience for them. “
So, it was perhaps not a surprise when Crevier and his representatives appeared before the Planning Commission on November 8 that his plan received unanimous approval.
“For visiting it – and wishing to earn more money than now – I think it will be a great center of events,” Commission President Byron de Arakal said at the hearing. “In a way, he’s also a bit of an ambassador who brings people from out of town and introduces them to Costa Mesa, so I’m very excited about that.”
Crevier Classic Cars is located at 2995 Airway Ave., Suite B, in Costa Mesa.
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