Throttle Car Club, a new social venue and workspace dedicated to motorheads of all kinds, will open at The Downs this spring. At right is owner Jamie Nonni, with longtime friends Derek Parent at left and Kevin Gross. Courtesy / Jamie Nonni

SCARBOROUGH — At age 49, Jamie Nonni has already built a successful career for himself by creating and running his own electronic payment processing company. But all that time he’s nurtured a passion for something else entirely: cars.

For more than 30 years, the self-described car buff has enjoyed working with cars and now, in a new space at The Downs, he plans to open Throttle Car Club, a new social club and workspace dedicated to car enthusiasts, weekend mechanics and project car fans such as himself.

NonniCorp, LLC is proposing to locate Throttle Car Club on Lot 29 in the Innovation District of The Downs. The building would have leased office spaces on the second floor. Courtesy / Kevin Browne Architecture

Nonni, who lives in Falmouth, broke ground on the property on Lot 29 of The Downs’ Innovation District in July; the outer structure is already finished. He said a soft opening is planned for April 2021, with a grand opening a month later. The 35,000-square-foot club, he said, will offer something for everyone, from mechanics to casual automotive hobbyists to people who just like and appreciate cars.

“We’re trying to attract all those types of people,” he said.

Nonni, a native of Gardner, Massachusetts, has lived in Maine for 18 years. He has been talking about this idea for years with two of his childhood friends: Derek Parent of Cumberland, who has a background in hospitality and construction, and Kevin Gross, a Boylston, Massachusetts resident who has worked for the past 30 years in the automotive industry.

Nonni’s passion reflects that of other hobbyist mechanics: always working in his spare time on one project or another. Today, he has seven cars, but acknowledges that only four are running well enough to drive. The pride of his collection, he said, is a black 1968 Camaro SS, similar to the first car he ever owned.

So when Nonni sold his business in 2018 and was looking for a new investment, he saw the chance to turn his hobby into a new venture.

“I started thinking, ‘Well, I gotta do something here,'” he said.

Nonni’s plans for the club are ambitious. Memberships can be basic, for $1,500 a year, or premium, which costs $2,000 a year. Basic members will have access to the club’s lounge and amenities such as a full-service detailing shop. Premium members, he said, will have access to a full automotive shop and tools so the more casual mechanics can work on a project car.

“A lot of people don’t have space to do that,” he said.

The club’s property also includes 7,000 square feet of office space Nonni plans to rent out. He also hopes to rent out the club itself for corporate functions. He said he has already heard from local car dealerships that might want to work with him to show off new models, and even local breweries who are interested in running tasting events at the club.

“The place is getting a lot of attention,” he said.

Sean Murphy 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

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