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Cruising Into the Holidays with the Mountain Brook Driving Club

Malcolm Morrow got his first vintage car when he was just 16. A lifelong love of both new and vintage European cars led him to create — along with Elton Stephens, Jr. and David Bruno — the Mountain Brook Driving Club.

What started out as a group of about 15 car enthusiasts is now a 70-person strong nonprofit that often partners with area charities, bringing members’ unique vehicles to events, garnering additional visibility and expanding attendance. “We bring 5 to 6 million dollars' worth of cars to your event,” remarked Stephens. You've probably seen the group at the Mountain Brook Holiday Parade and the Homewood Christmas Parade, as well as local events like Jazz with Civitas in English Village.

“When we started, we were doing a few drives a year—we have a common love for automobiles. From the start, it didn’t matter what kind of automobile you had…just the love of them gave us something to talk about,” Morrow stated. “Some people talk about football; we talk about cars.”

Now, the group averages one event per month, with about 25 members participating in each rally. “We love to drive backroads—the really narrow, winding ones,” said Stephens.

From Alabama’s rural highways to the rarefied air of Lake Como, one thing is a mainstay for the group—the Christmas Party. “We go all out for the Christmas party,” said Morrow. 

This year’s party was held at the Cherokee Road home of Bart McCorquodale. The Greek Revival-style home, designed by Hank Long of Henry Sprott Long & Associates in the early 1980s, was recently renovated by designer Zoe Gowen. A Chinese scenic, Canton Reverie by Iksel, envelops the formal dining room, providing the perfect backdrop for understated holiday decor. MBDC members enjoyed classic cocktails, a meal catered by Vaughan & Company and plenty of time to peruse the group's ever-changing collection of cars.

What’s Next for the Mountain Brook Driving Club?

This January, MBDC members will head to Florida, where the premier Ferrari event in the United States, the Cavallino Classic, will take place at The Breakers Palm Beach. August will see members make their yearly pilgrimage to California for The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

But MBDC members are most excited about a new rally honoring Robert Davis, Seaside founder (also a car enthusiast), and Alys Robinson Stephens, Elton’s mom and the namesake of Alys Beach. The drive starts after the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in early March—taking participants from Amelia Island to Thomasville, Georgia and then on to Alys Beach.

“We wanted to create an event that would have their [Davis’ and Stephens’] fingerprints on it,” said Morrow. “We hope to have this event every year.” Already, notable car aficionados from around the country have committed to attend the inaugural event — including "Requiem for a Dream" Producer Randy Simon.

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McCorquodale’s home is featured in the 72nd Annual Independent Presbyterian Church’s Holiday House Tour (virtual). For Tickets: ipcholidayhouse.com 

Follow Zoe Gowen to find details for an upcoming pop-up: zoegowen.com

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