In a world being increasingly dominated by German AWD hot hatches, it’s refreshing to be able to take some time out to connect with a group of hardcore, passionate Subaru lovers who go by the name of Subaru Fun Crew (SFC). Based primarily in Cape Town, but with a surprising international reach; SFC seems to have found that elusive, harmonious groove which most car crews seem to miss. The crew’s chairman, Dale Swartz lets us in on their secret…
Dale, thank you for slowing down just enough for us to have a quick chat. When was SFC established? Well, we don’t have an exact date, but it was somewhere in November 2011.
How many (active) members does the crew currently boast? What does the membership footprint look like? We have grown substantially over the years, both nationally and internationally. Cape Town sees the bulk of our membership base, at about 200. Gauteng is our next-biggest chapter at 100 SFC members; Durban features about 80; then finally, we have a combined count of about 60 between Kimberley and Port Elizabeth (an even split). Moving abroad but still closer to home, we’ve got a SFC Botswana division – and overseas, we’ve got SFC Hawaii, SFC Texas, and SFC Miami. We represent!
I assume the ‘Fun’ in SFC is there for a reason. How active is your social calendar and what sort of antics do you guys get up to? There’s a definite emphasis on all of us having fun. We usually arrange at least two events/hook-ups per month. We’re also very big on thinking “outside the box” – for example, when the movie ‘Baby Driver’ was released (which starred a Subaru), SFC made a massive group booking at the cinema!
We’ve also recently had a very cool Virtual Reality Driving “track day” event, which was an amazing experience for the crew. Then of course, we still do the usual breakfast runs, track days, dyno days, tech evenings, charity and blanket runs, etc. We’re very big on giving back to the community whenever the opportunity allows for us – we’re known to offer the free use of our cars for matric balls, birthdays & weddings of those who aren’t by the financial means.
Could you name a few of SFC’s more notable achievements since the crew’s inception? SFC has been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a pretty decent amount of media attention (newspapers, online media, radio stations, etc) over the years – including right here in Speed and Sound, where we managed to bring 52 Subarus together for one picture. SFC has featured in one way or another in nearly all of the car-related shows and events in Cape Town since our inception – and yes, we have the awards and trophies to prove it!
Clearly, owning a Scooby means emphasis is placed on the dynamic, AWD driving experience. I can totally picture a bunch of guys, hitting some remote mountain roads late at night for a ‘spirited drive’. How do members “cure the itch”? Well, we DO try to keep most of our “full boost” sessions limited to Killarney International Raceway, but we will occasionally have a group of more experienced, capable drivers with well-sorted machines hitting the mountains. As car enthusiasts, we find great reward in seeing and feeling how the AWD systems – one of the biggest strengths of the Subaru drivetrain – work hard to keep an aggressive driving style in check. It definitely brings a grin to the face!
Besides the obvious – owning a Subaru – are there any other requirements to joining Subaru Fun Crew? There is only one requirement: you must own a Subaru, but we’re not fussy on the model. We have no club fees; we rely on members volunteering at SFC fundraising events. We have SFC stickers & other branded merchandise available for purchase; and believe me, our members rock that SFC logo like a badge of honour!
Car crews and politics seem to go hand in hand, sorta like dirty politicians and tenders. Do you guys have structures or a committee in place to deal with such instances, or are you lucky enough to have a mature, grown-up bunch on your hands? Unfortunately, most car clubs in Cape Town have politics. SFC has been affected by this, and we’ve lost a few members in the past. However, past misunderstandings have been mended and I can happily say we find ourselves on neutral ground regarding these issues. I believe that, as a crew, we have somewhat “grown up” since those early days.
What are the perks/incentives/benefits to being a SFC member? (EG product/service discounts, etc) SFC has partnered with various companies, affording us exclusive discounts. Subaru Tableview & Subaru Plumstead offer SFC members preferential discounts on parts, labour & all Liqui Moly products sold at these dealerships. Eve’s Car Wash in Parklands also offers special detailing packages for SFC members.