In The Fast Lane With Casey Coker And The Maserati Club UAE
Casey Coker is a man of elegance and cars. So much so that his bespoke suit, made by Knights and Lords of Dubai, was designed to mimic the colors and lines of his black Maserati. A car aficionado he is, but a gentleman is how he stands out.
I sat down to dinner with Casey in Dubai Design District and discussed all the ways he incorporates his love of this elegant machine into his life.
The Pemberley: Tell me a little about yourself.
Casey Coker: My name is Casey Coker, I’m 32 years old and originally from America. I have been living in the UAE for almost 10 years now and I continue to find it just as exciting as the day I arrived.
The Pemberley: Who are you and what is the Maserati owners club?
Casey: I am the founder and co-president of the Maserati Owners Club of the UAE. We are an independent non-profit organization created to complement the ownership experience of Maserati. Since its creation the club has grown substantially and gained the attention and recognition from Maserati as its official club in the region.
The Pemberley: What is your personal background with cars? What moved you to start such a group? When did it start?
Casey: The club was founded in 2014 when a few of us owners here in the UAE would get together after chatting about our cars on social media. However, I have always had a passion for cars since I was as young as I could imagine. I recall playing with toy “hot wheels” cars when I was a child and helping my father work on some of his cars when I got a bit older, in high school when I started driving at 15 my passion really began to take off with a close group of friends. We would tune our cars and race them on local tracks. That was about 18 years and 15 cars ago.
The Pemberley: Describe your club to an outsider and tell us why they should join.
Casey: Our club is open to all owners with a passion for the Maserati Brand and its rich history, who wish to socialize with like-mined people and become a part of the Maserati Lifestyle. Our aim is to develop, foster, and promote the ownership experience of Maserati motor vehicles in the UAE through the organization and conduct of motor vehicles, drives, and social events.
The club arranges many social events, some exclusive to members, from social display events to driving or track days or weekend getaway drives to numerous hotels within the region. The club always has a full calendar of events planned for the whole year.
In addition to this our members are provided membership cards which they can present to our special partners to avail great benefits such as large hotel discounts year-round, discounts on vehicle detailing and paint protection or even some luxury brand stores.
The Pemberley: What are you inspired by? What is the perfect car to you?
Casey: Well, that’s not an easy question to answer. I’m inspired by a lot of things honestly. But I would have to say progression would be the biggest inspiration to me, seeing other progress, seeing my companies progress, and seeing the country progress are all very reassuring and motivating. There’s nothing more toxic than becoming stagnant or content.
The Pemberley: Why Maserati? Why the UAE? How did it all begin?
Casey: Why did I choose a Maserati over a Ferrari or any other brand? Well, I wanted something that wasn’t extremely flashy and in your face with bright colors, something that would still get the admiration of true petrol heads while sounding great and having iconic styling lines. After watching Top Gear’s four-door super car challenge my mind was made up. I mean, come on, if your car gives Jeremy Clarkson a “crisis” you’ve probably chosen a pretty amazing car.
The Pemberley: What were the biggest challenges I getting set up? What are the biggest satisfactions of running such a group? What are your plans for the next five years?
Casey: The largest satisfaction my team gets from running such a group is to see the smiles on everyone’s face as they either take their helmets off as they step out of their car from a day of track driving, or the relaxed persona everyone has as they arrive for dinner or breakfast at one of our hotel getaways. It’s then that we realize what we are doing is much bigger than just an event, it’s memories that last a lifetime, experiences they would otherwise possibly not experience.
The next five years you will see the club continue to grow as we focus more on building our database of partners and elevating the standards of our events to newer highs.
The Pemberley: What is the most fascinating aspect of being part of this group?
Casey: I would say the people are the most fascinating aspect by far. So many unique people from such a diverse demographic all coming together with a common interest is really something special. Also, being in a convoy of over 30 Maserati’s at a time is something many have not seen yet or been a part of before.
The Pemberley: About the car, what makes a Maserati a Maserati? What is it about its technical abilities and looks and interiors that makes this car what it is?
Casey: You know when you get behind the wheel of a Maserati, whether it be Alcan Tara, carbon fiber, or a leather one you know it’s something special. The feel and weightage to the steering to the sound of the exhaust, it’s a real driver’s car, and only when you really understand what makes a Maserati so special.
The Pemberley: Is this a sports car or a classic car, or both? Which feature are you most attracted to in this car?
Casey: Depending on the model, some are more sports car oriented with their F1 gearbox, and others are more classic or luxury. Personally, the feature I was most attracted to is the Sports Button. Never have I felt a car change so much from a single button. It goes from elegant docile luxury saloon to a completely different machine, the suspension becomes tighter, and gearbox shifts with aggression not to mention the bellowing roar that comes from the exhausts.
The Pemberley: How many Maserati’s do you own?
Casey: Currently one, however that may change soon.
The Pemberley: Regarding the club, what does it take to get in? How many are you? What are the three requisites? Are there any age limits? How many people apply each year? Do you have to turn people away?
Casey: Our only requirements are that members be in UAE, own a Maserati, and hold valid driver’s license. We do not have an age limit so long as they have a valid driver’s license.
The Pemberley: What are the owners like within your club? What are their backgrounds? Their job? Where are they from? What makes them tick?
Casey: We have people from just about every nationality and age range. From kids who are 18 and just got their first car, to people enjoying their retirement and wanting a convertible to cruise through the weekends. Therefore, their backgrounds are often as diverse as they are, school or government officials. It’s a huge mix and you never know who will show interest in what type of event that is occurring that weekend.
The Pemberley: Are there any women? Are there plans to include when within your group?
Casey: Yes of course there are women— we’ve had women from the very start of the club. The numbers continue to grow as well. Last year we had a special photo shoot just for the women only for Vogue. We always strive to include activities that everyone can enjoy, be that as an individual or a family.
The Pemberley: What can you tell me about the history of this car? How many variations of the cars historical versions are represented in the club? For that matter how many kinds of Maserati are represented?
Casey: Maserati currently have 5 models in production, we currently represent about 4 different generations of the Quattro Porte model, 3 variations of the Gran Turismo, 2 variations of the Ghibli, and the single variation of the Levante as well as some older models such as the GranSport.
The Pemberley: Maserati officially recognized your group in 2014— congratulations. What kind of support does the company offer your group and what does it mean to be officially recognized?
Casey: Being recognized by Maserati Italy was a huge reassurance that what we are doing is something special. Maserati will often collaborate with us on some events assuring our owner experience is continuously greater.
The Pemberley: How many How many owner’s groups does Maserati have worldwide? Are there any plans to expand beyond Dubai for you?
Casey: There are many Maserati Owners Clubs around the world, we are aware of clubs in Australia, Europe, US, and on the Asia continent. We are the first Official Club for the GCC region however we know there are some clubs in Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman which are following suit. We do not have plans to expand beyond UAE as that would defeat the purpose of our club which is directly related to the ownership experience in UAE.
The Pemberley: What makes your group of owners different to those in other countries?
Casey: It’s really interesting to speak with the other clubs and see the differences between us, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the Presidents of other clubs and each one is unique in its own way, for example the UAE club often has a large number of the newest vehicles, while some other clubs have a larger presence of classic Maserati vehicles, something we do not come across frequently in this region.
The Pemberley: How does your group compare to other owners group in Dubai? Surely there must be a lot of nice cars. Is that ever intimidating?
Casey: We are in contact with almost every car club in the region. We all get along great and have been known to collaborate on events in the past. Its great doing events with just your brand but sometimes it’s very special when there are over 100 supercars from multiple brands driving up a winding road together, you really see the cars characters come out and the reasons why that driver chose that car.
The Pemberley: What kinds of activities and events you participate in? Do you travel together within the group?
Casey: We do everything from Charity events, Ramadan Dinners, to weekend drives and get-away hotel stays, to track days or family outings. To highly social events, to small reclusive quiet evenings. There’s something for everyone. We have not planned a large event abroad yet, but something in the future would be a trip to Italy with our cars to have dinner on the Maserati assembly line, this was in discussion with Maserati already and is something we plan to eventually arrange.
The Pemberley: Final words?
Casey: I am extremely humbled to see how successful this club has become in such a short period of time, never would I have thought so many people would share such an interest and support in the club and I thank each member, future member, and car enthusiast.
I look forward to what the coming years have in store for our growing family.
The Pemberley: Thank you for your time, it’s been a beautiful learning experience for all of us here at The Pemberley Magazine.
Casey: Thank you.