FATHER & SON DUO LIVE THE BIG TEXAS DREAM
Father and son duo Mark and Chris have always been business partners. Over the years, they’ve teamed up for various business ventures, including a website-building company — back in the day — where they had to convince potential clients that the internet was going to be a big deal someday. Visionaries? Some might say.
After taking that business public and eventually selling it, they started figuring out what was next. “I’ve always been into fast cars,” Chris says. “I used to have a Mustang GT and we would work on it day in and day out.” On the hunt for a new business venture, Chris and his dad noticed a hole in the exotic rental market in Houston and leapt at the opportunity.
A new business is born
“We had wanted to get a few supercars for fun, and then realized that there were very few reputable exotic dealerships and rental agencies in Houston. We saw a pretty big opportunity to do things the right way,” Chris recalls. And so City Center Exotics was born, a boutique supercar rental agency with an eye for quality vehicles, a dedication to top-notch customer service, and “built on the pillars of transparency, of what you see is what you get” in a not-always-so-transparent industry.
Catering to the car enthusiast segment, “we pride ourselves on providing high quality cars. Houston is the third largest supercar market in the US, after Miami and LA,” he notes, so the market is bustling and the demand is there.
A super collection of supercars
And man, does City Center Exotics deliver on the supercar promise! Founded just last year in 2016, they’ve added an outstanding roster of 10 cars to their budding fleet, six of which are currently listed on Turo — an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT (with doors that open like this, and not like this), a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Bentley Continental, a Ferrari California, and, the pièce de résistance, a brand new Acura NSX.
From ultra luxury to legit supercars, Chris and Mark fuel a car enthusiast’s dream. “People rent the Rolls-Royce a lot for weddings and business meetings,” Chris notices. Business people frequently lean on the Rolls to entertain clients and close deals, he finds. The Aston and the Bentley, he observes, are popular for locals and tourists who simply want to treat themselves to a little opulence — “they’re just super classy cars,” he says.
His current personal favorite? “Probably the NSX. We knew it was going to a be huge hit; it’s been over 10 years since they last released their only supercar” — the flagship American-manufactured supercar — so they figured it was on a lot of enthusiasts’ radars. Popularity aside, “it looks phenomenal, and it’s probably the most comfortable supercar I’ve ever driven,” he swoons. Having taken it to a few meetups and seen the NSX cult fandom in full swing, he notes, “people just flock to it like you’re some sort of rockstar.”
A super community
Doing their part to cultivate and germinate the up-and-coming supercar community in Houston, Mark and Chris are settling in nicely to their new business venture renting out exotic cars. “We’ve had a lot of different businesses over the year, but this one’s by far the most fun,” Chris jokes. City Center Exotics enables them to collect the cars they love to drive while offsetting the costs through their rentals. And they get to share their love of these automotive icons with like-minded gearheads, which, if you’re a member of the enthusiast community, you know is half the fun.
“We go to meetups nearly every weekend, whether it’s ‘Cars and coffee’, ‘Cars and cocktails’, or just supercar meetups. There’s a pretty large community of people here in Houston,” he says.
Next time you’re in Space City, rent this father-son duo’s Acura NSX, peruse their killer collection of rare supercars, and discover that things aren’t just bigger in Texas, they’re faster, too.