A cool part about motorsports is learning who the enthusiasts are: teachers, rig workers, lawyers. It’s a varied group who, under other circumstances, might not necessarily rub elbows. Sometimes the unassuming person you see in line at the grocery store has the most interesting cars in their garage; they're the guy-next-door type. That’s Area 27 founding member Robert Sinneave.
Originally from Saskatoon, Sinneave spent recent years in Revelstoke and area before moving to Kelowna in early 2013. “I was a back-country guide up near Blue River”, says Sinneave. “And for a while I did nature photography.” He now owns an antiques business. It might seem a bit of a leap from that world to one where Sinneave has a multi-car garage housing his collection of high-performance cars, but somehow it all fits his laid-back personality.
After moving to Kelowna, Sinneave met someone from the local Porsche Club at a charity car show. “He mentioned the Area 27 press conference”, says Sinneave. “Once he said track…” That’s all it took to get Sinneave into his car and off to meet motorsport club co-founder Bill Drossos. “I didn’t even know Jacques Villeneuve was involved – or that he was going to be there.”
Sinneave’s love of motorsports began early. “Racing has been a dream of mine since I was this little”, he says, his hand indicating knee-high. Sinneave has enrolled in several track programs and has taken courses across Canada and the United States. He bought his first car at 14 years old. “I spent two years building it, so when I turned 16 I had a car to drive”, says Sinneave. “I’ve been building cars ever since – North American muscle at first, and now exotics.”
The ‘exotics’ Sinneave builds includes a Mercedes 2009 SL63 hard top convertible that boasts 566 HP to the rear wheels, its frame widened by four inches and body widened by eight. This is his daily driver – mainly because unlike his other cars, it has a cup holder.
Sinneave’s collection includes a screaming yellow 1999 Hennessey 650R Viper as was featured on the cover of Motor Trend magazine. In fact, it’s the actual car. “I saw it and thought ‘I’d really like that’”, recalls Sinneave. He followed the Viper from sale to sale and by 2010 it was his. “I unloaded it off the truck in Revelstoke and almost put it in the ditch”, says Sinneave, laughing. “If you’ve never driven a Viper and you’ve got wet roads…”
Even with all of this at his fingertips, Sinneave’s still not sure which car he'll take on the track at Area 27. “I have two up north I’m working on”, he says with a grin. “That’s all I’ll say about them for now.”
Thanks, Robert. Way to leave us hanging.
photos by Voth Photography