Article Date: 2/1/2011

An Eye For Cars
reflections
THE HUMAN SIDE OF OPTOMETRY

An Eye For Cars

My love of cars and a trip to California inspired a new business

David P. Alan, O.D.
RICES LANDING, PA.

My very first memory is as a three-year-old boy sitting under my parent's dining room table and playing with Matchbox cars. As I grew, my love of cars did too. I was especially fascinated with the Supercars (like Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches). Their exotic designs and evolving technology were both sensuous and the pinnacle of high tech. Once I made enough money through private practice, I began collecting these four-wheeled art forms. I attended all the car shows, races and festivals of speed I could. In fact, it was a visit to one of these events that inspired me to take my love of cars to a whole other level.

Dr. Alan and his GT Màlan Supercar #001 shortly after its appearance on the Speed Channel's Battle of the Supercars.

Bellissimo!

In August of 2007, my wife and I boarded a plane to attend our first Concorso Italiano event in Monterey, Calif. The annual event features a display of hundreds of Italian cars along with Italian fashion, food, art and music.

Once in our seats, I took out some of my favorite car magazines. One contained an article about a concept in cars that was gaining attention among auto enthusiasts — hand-built custom cars engineered with CAD CAM technology. These cars were comprised of readily available components from established manufacturers. “Interesting,” I thought.

When we arrived at the Concorso event, I spotted a car whose shape I didn't recognize. I discovered it was a prototype of one of the CAD CAM cars I'd read about on the plane! I was ecstatic. I ended up spending hours studying the car, taking photos of it at every angle and talking with its developer.

Lap of luxury

On the flight back, reading more car magazines, I found an article about building custom hot rods. I was intrigued. During my usual in-flight nap, the idea of building the world's most affordable custom Supercar was born! It could compete with Ferraris and Lamborghinis, among other Supercars at a fraction of the price, so the dream of owning a Supercar could be a reality for many other car enthusiasts.

Soon after, I started Alan Autosports (www.gtmalan.com) and created the GT Màlan. The car is comprised of components designed, engineered and manufactured by General Motors, Porsche and Factory Five Racing, among other well-known manufacturers. I alter all the components, according to the customer's specifications, and call the finished product the GT Màlan. I oversee the design and character of each car, which begin at $80,000.

I am still in private practice full time. Alan Autosports is now a 9,000 square-foot custom car and speed shop run by corporate officers and employees. This enables me to spend my time focusing on the continuing design and custom creations of the GT Màlan: the world's only custom Supercar, all with the same everlasting passion I had as a kid. Oh, and I still collect model cars. OM


DO YOU HAVE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? DISCUSS YOUR STORY WITH JENNIFER KIRBY, SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF OPTOMETRIC MANAGEMENT, AT (215) 628-6595, OR JEN.KIRBY@WOLTERSKLUWER.COM. OM OFFERS AN HONORARIUM FOR PUBLISHED SUBMISSIONS.

Optometric Management, Issue: February 2011