Every time Rich “Will” Williams’ uncle rumbled past his childhood home in the Poconos, Williams ran to the window to catch a glimpse of his uncle’s 1965 Buick Skylark. This epic automobile began Williams’ lifelong enthusiasm for cars.
In 2012, Williams founded Hunt Valley Horsepower and his love for cars has taken on a life of its own — and his organization has become a community that shares its interest from generation to generation, just like him and his uncle. The group also loaned Baltimore Style a Porsche for the cover of its May-June issue.
“The real core behind Hunt Valley Horsepower is to gather all generations of automotive enthusiasts and all generations and marks of automobiles” Williams says. The Baltimore County-based group has “diverse automotive tastes,” he adds.
After noticing that there was no real place for gear heads to gather, Williams created the group. When members first gathered seven years ago, there were 200 enthusiasts who came together to talk and to show each other their cars. Last year, more than 30,000 people came throughout the year to one of the Saturday morning gatherings, held each week at the Hunt Valley Town Center.
The group also has become a casting agency of sorts that provides classic and exotic cars to magazines, commercials and websites. Williams, who worked in corporate health care, started to see sponsorship opportunities for his hobby and eventually a new career for himself. “It was never my intention to do this as a profession,” he says. “In 2013 it wasn’t a company, it was a vision. But after taking a leap of faith I now have over 20 corporate partners.”
His first ever corporate partner was NAPA Auto Parts at NAPA Hunt Valley, and since then, he has started relationships with sponsors such as Diamond Automotive Services, Priority 1 Automotive Group and Rosso Service.
Hunt Valley Horsepower also has a number of nonprofit partners that inspire high school and college-aged volunteers to give back to their communities. This, Williams says, is a reflection of the heart of Hunt Valley Horsepower, which is forwarding good things to the next generation.
“Whether cars and trucks become a passion for the next generation or we spark the desire to give back to the community by cleaning the highway or donating a toy,” Williams says. “I want to continue forwarding good things to the next generation.”
Hunt Valley Horsepower meets every Saturday from 8-10 a.m. at the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. For more information, visit horsepowering.com.