Cars & Coffee “Rules” Controversy

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Editor’s Note: We at Driving Line love Cars and Coffee. It’s a great example of the passion that drives us as enthusiasts. So when the community is a buzz about changes in the air, we care what’s going on. Driving Line contributor, Albert Roxas, is long-term attendee of C&C and we think his two cents on the issue pull a little weight. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Here are Albert’s…

The above image is what Cars & Coffee is really about…

It started with a comment a friend made to me:
“This place is starting to look like the Orange County Swap Meet…”

The only issue was, we weren’t at the Swap Meet, we were at world renowned Cars & Coffee in Irvine – where most (if not all) of my early Saturday AM’s are spent. As we walked down “Mustang Row”, I snickered a bit then realized – damn, he’s serious. The “quality” of cars has changed, while the quantity has grown.

Having gone to Cars & Coffee every Saturday AM since its inception (I live less than 5 miles from it), I can honestly say I’ve seen it all. From Veyron’s to Enzo’s, from Isetta’s to an early Mercedes Carriage car – there’s always SOMETHING interesting to see amongst the rows and rows of cars that await us. I’ve seen first releases of new model cars as well as one-off concept cars.  I can honestly say there’s usually something for everybody – enthusiast or not. As the event has gotten larger and word of mouth has spread, more and more enthusiasts have opted to “show” their car in the lot…sometimes for better or worse depending upon your opinion.

What do you think is more interesting to look at… a BAC MONO…

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…All white everything: Countach, Diablo, M1 and 512BB…

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…RatRod w/BMW Motor…

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OR a boatload of mainly stock BMW ///M5’s?

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This is an example of what has sparked the controversy. In February of this year, a list of guidelines was sent out from the organizers of Cars & Coffee:

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Some have called them “Rules” or a way of filtering out “unwanted” cars due to limited space – a result of multitudes of the same brand/model of car showing up in “crews”. People have complained on forums, blogs and Facebook – and it’s even a topic of discussion amongst groups during the show. The focus on the controversy is based upon opinion (go figure) – what is it that Cars & Coffee is really about? Is it exotics? Unique Cars? Hot Rods? What do people want to see when they come to Cars & Coffee?

This isn’t about the “marquee” specialty that pops up every so often, this is about the same group of enthusiasts with the same make/models of cars that come every week and park in the inside lot, most notably:

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Mustangs, Corvettes, GTR’s and F10 M5’s coming in groups of 5 or more – “regular” cars or daily driven cars that may be special to you, but not to those that wake early on a Saturday morning to checkout cars. Let’s be honest, if someone wanted to see your bone stock M5, they could go to the local Ralph’s in Irvine and find at least 2 at any given time. I’m not trying to offend anyone; I’m just being honest and realistic as an enthusiast myself. Cars & Coffee is about cars you don’t see everyday – old or new, exotic or not. Cars that will make you turn your head and want to take a closer look.

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Who’s to say these groups aren’t welcome to the Cars & Coffee gathering? Well, honestly…the founders have all the say (volunteers by the way). They are the ones who come religiously each Saturday AM and give their time to provide us with an incredible and free show. They have the right to say “Only red cars today” and we, as guests (after all that’s who we really are), should abide by these guidelines.

If you have something to say about the new rules (which means you attend Cars & Coffee) – before you complain, suggest, or agree – consider volunteering some of your time to an event you have enjoyed…or you can always spend your Saturday at the Orange County Swap meet.

-Albert Roxas

POST A COMMENT

33 comments
o2ntenz
o2ntenz

I say start a new meet. That will show em...

o2ntenz
o2ntenz

Why doesn't a group of other enthusiasts just start their own meeting and make C&C obsolete? Stop complaining and do something about. I agree with all the complaints... I heard a guy with a E63 AMG was turned away, but a Hyundai Genesis Coupe got in. SMH.

GG
GG

Cars and Coffee has really been going downhill. I'm a BMW guy myself (my last 3 cars have been BMW) but I have no interest in seeing a whole row of M5s. They are great cars but they are spotted everywhere around Orange County... just like Mustangs and GTRs. I miss the days where Cars and Coffee actually had rare cars that you usually never see on the road.

Yesterday there was a whole group of Ford Fiestas, Mustangs, BMWs, Honda Civics, and other average cars filing up the lot and keeping actual rare cars from being able to park. I mean who really wants to see a group of stock Ford Fiestas? Other cars I saw trying to enter were a stock Volkswagen Bug, Infinity G35, and Porsche SUV. These are all cars you can find in any parking lot.

The parking lot is limited on space and a lot of people who used to bring out their rare cars have stopped showing up because the place gets too packed. It's unfortunate because C&C used to be my favorite event but now I'd much rather sleep in on Saturdays.

Will Quijano
Will Quijano

Just curious... I have a 2014 bmw f13 coupe M sport equipped slammed on 21" wheels. Want to see if this is something that meets your rules?! It's a high cost vehicle modified... not a car that you fixed up and see everyday.

Johnny Sokko
Johnny Sokko

I love C&C. I go as often as I can. I love all cars, But I have seen a few cars that really need to be at a swao meet or junk yard. Mid 80's civic. or VW Jetta. The rest of them, IE M5's and all the Stangs. I don't mind.

RP
RP

I am completely understand the issue organizers of C&C have to deal with here. Wondering if my car will make the cut? 2007 Audi RS4 slightly modified, ie exhaust, chrome blackout, chipped, intake... Input welcome.

L T
L T

I believe the headline, "Cars you won't see the other six days of the week" pretty much sums it up. I'd agree with the STOCK F10 guys if we were in Seattle (which could become as common as 911 Turbos given the additional practicality). I myself like them, sans (shameful) electronic performance noise.

But we're in Southern Cali of all places, the mecca of car culture in the US if not the world. Few models are not seen on a weekly basis. A tastefully modified new car shouldn't have too much trouble getting in the door though.

carguy
carguy

I believe the point that the organizers are trying to get accross(and at the same time not hurt peoples feelings) is that very few people who attend this show want to wake up early on the weekend to go see one particular car 20x's in a row, now matter what the make is. While it might be impressive to see 20 F40's in a row, it too would get repetetive. I've seen exotics turned away at the entrance due to the lot being full, particularly Mustangs/M5's. It's not that we don't respect these cars(they are great cars),it's just too much of one thing and you don't know how many times I've heard,"Oh look, 20 similar M5's/Mustangs."

Come on people, put your egos/pride aside and view this from a show goers perspective. You guys are a great resource and you own some awesome cars, but this isn't a club meet. People come here to see a variety of cool/unusual/rare cars. Just my 2 cents.

M5zealot
M5zealot

You just don't get it. I have the 1st generation M5...a 1988 model converted to Euro specs. No offense to you sir but, my car is far more interesting that any NEW M5. Why? Because it has over 400,000 miles on it and it looks better than a new car off the showroom floor. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been invested to have enthusiast admire it. It is rare 25 year old car and by no means a piece of junk. There are only a handful on the road today let alone in the condition mine is in. The organizers always let me in and other cars of my vintage and historic significance because it meets the criteria for their event. You will not see an M5 like mine at the local Ralph's grocery store or Fashion Island mall. A new M5 might be more expensive or faster but that is not what the show is about. Jeez. I'm normally a humble person and hate to "brag" about anything but I hope this helps you understand what's going on.

996
996

Thus issues just goes to show how passionate people are about cars. In this case the volunteers of CnC have very respectfully and tastefully at the rules for the event they host. Being that is free and open to any spectator...we should respect them. If you think you can do better than CnC Irvine then by all means go for it. You will certainly have a lot of interest....

Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Simple concept. If you see similar cars during your daily commute, they don't belong at C&C. These includes the newer Mustangs, GTRs, Corvettes, and yes, Porsches too. We live in OC and are surrounded by this stuff daily. When they show in groups, the unique and unusual is squeezed out. Many of these guys no longer turn out as a result. And yes, the C&C volunteers have every right to set the rules. It's their show and we're their guests!

Cimbimmer
Cimbimmer

I agree with albert. I go to CNC to see cars I would not be able to see elsewhere. I don't mind if there is a row of BMW from a club (or Porshe) but I do look forward to the marquee brands that sometime take the first parking lot.What I don't liike to see is dealers or speacialty shopsx advertsing their wares By the way, I am a owner of a BMW 850, 325ix, and two 330i, so I don't mind the M5, just love to see the E30 M3s.

Dr. Ray
Dr. Ray

Keep in mind the limited space at this venue, hence, the RULES. It makes sense to have them in place, otherwise, too many of the same cars would take up valuable space. I don't need to see 10 newer M5's in a row. I'd much rather see a 70's BMW 2002.

Nitto Admin
Nitto Admin

It seems like these new rules are striking a chord in many of you! Please continue sharing your thoughts and reactions here - just remember that this article is ONE persons point of view. Please keep it civil and remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Mustang Lover
Mustang Lover

You sir, are an absolute douche. Be sure to omit that from your "social" comments as well.

Nice pic of your stock Audi (not even close to exotic).

Nick
Nick

While I agree with some of your and C&C volunteers points. There should be a sectioned off area for these car group enthusiasts to also participate, whether its on a scheduled basis or rotating saturday. While you may feel some of the M5, GTR or Mustangs are stock. I have personally benefited from having some of those groups there to discuss their modifications or enhancements which are exitotic to me and rare to 99% of this country. Never judge a car just by its looks. I believe we get jaded a bit living in the OC. Compromise is key as there is benefit having these groups participate.

Concerned enthusiast
Concerned enthusiast

Moderator, if you had any integrity you would stop deleting comments that disagree with the opinion found in this editorial.

Frank S.
Frank S.

Who ever wrote this article is a freakin idiot!!! Cars & Coffee is definitely about rare and amazing cars. M5's are precisely that. There are only a hundred spread throughout the country....Idiot!

Mark Younis
Mark Younis

I too have been attending for years and I disagree with you completely! BMW M5's are super-cars and cost more than most of the cars that regularly attend. Additionally, I have seen those particular cars that you posted in your article and they are most definitely not stock. All of them are right around 600HP and I know for a fact that myself and many of my friends who have been attending for years love seeing the best that BMW has to offer. The same goes for the best MB, Rolls, Maserati, Audi, Porsche sedans available on the market. You, my friend, are definitely not a automotive aficionado.

Dexter Williams
Dexter Williams

I like it the way it was. If the lot is full then fine, more picky but many times I had gone it wasnt full. I actually like the newer exotics. I believe the correct term for a place with old cars is "junk yard". But it's their show, they can make it what they want. On the positive side, I can now sleep in on Saturdays.

Cars and Coffee Fails
Cars and Coffee Fails

We're dedicated to keeping the spirit of Cars and Coffee alive! We couldn't be happier that there are others that feel the same way we do. "Mustang Row" was the best part of the article.

Nitto Admin
Nitto Admin

Will,

Just to be clear, we're not in charge of the rules...we just posted this article discussing them. I gather the best way to find out, is to show up!

Driving Line

carguy
carguy

I I apologize for the grammatical errors as the font was difficult to see while typing. Happy motoring.

Kristin Cline
Kristin Cline

M5zealot,

I'm not sure if you're talking to Albert or Mark above. Because actually, I think cars like yours - ones that are unique - are exactly what Albert is fighting for.

As for Mark...saying that someone else is "definitely not a automotive aficionado" is truly telling of what you lack.

Albert Roxas
Albert Roxas

Mustang Lover,

Thanks for the time to read the feature and to comment on it LOL. The great thing about the internet is it allows everyone to voice their opinions. Enjoy your Mustang buddy LOL.

Albert Roxas
Albert Roxas

Well said Nick, I would actually send those cars off to the "Annex" (The left section when you enter the parking lot) - I believe the GTR guys actually meet at the top of the parking structure as well every so often. There are weekly meets for pretty much every make/model as well for model specific gatherings that you can find out more info on thru the forums. The biggest issue lies when the lot fills up with "regular" cars and specialty cars don't have parking availble.

Nitto Admin
Nitto Admin

Thanks Nick for your comment and helpful suggestion. You do bring up a good point that these large groups of cars can be helpful for fellow owners to discuss mods - and maybe a featured day with a sectioned off area would be the perfect place for that...it sounds like a fantastic spot to get involved with volunteering!

Nitto Admin
Nitto Admin

Thank you Concerned enthusiast. The delay in comments being posted has to do with filtering spam and not opinions - yours are welcome here just as our writer's are!

Albert Roxas
Albert Roxas

Frank,

Thanks for the reply - what country are you referring to? Surely it's not the US. :) Cheers.

Albert Roxas
Albert Roxas

Hi Mark,

Thanks for taking the time to read the story. Allow me to elaborate - there were a few weekends where ///M5 row (the 2nd to last row) was completely full of modified and stock M5's. It was sincerely like going to Irvine BMW (actually, I've never seen THAT many at Irvine BMW LOL) - I think the modified ones are great (the 3 or 4 that have wheels and basic bolt-on's) Kudos if there's extra HP there as well, but like I mentioned, stock M5's can be seen at my neighborhood grocery store and FWIW, I personally believe the ///M6 is BMW's best current offer ;) Enthusiast debate (for those of us wannabe afficiandos) is healthy for the scene, I welcome it. Hope you continue to enjoy C&C and maybe we'll catch each other sometime.

Nitto Admin
Nitto Admin

Thanks for the 2 cents carguy - and as to the font...you'll soon be pleasantly surprised by a new look at DrivingLine.com that comes with better comment features!

okaycolin
okaycolin

@Albert Roxas  For what it's worth, I really respect your replies to the comments. Especially ones where the readers are building up a story in their heads about what a dickhead you are.


Kudos on keeping it cool when people make a lot of assumptions.

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