One of the first questions asked of me when I moved to the sunny state of California was, "Have you been to Cars & Coffee?" Initially I was taken back by this question. Being from the Washington D.C. area - I'm accustomed to late night car meets including imports, tubbed-out domestics, and Italian supercars – but what kind of a car guy would go out for early-morning coffee? Fast forward a few months and my weekends haven’t been the same, I've attended nearly every Cars & Coffee since.
It's my understanding that the Irvine Cars and Coffee was the original event, and now similar car meets take place across the nation. Every Saturday beginning at 5am, the procession of cars begin flooding into a large parking lot within a corporate business park. Sometimes I haven't a clue as to what car I'm looking at, but that's the whole point of this - bringing all walks of life and automotive enthusiasm together to share a common love and appreciation.
During a recent Saturday morning, I noticed an expanse of people crowding around a vehicle and I thought to myself, "There are a multitude of cars here, what the hell could this be that has so many people gravitating to it?"
As I approached, I came to realize what was so special – it was the one and only freaking Koenigsegg. As I stood there admiring this beauty, this work of art with its eccentric body lines and aura, I thought to myself "You know, we should feature a monthly Cars & Coffee Best of Show" And hands down, THIS car needs to be the very first!
Not only is the Koenigsegg extremely rare with an ungodly price tag – but I chose it as the “Best of Show” because it’s one of the few cars in the world still hand built from the ground up. (Check out more exclusive in-depth coverage of this Koenigsegg CCX!)
As Koenigsegg, a Swedish company, notes:
“Every characteristic detail of the Koenigsegg automobile is measured up against our continuing goal : the desire to enhance vehicle performance. This is reflected in everything we do, nothing is insignificant… From power train to safety every part must enable the car to deliver the best possible pursuance.”
While the Koenigsegg undoubtedly gets “Best of Show,” I couldn't stop at just featuring one vehicle. There is always a laundry list of beautiful gems that attend Cars and Coffee…
One stunningly pristine convertible I crossed paths with was a snow white 1958 Chevrolet Corvette. One look at this car and I felt like I’d known the owner for years. Meticulous care was taken with every chrome accent, paint lacked any signs of wear and tear – yet the mileage showed that this Corvette was enjoyed. The tires looked as if someone reached back in time and pulled a set of original white walls right off the factory’s racks. I couldn’t help but reminisce the joys of collecting toy cars like this when growing up.
Next is this 1971 Chevrolet Camaro, which is admittedly mostly a personal partiality. The ’68-69 Camaro is the most commonly sought after year model – but I’ve always had a taste for the eccentric, and I love this year Camaro due to an odd quirk with its badging. Starting in 1970, the big block 396 V8s actually displaced 402 cubic inches, yet Chevrolet chose to retain the 396 badging. For some reason, that was forever etched into my brain. Odd, I know, but that’s my reasoning.
There’s so much more to Cars and Coffee though, it isn’t all high-end exotics and classic American muscle. The Scion FRS, properly the Toyota GT86 or Subaru BRZ, has received a large spotlight as of late, and modified versions are frequent visitors to Cars & Coffee. With a price tag that’s a fraction of any exotic, this beast is out and about keeping up with the likes of Lamborghinis and Ferraris.
Lastly, there’s always something outlandish and eye catching to show up. During this Cars & Coffee it’s a turbocharged, chain-driven scooter – alongside an equally epic supercharged, chopped Chevy van. Even Scooby and the Gang would envy these, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Until next time…
Continue reading next month's Best of Show: May Cars & Coffee!