Who Needs Sleep When There’s Cars and Coffee?


Who Needs Sleep When There's Cars & Coffee?
By Joe Lu

I am an Orange County resident, and thus, located in relatively close proximity to a Cars and Coffee location at Mazda's HQ in Irvine, California.  This being the case, you'd think that dropping by this event would be a pretty regular occurrence for me. 

For those uninitiated, Cars and Coffee is an organization that puts on a weekly car meet where owners and enthusiasts of just about anything with a motor and wheels come to hang out and look at or show their cars. If you look on Cars and Coffee's main website  there are only a dozen locations nationwide and four locations in Europe that hold these weekly gatherings. It is also an event for early risers, beginning at 6:00am and is usually over by 9:00am (hence the name, Cars and Coffee).  To top it off, the event is free. How rare is that? Nothing is ever free these days.

The Southern California event has been a regular occurrence since 2003, originating in the parking lot of the Crystal Cove shopping center in the nearby city of Newport Beach.  After being shut down at that location in 2006, the meet relocated to its current venue in Irvine.  This really is a unique event, as each week brings out a different mixture of unique and often rare cars, and you really never know what might show up. 

As it turns out, I've attended Cars and Coffee exactly twice in the past five or so years, for the simple reason that I can't ever seem to get up in time to catch the damn thing.  There is definitely a strong inverse relationship between checking this event out, and my catching weekend sleep. 

On this particular weekend however, I had pulled an all-nighter the previous night, so I decided that a trip to Cars and Coffee would be the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a rare occurrence for me; being up before 11am on a Saturday.  In the words of esteemed rapper Eli Porter, “I deed it”. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to live near a Cars and Coffee location, or just can't get up that early in the morning, you can live vicariously through my experience of the cars that happened to be there this particular week!

Aston Martin Virage
Hard to believe that today's sleek Aston Martins are the not-too-distant descendants of this early 90's Virage.  The large signature grille was on hiatus during these years while other bits of the car like the headlights and taillights were sourced from various other OEMs.


Consisting primarily of aluminum, the Panoz AiV roadster was manufactured by hand over a span of 3 years, each taking 350 (!) hours to complete.


Panoz dash
Center mounted instrument clusters, never liked them in rental car Toyotas.. still not a fan.


Mazda Miata
Mazdaspeed Miata on 949racing 6ULs.  Had to include this as I briefly had one of these (in the same orangey red mica something or other color.)


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