Socal’s Melting Pot Of Car Culture

It’s been over a year now since I moved out of LA and picked up a house here in Central California. I love my house, my garage, the lack of traffic, and the general relaxed nature here, but there are plenty of things I miss about living in Southern California. Being able to visit Cars & Coffee regularly is one of  them. It had been more than six months since my last visit to C&C, so during my visit to Orange County over the weekend I made it a point to drop by the Mazda HQ in Irvine to catch up on the famous weekly car meet.

Nothing had changed since my last visit to Cars & Coffee, and that’s a good thing. It was still the same eclectic gathering of automobiles from every era and from every part of the world. Cars & Coffee is everything that’s great about Southern California car culture squished into a couple hours every Saturday morning.

As I walked over from the spectator parking area, I immediately noticed the vast number of Porsches that had come out to this week’s event. There tons of them at every C&C, but this week there was even more than usual. It turns out the Porsche was the featured brand for this meet, and the southern corner of the lot was jammed full of 911s and other Porsche models.

Among the standouts in the Porsche group was this 993 Carerra RS in all of its badass 1990s glory.  Just one of many mouth watering Porsches that had come out.

Of course the Porsche section was just one small part of the whole event. The great thing about Cars & Coffee is that you could go every week and see different machines each time. Sure, come cars are regulars but you really never know what’s gonna show up. Look in one direction and you’ll see a ’68 Camaro that looks like a lifesize Hot Wheel.

Look in another direction and you’ll see an understated Nissan Z33 with an intercooler tucked in the front bumper.

There are even off road vehicles, like this jacked up Land Cruiser. No matter what sort of automobiles strike your fancy, there will be something to like at Cars and Coffee. If your tastes are as diverse as mine, it will be pure overload.

One of my personal highlights from Saturday’s event was this Sunbeam Tiger. An absolutely immaculate machine both outside…

…and beneath the hood. Hey, who needs a Cobra?

The great thing about Cars & Coffee is that it’s open to anything. You’ll see million dollar exotics parked a few feet away from grassroots projects like this E30 sedan. Sometimes the low budget cars get just as much attention as the high dollar machinery.

Few cars better symbolize the high point of Pontiac’s history than the 1962 Grand Prix. Wide, stylish, and powerful.

Sitting just a couple spaces away was the equally beautiful face of the E30 M3. Such is the variety that is Cars and Coffee.

My last visit to Cars in Coffee in December of last year was actually the first time I saw the production version of the Scion FR-S in person. Now the FR-S and its Subaru BRZ cousin are on their way to becoming C&C regulars.

Another cars that’s starting to pop up on the streets now is the Fiat 500 Abarth. It’s so great to see such a solid selection of affordable and fun new cars hitting the US market.

Here’s a standard Fiat 500 looking tough with a drop and a set of Rotiform NUEs.

If you’ve ever been to Cars and Coffee, I’m sure you know the guy that comes out to serenade everyone with smooth jazz music from his car stereo. Stay classy.

Being in Orange County, Cal Look VWs are found regularly at Cars & Coffee. Lovely little ragtop here.

Sometimes you just want to cruise around in a vintage land yacht like this Caddy. It’s big, slow, and gets terrible gas mileage, but who cares?

Heading out for a little post-Cars & Coffee drive it seems?

The unmistakeable lines of the Ford GT40, or at least a convincing replica of one…

When it comes to a meet like Cars & Coffee, you can choose to walk around the lot or you can simply claim a spot to sit and watch the cars roll in and out.

Those of you who live in places where the Skyline GT-R was sold probably wouldn’t understand the the excitement that occurs when a GT-R shows up at a car meet in the US – even a bone stock example like this R33.

One of my somewhat realistic automotive fantasies is to pick an old Benz like this, drive it until it blows up and then do some sort of crazy swap. LS7? 2JZ? Who knows?

Given its mild climate year round, there are few places on earth better for Miata ownership than Southern California.

JDM fans will surely recognize an Infiniti M30, but I have a feeling many of the attendees at Cars & Coffee were wondering what’s going on with this old, boxy Japanese machine.

Then they glance at the RB25DET and under the hood and the discussions really start to get interesting…

This Mk1 Escort is an extremely rare vehicle to see in the United States. I’m not sure exactly how many of these cars have made their way to the US, but the number has got to be low.

Here’s a Fox Body Saleen Mustang looking as good as new. I’m curious to see what will happen to the values of cars like this over the coming years. Will these specialty cars from the ’80s and ’90s ever be worth the same as their counterparts from the ’60s and ’70s?

This Honda S800 Coupe was originally purchased by a serviceman in Okinawa and he brought it back with him when he returned to the US. He also owned a Boss 302 Mustang and painted the Honda to match, complete with hockey stick stripes and all.

The current owner purchased the car five years ago and got it running again. As of now though, the exterior remains unrestored.

With that I’ll go ahead and wrap up this post, but I’ll return tomorrow with more of my findings from Saturday’s edition of Cars & Coffee. Don’t forget to pick up the desktops below.

-Mike

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83 comments

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1

is that Jon Sibal's Challenger?. It's one of the sickets challengers I've ever seen. 

2

is that Jon Sibal's Challenger?. It's one of the sickets challengers I've ever seen. 

3

C&C would be cool if 90% of the cars weren't gallardos, GT-Rs, corvettes, and mustangs.  

4

C&C would be cool if 90% of the cars weren't gallardos, GT-Rs, corvettes, and mustangs.  

5

and 911s

6

and 911s

7

MIKE
 
Y U NO PHOTOGRAPH MY BRZ
 
I was parked in the side lot since the main lot had filled up when I got there :/

8

MIKE
 
Y U NO PHOTOGRAPH MY BRZ
 
I was parked in the side lot since the main lot had filled up when I got there :/

9

Sidenote: I had meant to park next to the BRZ shown, since the owner and I had arranged to do so, but I didn't get there early enough.

10

Sidenote: I had meant to park next to the BRZ shown, since the owner and I had arranged to do so, but I didn't get there early enough.

11

As a European, I must admit that the selection and amount of cars is mind-blowing. 

12

As a European, I must admit that the selection and amount of cars is mind-blowing. 

13

 @_Engineer This was there and it's street legal (to a certain extent): http://i.imgur.com/xVQu2.jpg

14

 @_Engineer This was there and it's street legal (to a certain extent): http://i.imgur.com/xVQu2.jpg

15

what the f*** is in the background of the caddy picture?

16

what the f*** is in the background of the caddy picture?

17
EricSeanDelaney

One of the main reasons I will be moving to SoCal as soon as I can.

18
EricSeanDelaney

One of the main reasons I will be moving to SoCal as soon as I can.

19
I.HeartClick.Cars.

 @SeanStott Maybe if you ever brought your Mustang when you had the chance, it might have been a little cooler?

20
I.HeartClick.Cars.

 @SeanStott Maybe if you ever brought your Mustang when you had the chance, it might have been a little cooler?

21
I.HeartClick.Cars.

 @SeanStott Says the Mustang owner!

22
I.HeartClick.Cars.

 @SeanStott Says the Mustang owner!

23

How does that GT-R have cali plates? Its not legal is it?

24
Brandon Motteram

I wish there was a desktop of the GT40 replica. That was a nice picture.

25
NobodyFromOppo

 @SloMo You can import R33's but it takes a lot of work and money. http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/the-facts-about-nissan-skyline-importation-into-the-united-states-1.html

26

More about the red aerodynamic thing behind the caddy??

27

 @NobodyFromOppo 
 
Why are they illegal there? I thought the US was super easy to get anything registered!

28
NobodyFromOppo

 @Spaghetti It has to do with crash test and emissions regulations. I think we have stricter crash tests and the EPA doesn't recognize foreign emissions tests, so to import, you need to pay for crash tests and emissions tests.

29

MORE M30 PLZ!!! That thing was amazing!!!!!

30

 @D1RGE EXE I was following him onto the 405 North. He was booking it. I'm pretty sure it was running E85.

31

can we get a desktop of that land cruiser please?!

Author32

 @jonceballos Indeed it is. Feature coming soon :)

Author33

 @luisthebeast Yeah I got there around 6:40 or so and the lot was already overflowing. Pretty crazy!

Author34

 @Spaghetti Quite the opposite the actually :(

35

Dear Mike,Oldschool Mercedes Benz, don't blow up. They just keep running and running.

36

http://forum.vastaheitto.com/index.php?topic=7279.0W126 500sec, twinturbo lsx drift car. same what occurs in Gatebil story.

37

That Can-Am car... I think it needs to feature it!

38

Mike that Mk1 Ford Escort has a 2.0L Zetec swap with ITB's ;)I saw you at the opposite end of where it was and was going to go tell you what it had but then I got distracted by something else lolBTW did you catch the 1975 Skyline?

39

Mike that Mk1 Ford Escort has a 2.0L Zetec swap with ITB's ;)I saw you at the opposite end of where it was and was going to go tell you what it had but then I got distracted by something else lolBTW did you catch the 1975 Skyline?

40

Mike that Mk1 Ford Escort has a 2.0L Zetec swap with ITB's ;)I saw you at the opposite end of where it was and was going to go tell you what it had but then I got distracted by something else lolBTW did you catch the 1975 Skyline?

41

 @Spaghetti It's not super easy but it's do-able. I live in New Jersey and own an Evo 6.

42

 @Spaghetti It's not super easy but it's do-able. I live in New Jersey and own an Evo 6.

43

 @Spaghetti It's not super easy but it's do-able. I live in New Jersey and own an Evo 6.

Author44

 @Leo CNCpics Wow, nice. I'd never seen that Escort betore. Yep, I caught the Skyline as well, there's a photo of it coming up in the second post.

Author45

 @Leo CNCpics Wow, nice. I'd never seen that Escort betore. Yep, I caught the Skyline as well, there's a photo of it coming up in the second post.

Author46

 @Leo CNCpics Wow, nice. I'd never seen that Escort betore. Yep, I caught the Skyline as well, there's a photo of it coming up in the second post.

47

Please more on the red Can-Am car in the back of the caddy! 

48

Please more on the red Can-Am car in the back of the caddy! 

49

Please more on the red Can-Am car in the back of the caddy! 

50

 @D1RGE EXE Thats a Can-Am Car. Furious beasts of the late 60's and early 70's

51

Can-Am car. Looks of McClaren design. Obviously a replica of some sort. 

52

I know the guy in the M30...he bought the car swapped already ...all he did was throw wheels on it...and hes pretty cocky....anybody that knows him can say tell you the same thing

53

Mike!!!!  You missed the Mooneyes open house?

Author54

I headed there after I was through at Cars & Coffee actually.

55

I'm glad to see FOX bodies popping up more often. i have huge respect for those cars and really like their clean lines

56

 @D1RGE EXE There's a rear-end shot of the same car on a previous Cars and Coffee post here:http://www.speedhunters.com/2011/07/event_gt_gt_cars_amp_coffee_7_9_11_pt_2/

57

Stay Classy?
 
I don't always drink beer but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.
Stay classy, my friends.
 
I'm sure I wasn't the only person who was thinking that when reading "stay classy."

58

 @Leo CNCpics Hey guys, thanks for the kind words about the Escort. It actually has a 250 HP Cosworth Duratec. Same motor as the Caterham CSR 260. I was going to pop the hood, but an English Ford purist once had a coronary thrombosis when he saw the swap, so I tend to play it low key now... ;-) Speedhunters (and CNC Pics) is the business, keep up the good work! 

59

Damn, I knew it was one of those 4-cylinder motors just wasn't sure which one. I was going to ask you to pop the hood so I could take a quick shot but you seemed to be in a hurry to leave when I saw you. Oh and thanks for the compliment. :)

60

 @Leo CNCpics Cool, I'll pop the hood next time before I slip away into the safety of the anonymous crowd... I'll just have to create a diversion when I leave so I can lower the hood and sneak away before someone blows a fuse for defiling one of the UK's finest... ;-)

61
inspector_exacto

 @LouisYio I'm afraid he says "stay thirsty my friends". But "classy" sure sounds like it would fit perfect.

62

Robert I would like to take a bunch of pics of your car and feature them on my site. Would you be up for that? If so can you shoot me an email to leo@cncpics.com
 
Thanks :)Mike...you guys should feature his car too! It's outstanding!

63

Robert I would like to take a bunch of pics of your car and feature them on my site. Would you be up for that? If so can you shoot me an email to leo@cncpics.com
 
Thanks :)Mike...you guys should feature his car too! It's outstanding!

64

 @inspector_exacto ahhh crap!!! oh well

65

 @inspector_exacto ahhh crap!!! oh well

66

Nice range of cars, That Infiniti coupe with the swap is really nice.

67

"pick an old Benz like this, drive it until it blows up"
 
THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

68

"pick an old Benz like this, drive it until it blows up"
 
THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

69

 @Mike Garrett So a car like "INTHE6S" the drag Corvette or the van in the other C&C thread with a roof chop, no roof panelling and a mid mounted and blown V8 can be registered, but an R33 GTR can't.....odd!!!

Author70

 @LouisYio It was more of Ron Burgundy reference actually :)

Author71

 @Spaghetti Yeah once a car is titled it's pretty much fair game, and in California pre 1975 vehicles like the van can be modified in any way you please. It's getting imported vehicles legally titled that's the tough part...

72

You'd have to pick up an early 2000's M-B for that plan to work, old Benz's are bulletproof!

73

You'd have to pick up an early 2000's M-B for that plan to work, old Benz's are bulletproof!

74

You'd have to pick up an early 2000's M-B for that plan to work, old Benz's are bulletproof!

75

I'm so jealous of southern Californians and their car culture. It's so hard to keep a car looking pristine up here in New England!!

76

I'm so jealous of southern Californians and their car culture. It's so hard to keep a car looking pristine up here in New England!!

77

I'm so jealous of southern Californians and their car culture. It's so hard to keep a car looking pristine up here in New England!!

78

 @Mike Garrett That's awesome, so rules are very relaxed for old school then. Pity it's not like that here! Thanks for the info!

79

 @Mike Garrett That's awesome, so rules are very relaxed for old school then. Pity it's not like that here! Thanks for the info!

80

that guy is a ricer in denial i feel bad for the f31 community

81

@JohnCl Yea this car is bought not build. I am friends with the guy in which this car was purchased. Wheels are rattlecanned

82

Mike, any more pics on the black challenger?

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