The New King Of Cars & Coffee
The Best?

Last year when word came that the original Cars & Coffee in Irvine, California, had been shut down after complaints from the surrounding neighborhood, Southern California lost perhaps its greatest automotive event. Irvine’s C&C was the stuff of legend, and it was known worldwide for its incredible turnout of machinery week after week.

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The success of the original Cars & Coffee spawned similar events in cities all over the US and even overseas, but in terms of size and quality of cars, Irvine was still the best. So now that the original is gone, which C&C event can lay claim to being the greatest?

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I think my vote goes to Canepa Cars & Coffee, held the second Saturday of the month at Bruce Canepa’s incredible facility in Scotts Valley, California.

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It might be on the smaller side compared to some of the other C&C meets out there, but who cars about quantity? After spending a morning at Canepa Cars & Coffee you might find yourself wondering if you actually saw all that amazing machinery, or whether it was just some sort of virtual reality dream sequence.

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And the stuff parked outside is only the beginning.

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With each monthly C&C event, Bruce and company open the shop from top to bottom, allowing enthusiasts to take an up-close look at Canepa’s fleet of dream machines. This makes Canepa Cars & Coffee unlike any other meet in the world, and an absolute must-see in my book.

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But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I’ll be back later with some scenes from inside the shop, but right now let’s focus on the stuff outside…

Something For Everyone
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While you won’t find hundreds and hundreds of cars packed together at Canepa Cars & Coffee, you will find a selection of Northern California’s best exotic, vintage and customized vehicles.

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Canepa is actually located a decent drive away from the Bay Area’s big population centers, but I think that actually makes for a better show. It seems like the monthly event attracts a more serious and enthusiastic crowd.

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You won’t find too many ‘normal’ machines at Canepa Cars & Coffee either. That means no lines of identical C5 and C6 Corvettes around here – apologies in advance.

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You will, however, find the sort of variety that makes a good Cars & Coffee meet so great. For example, here we’ve got a C2 ‘Vette, an FD3S RX-7, an E30 M3 and a couple of vintage Porsches for good measure.

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While Canepa’s shop is filled with race cars, classics and exotics from all over the world, Bruce is especially well known for his work with Porsches. It only makes sense then, to see a large turnout of Stuttgart’s finest at the monthly C&C events.

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Water-cooled or air-cooled – there was something for any kind of Porsche fan to dig, and that’s before going inside to drool over Bruce’s personal collection of historic race cars.

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But it wasn’t one of the high-dollar Porsches that was getting all the attention outside, it was this beat-up 911 24 Hours of LeMons racer powered by a Volkswagen TDI engine of all things. I just love the DGAF attitude here!

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How about a couple of bright red Ferraris? I especially liked the ‘MDEIN84′ plate on the 308, as this author happens to be born in 1984 as well. What a fine year.

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Saturday’s meet also offered plenty for fans of American iron, including this bitchin’ Thunderbird with vintage mag wheels and a proper manual gearbox. Had all T-Birds been built with this sort of attitude, Ford might have had a proper ‘Vette rival on its hands.

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And how about this 1970 Dodge Charger 500… It was originally sold in nearby Santa Cruz and was wearing what looks to be original paint.

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A couple of hot rods also stopped by for the festivities, including this sweet little roadster sporting a very traditional look with steel wheels and dog dish caps.

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Long live the Trans Am! Most of these late ’70s T/As were neglected over the decades, so it’s always nice to see pristine original examples like this one.

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As far as modern Detroit Muscle goes you aren’t gonna do much better in that department than a Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

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Svelte British body plus American small block is always a choice combo, as demonstrated by this Sunbeam Tiger wearing a set of Panasports with full Hoosier slicks.

From Datsuns To McLarens
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So we’ve covered some of the European and American machines that were in attendance, but what about the Japanese cars? They had a strong a turnout as well.

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Among the fleet of machinery was this rare left-hand drive Lancer Evolution which somehow made its way to American shores. We are quite used to seeing the later Evos here in the States, but it’s a rare occasion when one of the earlier models pops up.

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This AE86 Corolla is pulling off the USDM bumpers quite well, and it’s hard not to like choice of period Advan A3A wheels.

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Going back even further, here we’ve got a Datsun Fairlady Roadster in immaculate factory condition. It was so clean in fact, that it could have easily come out of Nissan’s DNA Garage in Japan.

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Why Subaru SVX parked next to Aston Martin? Because Cars & Coffee.

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In addition to all that, there was also a pair of exotic cars which could be considered the stars of Saturday’s meet – one of which was this stunning McLaren F1. I’ve got no idea how many F1s are on US shores these days, but I can count my own sightings on one hand.

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The F1 was joined by this black LaFerrari with dealer tags – the first I’ve ever spotted in the wild. As you might imagine, there were crowds of people around both this and the McLaren all morning.

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Yet, as great as all of this was, it was still a light appetizer for the pure automotive joy that waited inside the Canepa facility.

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And on that note, stay tuned for more from Canepa Cars & Coffee including a detailed look inside Bruce Canepa’s shop and spotlights on a few of the day’s most exciting cars.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media
mike@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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48 comments

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1

Whoa, that's a ton of automotive eye candy in one place... However, I think the east coast equivalent is the Cars & Coffee every Saturday morning in Great Falls, Virginia. It's just outside of Washington, DC and I've been going since it started in April 2010. The extremely high concentration of wealth in the area simply means an incredible array of vehicles from every super car imaginable to a selection of bespoke coach built Moal creations. If any SpeedHunters are in the Washington DC area, it would be well worth checking out.

2
GillbertChandrabose

Parking job of the Ferrari in the second last pic gives me anxiety.  
Park by feel much?

3

GillbertChandrabose I was about to say, that guys needs his 'nice car' card revoked. The Charger down the line can be overlooked, because the car's a yacht and can't fit in the space otherwise. But I actually cringed seeing that Ferrari.

4
EricSeanDelaney

There's something about first gen Porsches and fog lights that just get me all excited. The Porsche with the IROC bumper and light pod takes the cake for me though.

5

EricSeanDelaney I can only imagine the late night back road blasts that car is capable of.

6
the_escape_road

Looks like a terrible event..

7

EricSeanDelaney Settle down Magnus

8

C'mon Vancouver, take a slice of this pie
and stop being boring with all the silver convertible 911's!

9
jbfromsiliconvalley

I live 20 mins from Canepa. The foreman came into the brewery where I work and I got the inside tour of all areas....even the machine shop. Classic LeMans cars, RSRs, Bugattis, 959s, Canepa's brand new Mc L P1, etc. This place is Shangra LA for enthusiasts. It's a must

10

Here in Arizona there's a Cars n Coffee in Scottsdale that usually has a lot of cars show up. Definitely worth it to check it out. D Types, Enzos, even a 1 of 3 Nardi-Danese 6C showed up one time. Oh and of course there were the long lines of Mustangs and 911s.

11
Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Mike, mate if the cars in this story are anything to go by, I absolutely can't wait for the look inside, or the spotlights!

12

The little red Honda is a Z Act isn't it? Looks great, never seen one outside of Gran Turismo 6 :D

13

CyborgGT GillbertChandrabose Dont worry guys, looks like a mash up replica/kit car

14

TDI 911 nailed it. Best car there...

15

Shagged handbrake...

16

JPRedhead z360 or z600

17
MeesKohneVonJaski

feature on  the TDI 911?

18

Every week they post a new shop walk around on u tube.

19

I "car" about quality, Mike, I totally "car".  ;]

20

Aktifspeed  I was going to post the same thing!  I've only been going to Katie's for about 6 months or so, but there's some really unique stuff there.  The old Bentley is one of my favorite regulars.

21

simon potter A convertible 911 is like slapping Ferdinand's dead corpse in the face.

22
Tasos Papazachariou

Is this heaven or what? :D

23

Tasos Papazachariou Pretty much!

24

johnbezt How can you not? ;)

25

JPRedhead Yep, Z600. Fairly common here in California actually.

26

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner Thanks! I don't think you'll be disappointed..

27

jbfromsiliconvalley Agreed. It's just insane.

28

the_escape_road Horrible actually!

29

Aktifspeed Will keep that in mind for when we have someone in the area. Sounds cool!

30

Rock on! I wish this was closer to SoCal. The turnout looks incredible... That 959 had me drooling. On the other hand, I miss Irvine :( I am really happy to see other meets taking off. Hopefully we won't have a bunch of losers shut down another C&C.

31

MeesKohneVonJaski Glad you liked the car :). I'd be more than happy to give Mike Garrett some time with the car for a feature.

32

Putsteelsonit thanks, that made my day! Although you misspelled "crappiest".

33

You missed the Trabant!

34

skrinix Dude you must take a drive north as this is incredible and if you want 959's go indoors where there are usually several more being worked on in his shop, among the dozens of classic museum race and street cars

35

That Evo 6 is very tasty

36

I love that orange 997 RS on BBS CH-R's.

37

Canepa is pretty awesome.  Another HUGE one is Blackhawk....

38

skrinix It's well worth the weekend trip!

39

Mike Garrett JPRedhead I guess they weren't exported to Germany back then...but a nice little car anyway. I was wondering if there is also a tuning scene for old Japanese compact cars like this one, or first gen Civics, Colts or Corollas.

40

Way better variety than Irvine C&C!!!  It's nice to not see 100's of GT-Rs and Lambos and brand new 911's

41

That Subaru SVX is fast becoming a rare car IMO.

42

Please more Cars & Coffee from all over the world. :)

43

Canepa is great but I'd say we have a really good showing out in Boulder, CO...
https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeAndCarsBoulder?fref=ts

44

The Cars & Coffee in Lehigh Valley PA is not only at a gorgeous stting, but it has a huge turnout of everything from ratty turbo corvairs to Ferarri 458s it is insane!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cars-Coffee-Lehigh-Valley/329548200453194?fref=ts

45

NickBrown2 : I personally haven't witnessed a bigger event although I heard NJ also hosts a really large one.  But, it's a moot point around here as it seems SH doesn't acknowledge the existence of the north-east.  Pic attached anyway!
My C&C galleries & more: http://clients.zacharyemerick.biz/Cars/Meets

46
Slappy_Pistons

Those "Panasports" you mention look like Minilites to me but (apologies if I am wrong).

47

A great on to check out is http://www.mncandc.com. The automotorplex is an amazing venue.

48

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