Portland, Oregon. Need I say more?
If you aren’t from the West Coast, or even the United States, then yes, more explanation may be required. To put it simply in context of this event, Donuts & Drip is Steve ‘Pelle’ Pelletier’s take on what cars and coffee should be. Public, but semi-curated, Pelle has been organizing occasional weekend morning meets around Portland for some time.
Instead of coffee you’re encouraged to bring donuts, with plenty to spare.
Pelle has worked hard to keep his previous meets relatively small and also in aesthetically pleasing locations. The first one we went to was in the parking lot of a burnt-down warehouse that has since been turned into a parking lot for an adjacent office space. The foundation and first-level walls of the old structure remain, and thanks to the wet climate they have slowly been reclaimed by nature over the years.
The location was also chosen due to being revamped by the Portland Street Art Alliance, an organization that advocates for and provides a platform for public art and networking within the street art community. Sadly we missed the next event that was held out near a dam, with amazing foggy views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
The point is, it’s great to see someone putting some thought into these kinds of events and looking to carefully build a community rather than trying to monetize the attendees or blow up their own Instagram account.
Up until this point, each event had been a word-of-mouth sort of thing. Pelle kept the location under wraps until the last minute to avoid having hundreds of cars coming through and the potential to get shut down, which is seemingly more and more of an issue as time goes by. And being carefully considered, they’re always really nice to shoot, too.Drip & Drip
This event had a special guest who was giving away some signature Nike SB 277 Dunks, which were designed by Magnus Walker himself in collaboration with professional skateboarder Ishod Wair. Pelle helped the project come together, and handed out the final pair of five given away, all of which were provided by Tactics.com.
When Magnus tosses you a set of his shoes, you put ‘em on!
It was a cool blending of niche cultures, and people seem to go similarly bonkers for certain shoes as they do for certain cars. On that note, more about the cars…
This was the first Drip event to be widely broadcast, and as such it was larger than previous gatherings. A huge public lot was selected, and I felt the massive turnout was really representative of Portland’s eclectic — or should I say eccentric — culture.Portland
I’ve always wanted to do a car-spotting story taking in Portland’s different neighborhoods, as many, many citizens own interesting cars without even realizing how great they really are. Walking around any part of town you’ll see plenty of old Volvos, Mercedes-Benz, Volvos, Saabs, and more Volvos, for example.
It’s not news that Portlanders want to be seen as different, and these vehicles are usually owned as an accessory item, like a cool vintage watch or pair of jeans. People here come into them almost accidentally, simply for the quirky experience they deliver.
Then you add the deranged mentality of proper car enthusiasts into the mix, and get a fantastic assortment of these automobiles.
My friend Sacha is a great example of the latter kind: the automotively-infected, who just builds something purely for their own enjoyment. His Recaro-clad 142 has been on road trips all over the country with him, and Sacha recently added to his Volvo family in the way of some early wagons. Good man.
Moving on to bricks of a different variety, you see tons of JDM cars here in the Northwest. Maybe it’s simply due to the geographic proximity to Japan as compared to the rest of the country, but the density seems much higher than in, say, California, where I would consider the Japanese influence to be fairly prominent already.
JDM van culture is particularly strong in Portland as well, and Pelle’s Toyota Hiace fits right in while also standing out. I want one – badly.
Oh, and TE everything? I think so…
There’s also a huge number of American cars in various states prowling around town, and they become more common as you travel the surrounding country roads. It’s great to see my generation of car enthusiasts buying and modifying these old timers to their own taste.
At the other end of the spectrum, the owner of this AC Cobra bought it from a doctor when it was just a couple of years old. It remains unrestored, and it’s just fantastic to see something like this — road-rashed wheel arches, cracked leather seats and all — out and about on the street.
Naturally, there was a smattering of your standard — and not-so-standard — European cars (and trucks) out as well. Predominantly Porsches, of course.
But in this case, the weirder, the better. Wacky colors, safari builds, stock wheels, three wheels, there was something for everyone. This event really served as a nice microcosm of what you see cruising around Portland, even if it’s just a small slice of a rather special pie.
Portland’s car culture sprawls out around its border, so thanks must go to Pelle and everyone else involved for doing the hard work of bringing it all together. Keep on scrolling to see what else showed up to Drip 8.
Additional Photos by Sara Ryan