The Cars and Coffee of 2015
What a wild year for the so-called “Canepa Cars & Coffee”. Flipping through my photos of the first meet of the year, you can see that it was originally a pretty low-key event.
At the time, we all considered this a pretty decent showing. There were a few really interesting cars, and overall it seemed to be mostly Porsches given the nature of Canepa’s shop and racing career, past and present. As a Porsche lover, you won’t hear me complaining about that.
As would prove a theme for the whole year, we met some friends from the internet. Time and time again, it was proven true that it’s the cool people who come out with their cars, while the trolls are just sitting in their mom’s basement defending their leased Jetta TDI on the internet.
The flip side of the low attendance was that the parking was much more, erm…informal.
Yeah. Lots of vans for some reason. Back then, there was room for everyone in the parking lot.
And as you can see, the crowd was pretty sparse.
This is a Porsche 906, which is one of my all-time favorite cars that Porsche ever made. It was the last road-legal Porsche race car; the end of an era. And it turned out this lovely orange example was in for a full restoration that I would see unfold over the next several months.
There’s a guy who shows up early every single month in his Mk5 Golf R32 and leaves his hood popped. What is he showing off? The only mod is a short ram intake. Big deal. Anyway, this Volvo has every reason to have its hood popped.
At the July C&C, I met Drew, the owner of this LS1-swapped Volvo V90. In case you were wondering, that’s the engine from a Camaro SS, or a base model C5 Corvette. And it’s not stock. He didn’t build it, but you know what they say: dumb guys build race cars, smart guys buy race cars. Here’s another cliché: buy the owner, not the car. Apparently the guy who did build this car was some sort of meticulous mad genius who builds awesome cars and gets bored of them quickly. Perfect!
This Miura appeared at the July event. By this point, word was getting out about how cool the meet was, and some truly awe-inspiring machinery was coming out.
I had never, ever seen a Panoz Esperante. And I don’t think I ever will again.
This Cadillac blew my mind. I believe it was a 1906; so not only was it the oldest car I’ve ever seen at Cars and Coffee, it was probably the oldest car I’ve ever seen driving on public roads! An entire family of four showed up in it, no problem. They worked back then, why shouldn’t they work now? Amazing.
So why was the meet growing in popularity? The opportunity to walk freely around the incredible shop space was surely the biggest draw.
See what I mean? Every corner of the shop is filled with some awesome vintage car in varying states or restoration or repair.
Remember the 906? This was the state of it in July. Coming along nicely…
Due to various commitments, I wasn’t able to make every event. In fact, it’s only now that I’m looking at my photos and realized that I made every other event: April, July, and October. Given that the October meeting was the last one of the year, I definitely wanted to go. So on the early morning of October 10th, I woke up before my alarm clock, too excited to sleep, and bounced down to my workplace to pick up “my” car: a Pearl White McLaren 650S that I’d be driving for the day.
We were also accompanied by Art in his new-to-him E36 M3, his neighbor Kevin in a C63 AMG (not pictured yet), and one of our friends who we originally met on the internet, Gabe (aka ‘safegabe’) in his ’91 Civic Si. Point proven again: the cool dudes on the internet bring their cars to hang out, while the trolling idiots on the internet just sit at home, lonely and embittered.
I wish I had taken more pics when we first arrived. After just a few minutes, the sun was getting harsh.
Another friend from the internet, “Dave_Car_Guy”. He has quite an eclectic collection, ranging from a Datsun Roadster to a 930 to this Fisker Latigo CS (and a few more besides). We begged him to bring the Latigo, not because it’s necessarily the “coolest” car in his stable, but because it’s definitely the rarest: only one customer car was ever made!
Of course, you can read more about this car on the internet if you like, but here are some fundamentals to whet your appetite: it’s based on an E63 BMW series–a V10-powered M6, in fact. The original prototype was based on a 645i, and there were supposed to be 150 made, but only one was ever sold: the car you’re looking at. At an original cost of $216,000 not including the base car, you can see why it was a hard sell.
The rear end of the car is so much better resolved than the original Bangle design, but the jury’s still out on the front. I’m not really a fan of the Bangle E63/E64, so I find the Fisker touch to be appropriate. Also, the grey bus next to us wit the deep red interior (and a table!) was awesome.
Rarity is king at meets like this. I’m glad Art didn’t bring his 993 out this time, because even though it’s a cool car in a cool and rare-isn color, there are always 993’s out there. Hell, there was even an Ocean Blue 993 there already when we arrived! But even though there were a couple other E36 M3’s, there weren’t any sedans. Although there was another slicktop M3; this insanely rare E36 M3 Lightweight that I’ve seen at every Canepa C&C so far.
There are some cars that you can see over and over and not get tired of; this lead sled Merc is one of them. I finally got the time and opportunity to grab some snaps, so I did what I could.
When the car next to it left, I jumped in and made my move!
This is a 1940 Ford I believe? I don’t have any pics of the front–it might be a ’39.
In front of that was another car for the “never get tired of” department. This long hood, glass window Targa has been at each C&C I’ve seen, but I never get tired of looking at it.
And in front of that was a lovely BMW in a similar hue. Man, I love blues like this; why don’t manufacturers offer colors like this anymore?
Or what about colors like this? I guess people in general aren’t bold enough to roll around in a pink muscle car anymore.
The term “classic” is thrown around pretty easily with European or American cars, but Japanese? Even though it’s a Corolla, this car is a legitimate classic in my view.
One of the original draws to the Canepa Cars & Coffee was, and remains to this day, the opportunity to tour the shop. You’ll always find a treat, whether it’s looking at this incredible Ferrari 250 LM and wondering what it was like to blast down the Mulsanne at over 170mph…
…or looking at this McLaren P1 next to it and wondering what it’s like to blast down the freeway at over 170mph. I imagine the experience in the McLaren is a bit more sedate, eh?
Of course, you also get the works-in-progress; priceless classic cars getting repairs as if they were just any old daily driver. Such is Canepa, where extraordinary vehicles are clearly quite an ordinary sight.
Like this hot rod. I don’t really know what I’m looking at in there, but I do remember the Gurney Eagle being one of the most beautiful Formula One cars ever.
I’ve tried to take this 288 GTO’s interior shot before, but this is the first time I’ve been able to pull it off.
Since this was right after the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca (which I have about a zillion photos of–don’t worry, I didn’t forget about them!), the shop area was predictably filled with plenty of awesome racing Porsches.
Remember the orange 906? Well, here it is, looking like it just rolled out of Porsche’s factory in the 60s. Wow.
This pair of perfect 917’s was pretty awesome, too.
From that early 1970-spec 917 K-70 to this end of the line 917/30 Can-Am beast, it’s pretty interesting to think that those are essentially the same car.
I was in the back area and Gabe came up to me. “Did you see the LaFerrari parked next to you?” I walked over to see that there was quite a stir.
The Ferrari TheFerrari is another one of the current crop of exquisitely designed cars which really needs to be seen to be appreciated, because it’s actually all the things you can only perceive up close that really make it attractive. I think the same can be said of the McLaren P1, the Koenigsegg One:1, and even the Singer 911’s for that matter: they’re all about the details.
We cruised over to our usual meet-up location and had some lunch. Here are some gratuitous shots of everyone:
And with that, a great season of Canepa Cars & Coffee had ended. See you again in 2016!
Whoa! What’s that?? Remember to always keep your cameras out and your mind turned on.