• Oct 16, 2006
CC is dead, long live CC. After getting the boot by the Irvine Company this past Saturday, Southern California car enthusiasts were concerned that the Crystal Cove car show would disappear all together. Not only were the car owners in dispair, but also the fans of these incredible vehicles from around the world who would search the web for pictures of what supercar or museum treasure had shown up last week. A worldwide cry went out from fans around the Internet, pleading for a place to host the meet so it could live on. Several offers of restaurants and beach parking lots came in, but in the end it was Ford Motor Company who stepped up and saved the show. Now that's a Bold Move we can get behind.

The story of how it happened is a little slice of what makes this such a great show and such a great home for auto enthusiasts. It seems a couple of executives down at Ford's Premier Auto Group building in Irvine were regulars at the weekly meet. Head of Styling Freeman Thomas and Communications Head John Clinard would cruise down to the show when they could to meet other car guys and see the cars that had turned out. When they found out about the show's impending demise, they started talking to people they knew who were involved with the show. A few ideas for a new home were being bandied about, but nothing that seemed likely to be able to handle the unique requirements of a weekly, informal, car fest that can attract as many as 1,000 spectators and participants on a good weekend.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story and a few pics from the final Crystal Cove meet.

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The lot had to be large and empty on weekends, with no curbs or speed bumps, preferably far from residences and commercial interests that might interfere with start and stop times, and it should be easily accessible by at least one of California's major freeways. Coffee and bathrooms were a must. Nearby shopping and breakfast were a plus. While discussing the dilemma at work one day, Freeman and John happened to look out their windows and realized they were sitting on a veritable oasis. A few phone calls later and they were ready to roll. They proposed the idea to several of the key players behind the original show and the overwhelming majority thought it would be perfect.

Not wanting to force themselves on anybody, the Ford execs made it clear that if a better home is found in the future, they'll be there and happily promoting it. But for now, the Mazda/PAG campus right across the street from the Irvine Spectrum will be the new home of the CC show. And about the name...nobody has come up with a new one, but Freeman's suggestion sounded like a good one. He pointed out that a lot of people had shortened Crystal Cove to CC already and saw no good reason to change it. CC can just as easily stand for Cars and Coffee he reasoned.

The final gathering at Crystal Cove had a somber tone, partly because of the threatening clouds overhead. The crowd was nonetheless enormous and the variety of cars typically eclectic. The sun even peaked through to momentarily give attendees a beautiful rainbow show. Perhaps it was a reminder that the new location will lack the beauty of the adjacent beach and ocean, or perhaps the rainbow will follow the cars. We'll keep you posted on how the new show is doing next week. October 21 will be the new CC show at Ford. Freeman will be there, probably in one of his old Porsches, and John might bring his Ferrari Series 1 Pininfarina Cabriolet. Just because the building says Ford doesn't mean the cars have to, after all. And if the Aston Martin ALMS team happens to be in town, or maybe a GR-1 show car, or Fairlane concept, then we're sure showgoers won't complain if Ford puts them on display out front.



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  • 16 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      ED---Although this is one option for those wishing an alternative to the new show at Ford-PAG-Mazda, this is not going to be a replacement for the main event.
      The Car Show is moving back to the Beach!

      Starting next Saturday Nov. 11, 2006
      7am-9am
      We will meet on Balboa Island!

      Parking will be at the Balboa Pier lot, on the North end...right on the beach!

      Many restaurants at the pier open at 7:00am for breakfast--Ruby's, The Shorehouse Cafe, bakery shops, convenience stores, etc.



      Take PCH to Newport Blvd. which turns into Balboa Blvd.
      Right on Palm Dr.--then go through parking ticket booth at lot entrance
      Take ticket at parking ticket booth...pay when you leave.


      Approved by the Newport Beach Parking Supervisor
      Harbour Resources Division

      Parking is $1.50/hr.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think its great that the CC show has a new venue. if the plan is still the same- meeting on saturdays til 9am- there could be a traffic problem on Oct 28th. thats the day of Sevenstock- a yearly get together for rotary engine enthusiasts. Thousands of rotor heads and their cars will be descending on that parking lot from all over the country for this years 9th annual meeting. the line up to get in and park and vendors to get in to show their wares should be starting about the same time as the CC show.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Beach, babes, palm trees, place's to eat and sit down, walk the pier, great place to bring the kids......Oh yea, it will cost $1.50 to park. Look like like a good alternative to standing around a parking lot in the middle of Irvine.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan Gurney lives very close. His son has driven his race to the event via PCH. IDIOT! But to see a gunrey in a gurney GT40...OHhhhhhh Glad the event will move. CC Sucks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      More info about the new location and pics of previous Crystal Cove meets (and future of the new CC) at http://crystalcovecarshow.blogspot.com
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think the lack of the ocean or starbucks, etc will be a large detractor. I went to the CC meet for the first time the week before and the cars ARE the show. I didn't even notice anything else around.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The C & C show will go on, but in the other lot. Talking to some of the regulars, I think several may take a pass this week and return in full force when the show moves back into the main lot again. I'm sure it will be worth a trip anyhow. I'll be there early and I'll be sticking around for Sevenstock as well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Crystal Cove Saturday mornings is no more???? Oh, well. Remember the meet in the parking lot of the Hard Rock at Fashion Island back in the early '90's? Mark Cilani did one of his signature burn outs in his blown Hemi yellow 34 roadster 'Cruise Bum' on Newport Center Drive...that was the end of that gig.

      The PCH location was half the attraction, seeing the same cars over and over and over and over got kinda old, I stopped going. Now there's no going back.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I will be in Long Beach from the 21st through the 28th and will make sure I get to at least one of the shows. Not much of a scene here in Denver for these works of art.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Seems a lot of people want to offer help, even though the show has a new home at the PAG facility. A lot of these smaller alternative sites are popping up. What we recommended from the beginning was that the large car show continue at Ford-PAG-Mazda, and if people want to do their own thing and start their own events, that would be great. More events on alternative days or other times with different crowds would mean more fun for everybody. But the Ford facility has so few compromises compared to most other suggestions, that it makes the most sense to host this event.

      The Balboa parking lot, for instance, is a beautiful location, but obviously couldn't handle the full show. It would be hell on the vintage cars to slog through Balboa Blvd's series of stop signs at 30 mph. And we know the multimillion dollar residences would be shaken up by having 400 cars rumbling through every Saturday morning. Plus, as was pointed out when the HB lots were being considered, not everybody likes to have salt water spray on their freshly polished finishes. Paying to park wouldn't be a huge downside, but when there is a free alternative, most folks would probably go that route.

      The Ford location only lacks the ocean backdrop, which is a huge draw, no doubt, but is easily overcome with a 10 minute drive through a beautiful canyon down to PCH after the show. Problem solved.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The show will go on at the Ford-PAG-Mazda campus indefinitely. Other alternative shows have popped up, but the "official" continuation of Crystal Cove is this Coffee and Cars show near the Spectrum in Irvine. It is by far the largest weekly gathering of collector cars around.
      • 8 Years Ago
      So is it every Saturday morning? I have heard about this legendary meet for a while now and have been wanting to go but this Saturday will be my first time, I just want to make sure. This Saturday, November 18th @ the Ford PAG location? Thanks.
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