The first new Coffee & Cars (C & C) show at Ford-PAG-Mazda is in the books and it was very impressive. We arrived at Mazda around 6:45 and there were already quite a few cars in the show lot. There were plenty of friendly people helping us find the spectator parking lot by the Premiere Auto Group end of the campus, much better than the security guard setup at Crystal Cove. It's nice to feel wanted too.
The Mazda lot (which is where the show is actually being held--Thank you Mazda!) is split into three sections: The main show lot, a small auxiliary lot at the rear, and another small front lot. This week the Porsche club was there early and volunteered some people to help direct traffic. Any club or marque can get in touch with Tom Shaughnessey and he'll get a calendar started. We heard that Lotus and Jaguar clubs were already volunteering. Basically the week's featured club can use the small front lot (which holds about 40 cars) and in exchange provides a few people to help keep things moving smoothly.
Bikes have their own parking area along the Advanced Design Center end of the PAG building, and there is another small lot at the back left of the Mazda main lot, which could be sectioned off for an individual marque too. Although most people seemed content to just grab a regular coffee and muffin at the tables, the cafe down the back of the building had the gourmet coffees, a few more food items, plus tables and chairs. A nice place to rest for a few minutes and that's also where the restrooms were.
More recap and a gallery of clickable artistic wallpapers after the jump.
There was an Incredible turnout of cars and people to kick things off. A lot of familiar faces, some famous ones too: Reeves Callaway, Dan Gurney, Barry Meguiar, Freeman Thomas. Vintage Ferrari parts expert Tom Shaughnessey made a few calls and arranged to get a Series I Pinifarina Cab, Daytona, 250 GT SWB, 166 barchetta, 275 GTB Spyder, and his 375 MM down this morning and they were quite a draw in the first row. That might be a regular thing, having some super special cars in the front row every week. We jokingly speculated that the value of those six cars alone might have been enough to secure Aston Martin from Ford, but were told that they would have made a pretty good down payment instead. There were a very diverse mix of Mustangs, Jags, Elises, F-cars, Porsches, bikes, Alfas, Vipers, Lambos... basically just like CC, but the show lot is twice as big so no more wandering out to the side lots to see everything.
Listening in on a few conversations we could tell people were enjoying the new locale, despite missing the ocean and PCH. We tried to remind everybody that all they have to do is take a ten-minute drive down a beautiful canyon road and they are right back at the ocean in Laguna. :)
Basically it felt like CC with a lot of familiar cars and people, but a slightly less romantic setting. A little noisier and dustier, but very nice layout and plenty of elbowroom. And there were plenty of gorgeous gals and dogs for those who need their fix. The only problem we had was that with the bigger lot, it's a little easier to miss people you might want to meet up with. A bit more spread out than CC. Thank goodness for cell phones.
Mazda and Ford need to be commended for putting on a great show. A Bold Move on the Way Forward. Although a few of the CC originators are still working on bringing the show back to the beach, it seems like there was a lot of positive reaction to the location and we expect that while it lasts at this locale, the show will do quite nicely for keeping the CC spirit alive.
Photos courtesy of http://crystalcovecarshow.blogspot.com/ Thanks Jay!