Ford saves Crystal Cove meet

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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