Car shows have long been an American weekend pastime, but the rise of cars and coffee events have made early morning mixers with our favorite beverage and cool cars one of the most frequented events in the country.
It may sound like a cliché from the 1960s, but cars and coffee is alive and well in the United States and around the world. While it’s true that the meets have taken a tumble since the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, but the idea has remained fixed in the minds of its fans and enthusiasts.
In today’s piece, we are exploring the world of cars and coffee, learning what it’s all about, and why and how it has become such a popular idea around the world.
Stylized officially on their website --- www.cars.coffee --- as Cars & Coffee, the organization describes itself as “one of mankind’s bravest creations.” In more practical terms, it’s a global organization with presence in 28 countries, putting together events where automotive enthusiasts can get together, look at supercars, sports cars and classic or collector cars while enjoying a fine French or Colombian roast.
In fact, the coffee part is flexible; it’s mostly there just to give your hands something to do. The real attraction of these events is two-fold. First, of course, you have the cars, but besides that, you also have the social aspect. It’s always great to find others who can share and appreciate your own love for things automotive.
Official Cars & Coffee events are held in New York and Texas, as well as in 27 other countries, but the idea is not limited to just this one group. They may carry the official name and flag, but the spirit is carried by hundreds of other smaller events that go on across the US and around the world every week.
Cars and Coffee events near you could be happening all the time and you don’t even know it. Some are quite big and spectacular but others might just be a smaller clutch of enthusiasts with a handful of fantastic automobiles to admire. The idea of quality, not simply quantity.
A good place to start when finding local events is the Topmarq Car Show listings, which have not only C&C events but everything large and small. There are also other sites like carsandcoffeefinder, but those mostly just focus on C&C events rather than everything going on around you.
Both will help you will find directories of events happening all over the country. Moreover, Topmarq will not only helps you find existing events, but also help you with advice and promotion of a new event that you create yourself. We’ll share more of their advice below.
Another great place to look is Facebook. In these times of lockdowns and social distancing, a lot of people are seeking their fix of classic and supercars by finding it in cyberspace. Besides being able to admire the cars from the comfort of home, such platforms still allow you to connect with other enthusiasts, and you can connect with fellow automobile lovers from around the country and from other countries, too.
Houston cars and coffee events pop up all over
While these events are a great way to stay connected with the car community, if you're looking for something more intimate, you can check out some local car clubs, as they have frequent meet ups and drives.
If your local area is starved of a cars and coffee event, and when the environment and pandemic conditions permit, you can start up a brand-new event to perpetuate the cars and coffee idea further. Carsandcofeefinder.com has a lot of advice on how to get started:
First you need a location with ample parking. They suggest you need space for about 50 cars. Talk to local property owners with suitable sites and see what you can come to agree upon. If an owner uses the sites for events, they may even help you out with promotion of your cars and coffee event.
Once you have a location, you need to work out the details, most important of which is a date, as well as a starting and finishing time. You’ll need to know these things, of course, when you go to the local authorities to ensure that you have any and all necessary permits.
If you do the event on private property, you might need nothing, but if you use a public space, you certainly will need permission.
Another thing to do before going to get permission is to write out in detail what your events will be, and the rules for all those taking part. Any permission giver will need to see you have those clearly spelled out before they can give you the green light.
After everything is organized and set up --- don’t forget to get a coffee provider --- you can register your event on Topmarq Events for free for other like-minded (and local) enthusiasts to find.
You never know, your event might connect you with other supercar, sports car and classic car experts in your area. You might even get leads on cars you can acquire for your own collection.
The nice thing about a C&C event is it doesn't require the same level of effort to setup as something like a major concours event like Pebble Beach, or the manufacturer backing for the major auto shows. It keeps things simple and accessible, which is why it's seen so much success.
To understand these events is to first know what draws in the crowds and, more importantly, keeps them coming back for more.
This isn’t just a show for ‘good’ cars, it’s for the best cars only. Space for display is limited and that means only the crème de la crème is allowed to be there. Sure, spectators are welcome, but there’s no room for just any old automobile to be part of the show.
It’s not just about brand-names or well-known foreign car marques, either. These cars are the best because of how unique they are.
They stand out in a crowd, and are worthy of a very special kind of attention. You might see a vintage ferrari parked right up next to a monstrous Ford Shelby Raptor, part of the fun is you never know!
There’s nothing quite like a fancy car show to bring out the rich and famous. They can’t resist the urge to look at those very special things that even with all their money they are yet to be able to buy or own.
In any case, the events can be a great networking opportunity if you’re in the sort of job where knowing the right people matters. Who knows what kind of opportunities might arise from a simple event like this?
The cars are the attraction, but besides meeting potentially great connections, you also can make lifelong friends, or even more. The cornerstone of any good relationship, platonic or otherwise, is a shared interest that you can hold and appreciate in common.
Attending an event like this heightens the chance of guaranteeing that connection. At the very least, it’s just a great way to get out the house and enjoy the company of some other people.
As it turns out, people all over the country are serious car enthusiasts. There’s a reason that the automotive industry is among the most iconic in many countries around the world.
It’s no different here in America. As we mention above, too, even if your local area doesn’t have a coffee and cars event, you can start one of your very own.
You might be surprised, though, just how many are going on within striking distance of your home base.
There are a lot of opportunities to sell and connect with people who spend time on their vehicles at these events. As such they draw major sponsors, local shops, and a plethura of car photographers looking to book their next gig. They are also good places for people to work on improving their car photoshooting skills, while off for the weekend.
Many events could be postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, but as vaccinations continue to roll out, expect them to start back up again in earnest!
People have been starved of their cars and coffee through the whole of 2020. The year 2021 may have to serve up two years’ worth of fun and automotive joy to make up for it!
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