It all began last March on a hotel rooftop parking lot in Amelia Island, Florida. We were cruising the lot during Concours weekend, checking out cars as they rolled into and out of the RM auction that was taking place in the Ritz’ ballroom, as were Bev and Bob Steinhagen; one of them recognized me from television, and we all struck up a conversation. Bev and Bob live in Virginia, and own 20 cool cars; Bev likes Cadillacs, Corvettes, and her Shelby GT-H convertible; Bob has Jags and Ferraris. They seemed a classy couple, and it was clear we’d become fast friends. They said “if you ever happen to be in Virginia over a weekend, we’ve got a great Cars & Coffee in Great Falls every Saturday morning that draws about 250 cars. and we’d love to meet you there as our guests.”
I was immediately hooked, as I love these 2-3 hour Saturday morning gatherings; they are in many ways, the ideal casual car show; the perfect excuse to get your cool car out, meet up with some friends, do some tire kicking and bench racing, have a coffee, then get on about your day of chores or whatever well before noon. No judging, no trophies, no stress. It turns out we had been contemplating a family related trip to Virginia anyway, so any excuse to check out another area’s Cars & Coffee was good enough for me. After some emails with the Steinhagens, we had a plan, and the location was an attractive multipurpose office and commercial park in Great Falls,(Northern) Virginia, not an hour from where we were staying. This place is the perfect spot for a Cars & Coffee; large property, plenty of parking, some shady green areas, and very handsome; the colonial style buildings housed a variety of businesses, plus a couple cute places to eat breakfast or lunch. I piloted our utterly boring rental car into the last, far corner place in the parking lot not consumed by Porsches, Jags, Ferraris, Vettes, muscle, Mercedes, and you-name-its. The crowd numbered at least 250 cars and was damned impressive. Some very average yet cool run whatyoubrungers to some really rare high end hardware.
Bev and Bob introduced us to many of their friends, who were most welcoming, and impressed that I’d travel 2500 miles to attend a Cars & Coffee. This one started out really small, as most of these events do. It was the brainchild of a couple guys, and then ten cars showed up, and the next time it was 30, then 50, then 100, and you can guess the rest. We had a blast with the Steinhagens and everyone we met, and enjoyed a really diverse, fun and impressive roundup of great cars.
If you don’t have one of these events near you, I think its high time you start one. You don’t need much more than a small group of folks that want to do it, a friendly parking lot or shopping center willing to host, and an email tree, and then these things tend to grow legs and feed on themselves.
What better way to invest your Saturday mornings — and believe me, your chores will wait a few hours. Thanks Bev and Bob, and Well Done, Virginia!
More photos below…