Cars and Coffee Rules - Updated

It seems as though the pre-1978 rule that has been going around forums and news for the last few days was just an Idea. The organizers for Cars and Coffee just released this notice:

"As many have pointed out, we're faced with overcrowding at Cars & Coffee. It has been our desire from the outset to welcome EVERYONE, but that has been with the request that this be a word-of-mouth gathering, not promoted online or through the media. This is why we have asked area media and websites to not cover it from the very start, and most have been cooperative about that. The original vision of Cars & Coffee continues to be the preservation of what was started at Crystal Cove, to host cars that are of interest and are unusual. It has never been a "commercial" thing. We enjoy the simplicity, just like we enjoy the racecars of the 50's w/o advertising. We frown on commercial activity at C&C. Even selling your car must be done discreetly (no big signs). If people are interested in your car, trust us, they will see a small business card or advert on your seat. Even us, we only show something if it is of interest at C&C.

What makes it "of interest?" How to define "unusual?" You'd get lots of opinions on that. One suggestion we've heard is... cars that aren't driven to work every day. If it's a car that is driven every day, odds are, it's not a car that will get people out of bed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Of course there will be a few exceptions (we won't penalize you if you drive your Talbot-Lotus to work), but that can be a general guide. If you remember the original Crystal Cove gathering, they did get to the point of excluding cars. We are trying to avoid that and we have only turned away cars when we are full. We rely on people to "self-police" in their awareness as enthusiasts that a car you'd see in the shopping center parking lot on a Tuesday is probably not a top priority for the exhibitor lot at C&C. Such a car shouldn't be taking a space on Saturday morning that would require us to turn away a Goggomobil, a Jaguar XK-120, a Bugatti Veyron or a Ferrari 599. It shouldn't prevent us from allowing a manufacturer to reveal their latest hotly-anticipated model like the Honda Clarity, Fiat 500, or Nissan GT-R, or perhaps a manufacturer's concept car(s) or a ????? because the lot is full. Those cars DESERVE to have an exhibit spot. We're all about interesting AND unusual cars. We're discussing a lot of solutions including using the spectator lots more creatively.

Our parking structure holds 700 cars! We urge everyone to use it if you bring something not appropriate for the show. It's a matter of courtesy for your fellow enthusiasts. The south lot holds an additional 70 cars behind the building and 80 cars at the top of the hill behind the structure. These might be used to extend the show especially as the weather gets nicer. Ideas like reserving the spots in front of the cafe for car clubs or same model car groups are a possibility, but please ask first.

We ask everyone to please help us preserve what the founders of Crystal Cove began. Respect the integrity of the exhibit area and use the parking structure for spectator cars. We are VERY open to POSITIVE and POLITE suggestions!!!! Above all, communicate with us, the organizers, especially if you are thinking of showing up with your whole forum in tow. Please get permission first or at least respect the decision of the organizers when they ask you to park together in the spectator lot.

We have hosted C&C since it began in October 2006. That's 120 shows and over 60,000 cars. C&C has had its low points but its high points have exceeded even the original Crystal Cove such as when Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, "Powered By Ford", "British Cars" and BMW were the "Featured Marque" due to great organizing by the clubs. I think this is why we love C&C.

BTW, some people have suggested using the large lot across Gateway. That lot belongs to the Irvine Company and we'd have to rent it (not cheap ... we checked), so that's not an option.

The "bloom" seems to have come off the rose, so it's time to prune it. If you want C&C to continue we all need to remind each other that we're all guests on PRIVATE PROPERTY at C&C. The Mazda and Ford employees go out of their way to share the space with all of us. In turn, we ask that everyone RESPECT THE PROPERTY, RESPECT EVERYONE AT THE SHOW (including the lady out front who greets you at 6 a.m. with a smile. She has probably experienced/driven more classics, exotics and performance cars than most of you. She's the one Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss and Carroll Shelby know as "Linda."), USE TRASH RECEPTACLES, and DRIVE CONSERVATIVELY. Only by doing these things can we keep our welcome.

John and Freeman"

This message clarifies what they are looking for in the show. The recent act of car clubs attending with upwards of 40+ cars is not showing respect towards the organizers or the spectators. Use proper judgment to decide if you feel your car should be displayed within the lot; it will make the show go much smoother while obtaining a status of quality over quantity.

Cars and Coffee Rules

The rules for Southern California’s local car event have recently been changed. One of the organizers, Freeman Thomas, has recently sent out an announcement and posted this information within the Cars and Coffee cafe. His vision of the premiere show was not up to the expectations that he wanted. The show has recently turned into a spectacle of many stock and uninteresting cars. Although this is slightly true, I do not agree with Freeman’s new direction for the show (to a certain extent). Cars and Coffee allowed the spectators to express their own creations within the show and use proper judgement in deciding if they thought their car was “worthy” of being displayed. Unfortunately, the general crowd was unable to respect these rules and flooded the lot with car clubs, stock cars, pushing the truly amazing cars into the spectator lot. Below is the quote from Freeman Thomas’s announcement posted by Bret on the Cars and Coffee™ forums.


I just returned from Cars&Coffee. Way too many "normal" cars in the display area. We had to close the "Display" lot at 7:15am because of overcrowding. Today was not the vision of C&C. We have decided to "re-calibrate" Cars&Coffee, starting next Saturday Feb 7th and future Saturdays, only "pre" 1978 and "Special Classic Automobiles" will be allowed into the "Display" lot. All others will be directed towards the "Spectator" lot and parking structure.


There is word that a new weekly Orange County car show we begin on March 7th located at the Orange County Marketplace.