There are car fanatics and then there are MN Cars & Coffee fanatics, those who can appreciate a car show that features a little bit of everything. While it may lack the publicity and large venue of shows like the annual ‘Back to the 50s’, this free monthly event brings together Twin Cities motorheads as they take in the splendor of Italian Exotics, American Muscle, British Classics and Japanese Tuners, all living right under our noses here in MN.
The Cars & Coffee event, held the first Saturday of each month (April – October), unites the full spectrum of car enthusiasts, so when you show up to the event, you never know what you are going to see! While I consider myself a Cars & Coffee regular, I unfortunately did not make it to the April event, although several die-hards fought the snow storm to show off their rides (the event really does live by its rain or shine policy). Meanwhile, I was likely snuggled up in bed enjoying breakfast in my PJs. But this month, I refused to let the event pass me by.
Although it had humble roots, beginning in a small coffee shop in Minnetonka with a few dozen cars, four years later Cars & Coffee boasts over 600 cars and 2000 spectators, all staged at the Motorplex in Chanhassen. Those hoping to show off their rides come early – around 8 am – to snag a good spot among the Motorplex’s garages. There is lots of overflow parking for those who do not wish to show off their cars (have no fear if you are driving your 1996 Toyota Camry to the show). Cars are typically divided into sections; the main drag is home to super cars like the Ferraris and Aston Martins, with other European, Japanese and Classic beauties to either side.
Last Saturday I made my way to Chanhassen for my first C & C of the season, a true sign of spring. As the name suggests, there really is coffee and donut holes available thanks to local sponsors. A free car show AND coffee? Double whammy.
Spectators mix and mingle with car owners, looking under the hoods and even take advantage of the occasional photo opportunity. For a born and raised car enthusiast, I am in my element among those who just want to walk around and take in all of the sights – and sounds -- of the cars.
And better yet, you do not need to be a car snob to enjoy the event -- so guys, feel free to bring your girlfriend along with you. If nothing else, she will enjoy getting a peek inside some of the Motorplex’s most unique garages and man caves, one of which is even home to a Batmobile, yes, a Batmobile.
For more information on the event, visit their website
Photo via: Alyssa Hollenback