Enjoying the Coffee & Cars scene is one of the ways I like to let off a little steam in my spare time. A tradition that repeats itself all over the country on Saturday mornings, sometimes it’s sponsored by a car club or a car-related business. Not only do I love coffee and cars, but it’s also a great way for me to see my friends, past clients and meet new people, too!
What exactly is “Coffee & Cars”?
Basically, a “coffee and cars” get-together is a gathering of car collectors and enthusiasts who meet up to see each other’s unique vehicles and hear about how any given car was found, purchased, restored, modified, etc., and also to learn about any interesting history behind it. “I always wanted one since I was in High School when my neighbor had one” is a common sentiment at these events, as you can imagine! We love learning about why a collector has his or her car.
Sometimes, these gatherings will be a more focused group of collectors, but more often it’s an eclectic, random collection of interesting cars with a great variety of American, European, Japanese, and other brand models. There is even the occasional truck or SUV. I’ve even taken our 1971 Bronco in the past!
Check out “Caffeine & Gasoline” at Griot’s Garage in Tacoma
Currently in Tacoma, the most consistently scheduled event is Caffeine & Gasoline at Griot's Garage on the first Saturday of each month, rain or shine. Located on the corner of 38th and Union, this amazing facility is part retail store, part museum, part car detail and restoration workshop with a diner-like coffee house in the back. For decades, the Griot's facility served as a bottling plant for Coca-Cola.
Founder Richard Griot has lived in the Tacoma/Lakewood area for years, and local car enthusiasts are fortunate to have this flagship facility right in our backyard. The event starts at 8 am, but I recommend getting there early for a good parking spot; if the weather is half decent, it really fills up fast!
Each month I see many regulars like my friend Jack with one of his German beauties, who always told me, "Find me a condo with a six-car garage and I'll buy it!" I found just that in his Steilacoom condo some years ago. There’s also my friend Rob who gets up early with his youngest son Willie before the rest of the family is up and cruises over from Gig Harbor in their immaculate 1977 911S. It’s great to meet other like-minded passionate car folk from all over the Puget Sound region.
Come out for the cars, stay for the people!
To the people who come to these events, cars are much more than shiny boxes for transportation. They can be touchstones in our lives that fondly remind us of another time or event. To car guys (and gals!), cars are an expression of personality and often even touch artistic chords. Form follows function creating beautifully engineered statements in what can be built with discipline and dedication. From all that comes an enthusiasm that mostly only other "car-people" get. Gatherings like Coffee & Cars make a fun way to share that passion and meet others who feel the same!