canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

Canepa Cars and Coffee – Sun up in Scotts Valley

The Cars & Coffee craze rages on. These informal gearhead gatherings powered by caffeine and sugary carbs have popped up in towns and cities around the world in the past five years. To make it easy to find one near you, no matter if you’re in America or South Africa, there is a handy website named, you guessed it, Cars/Coffee.

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

This particular Saturday, we found ourselves at Canepa in Scotts Valley, California – a stone’s throw from San Jose to the North and Santa Cruz to the South. Being that Canepa is one of the world’s foremost race and collector car restoration centers, not to mention elite consignments, the field of entrants was as deep and as varied as you’ll find. The gatherings are held here at Canepa the second Saturday of the month from April through October. They don’t disappoint!

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

The first guests began arriving just after 6 am. Even though the posted hours are 8am-Noon, these are car guys, man! A car guy’s internal clock goes off at 4:30 am on Saturdays. Everyone knows that! And the Canepa staff were ready. After the main lots and adjacent yards are full, the coffee and donuts are served up to long lines. This particular Saturday was extra busy in lieu of Monterey Car Week kicking off the next day. And the depth of cars reflected the prestige of both Canepa and Car Week.

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curvePorsches were predominant but the love was spread across many magnificent marques. For instance, shortly after Alex “Sharky” Ross  and a pack of hi-performance 911’s rolled in, we saw a trio of Viper ACR’s post up. Then, in came a 2.5 million dollar Ferrari 275 GTB (which was driven to the event, and backed into a regular old parking spot!). Next to that was a ’87 Monte Carlo with 24” chrome wheels next to a home built 24 Hours of Lemons machine. A few spots were saved right in front for special vehicles. A pristine 1930 Lincoln Model L was out front of the Canepa lobby alongside Ray Mares’ 100-point ’67 GTO restoration. LS swapped Volvos, boosted 280Z’s, Alfa Romeos, Norton Motorcycles, we could increase the list ad infinitum.

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

While some shops might put up velvet ropes, sealing off access, the Canepa clan throws open the facility doors to one and all, opening up every inch of their sprawling 70,000-foot facility, encouraging guests to get up close to multi-million dollar creations and stroll through the impressive museum upstairs. Not only that, Canepa’s Marketing Director and resident historian John Ficarra gives a full facility tour at 10 am during each Canepa Cars and Coffee gathering.

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

The drive out is just as spectacular as the drive in. While the exiting throngs don’t do ferocious burnouts, they do provide spirited, through-the-gears acceleration as they blast off to get on with the rest of their day.

See you next month at Canepa Cars and Coffee?canepa cars and coffee, fuel curve

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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