Southern California is in the grips of a freezing winter, literally. I turn on the news and the top stories are traffic accidents caused by ice, pipes bursting and how celebrities are dressing to avoid the completely unexpected cold front. I mean come on , this is Southern California, no body expects ice on the roads, people don't insulate their plumbing and the designers on Rodeo Drive didn't think they would need to stock ski jackets for starlets Chihuahuas.
Last weekend I took the drive down to Irvine for the Cars and Coffee Get Together. In normal weather it is one of the biggest gatherings of exotic automotive hardware you will see anywhere. It is not unusual to see multiple Carrera GTs, Enzos, Lamborghinis and even vintage cars like Porsche 550s and 2002 Turbos. This particular weekend was different however, it was too cold. Only the hardcore of the hardcore were there. I found it interesting to see that basically two types of cars and owners showed up. The first was the kind with the more modern exotic which is equipped with a good heating system, possibly even heated seats and the drivers came dressed as if they were going on an arctic expedition with all the latest cold weather gear from REI. Most of them sat in their cars with the windows rolled all the way up, heating systems in full use and carrying on conversations on cell phones.
The second group was the true vintage enthusiasts, mostly in British cars, who apparently aren't afraid of a little weather. These are the people who showed up at the event wearing leather helmets and goggles, driving with their tops down waving to the modern exotic owners sitting in their heated 200mph cubicles. It is truly inspiring to see someone who can not only get a 50 plus year old British car started on day like today, but actually drives it to a get together to be with his fellow enthusiasts. They would swoop in like World War I fighter pilots, white silk scarves blowing in the wind, find a place to park amongst all the other vintage cars and get out and make jokes about the weather, and how finally they were able to make it here without over-heating. Hearty slaps on the back and lots of referring to each other as "ole chap" would ensue and pretty soon the thermos of what I assumed to be black coffee would be passed around to warm the latest vintage looney.
These are the kinds of days that make me happy to be a car enthusiast. See you at the nest get together chaps.