I went to my first Cars and Coffee (er, Coffee and Cars at the time,) when I was fifteen years old. Cupcake started going at approximately the same time (although I doubt I ran into him unknowingly that one Porsche weekend. American Muscle is much more his thing.) Now that Cars and Coffee has grown dramatically in the years since Cupcake and I first went with our dads, three year olds run across the parking lot holding the hands of young fathers and run up to cars, hands outstretched, until they hear “Don’t touch it!” and clasp their small hands tightly behind their back. They push their faces as close to a window as they can without leaving tiny nose prints on the glass. Wide-eyed, they look at the cars like they are magic. They are future car people in the making.
Since Cars and Coffee is very family-friendly, costumed cars are not unheard of. Ghostbusters stopped by several weeks ago and posed for pictures in front of their dressed-up Hyundai and Kia. Faux-tina cars gain lots of attention and always have people standing around discussing the engines and faux-tina technique. Since the costumed cars don’t require a deep understanding of the inner workings of the cars themselves to be appreciated, they tend to attract even the people who only attend the event for someone else.
This is not to say that the expensive sports cars and tricked out muscle cars go unappreciated. No, they’re the whole reason the event exists! So cars like the Shelby Cobra also stay constantly in the spotlight. Car people particularly like to talk about them, especially when they are related to the designer (ie. Mr. In-Law and Cupcake).
First, they tell the naive passerby (aka me) that any time you hear a shouted cuss word at a car show, it is probably someone forgetting to step far enough away from the car to avoid burning his or her leg on the exhaust under the door. Then they point out how the seat was angled sideways to give the driver more room. Finally, they mention that the two unusual stripes (yellow in this case) allowed the pit workers to tell which car was theirs during a race. (Mr. In-Law knows a laundry list of other nifty details about the car, but rather than overwhelm me, he and Cupcake left me with these three new tidbits of information to add to my automotive knowledge.)
So whether the attendees of Cars and Coffee are related to famous automotive designers or just want to instill an appreciation of cars in their young children, even small weekends provide something to look at. In the end, it’s all about family.