Photo courtesy of an amazing photographer by the name of Jeremy Cliff. Please check him out on Facebook.
Ever since they made the announcement to close the Irvine Cars n Coffee last December there has been a void in my life. I mean, it left a void in the lives of all car enthusiasts within a 500-mile radius. On any given Saturday people and performance shops would travel from all over SoCal to congregate at Mazda and Ford’s joint corporate parking lot from 6 – 9A.M to show off their cars. You could see anything from an from $2500 Mazda Miata’s to $1 Million dollar Bugatti’s. It was also not uncommon for you to come across a manufacturer revealing a pre-production or concept vehicle that they were touring around the country. Cars n Coffee allows the mass of enthusiasts, bloggers, editors and paparazzi a shot at the story or photo of the month.
About a month ago, my neighbor sent me a flyer announcing the rebirth of Cars n Coffee. Not only was it coming back, but it would be making its new home right in my own backyard…Corona! The cherry on top of this exciting announcement was that it would be hosted by none other than Saleen Supercars, aka SMS, a leader in American performance. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the ex-race car driver and supercar innovator himself, Steve Saleen, has opened his doors and provided us a new haven. As I close my eyes and channel my inner Napoleon Dynamite, “YESSSS!!!”
This past Saturday I woke up bright and early so that I could head over to the Saleen/SMS grounds. I was anxious to experience Cars n Coffee at Saleen and see what the folks in Corona were offering. September summer weather and early morning = top down cruising for me in the TT. Usually when I go to Cars n Coffee, I park in the area designated for spectators, but on this day I was directed by the event organizer Craig to pull into the show car area. What!? Me? Are you sure? I quickly looked over my shoulder to see if there was a Porsche or a Dodge Hellcat pulling in behind me. Nope! He had me and my little silver roadster pull in and park right up front. As you can imagine I was flattered to be invited to be part of the event for a change. He had me park next to the 2015 Ruby Red Mustang GT with Performance Pack seen in the photos below. It’s a good thing I thought to wipe the brake dust off my wheels before I left the house. That would have been embarrassing.
Driving onto the Saleen/SMS grounds gave me that same childhood chill reminiscent of pulling into the gates at Disneyland as a kid. For those that don’t know, Steve Saleen is responsible for the incredible 750hp Saleen S7 and collaborating with Ford to create the Saleen Mustang. Steve and his Saleen/SMS brand are also known in the automotive world for creating crazy performance packages for Chevy, Dodge and have recently done some things with Tesla. Whuuuuuuuuut?! A Saleen version of the Tesla Model S!!! Having them located so close to me with a parking lot packed every Saturday with sports cars and meticulously maintained show cars ranging from the 1930’s to 2016 is for a car enthusiast, well…AMAZING! It didn’t hurt that there were 2 new Corvette Zo6’s posted at the entrance greeting people. Someone brought out their tastefully customized 72 ~73 Datsun 240 ZX. There were lots of old school Fords, a streched Cadi and a Shelby Cobra. Saleen even brought out their 575hp SMS Black Label Dodge Challenger, oh my! Can you believe someone had the nerve…no, the audacity to park their Ferrai Testarossa next to me ;).
So after pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I pulled out my camera and began taking photos. It was a bit warm and humid, but there was enough eye-candy to distract me from the beads of sweat forming on my forehead. A few of the cars even made me feel dirty for looking at them the way I did…I’m going to have to pray about that. Lots of cars and cool people made for a great turnout.
One of the great thing about Cars n Coffee is how it unites the new and the old (not just talking about the cars) for a few hours to acknowledge and appreciate what it takes to build and customize a car. We come together and check out the classics to the latest in cars and the trends that make them unique. It’s always a good time hanging out with other enthusiasts talkin’ shop.
This was only the second week of hosting and it is clear that Saleen is looking to make itself a staple in Corona as a car enthusiast hub. All visitors and cars are welcomed. I am very excited to see how the Cars n Coffee…Saleen Edition grows as more people find out about it. Can you possibly think of a better way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning? Didn’t think so. Well it looks like I now have to split my Saturdays between cars and hiking with my wife…sorry babe.
Great people and amazing cars…I will definitely be back, especially after they told me that they are having a Saleen event following Cars n Coffee on Sept 26th. So get those Lambos waxed and detail those Porsches, and I’ll see you there. Now onto the pics…
Nice pine work.
The white on the 2015 Mustang is…Mmm Mmm Mmmmmm!
A little Miata love. Thanks for representing.
This belongs to a guy that I chatted with named Chris. Nice looking Super Bee. I love the Business look of the Charger SRT8.
There was something about this Stang that just spoke to me.
Yes it is for sale…
I like this Carroll Shelby shirt.
That’s All Folks!
Unfortunately this was the best side view photo I could get of this beautiful Z06 as so many people were crowding around it at the Classic car show this weekend. My wife says “no you can’t have one” because for some reason, she believes it is a car for old farts going thru a mid-life crisis. Maybe it’s because that’s usually who we see driving them around our area. All I know is that one day I will have one of these bad boys in my stable and not because I’m an old, bald, pervy guy picking up on young stock. Oh wait, I am bald and getting old, lol.
I must say that these cars are amazing! Just look at it with it’s light weight construction, sharp lines, led lights up front and 650hp motor to match it’s futuristic styling. This car definitely capable of putting a smile on your face, just standing still. I have driven around in an early 90’s Vette and and early 2000 Z06, so I know what they are about…BUSINESS!!! Chevy really did a number on this revamp and I must say that I had my reservations, but hats off to you Chevrolet 🙌🙌🙌. I am truly a believer in the new Stingray and Z06, and I haven’t even driven it…yet ;). I do know a guy that is a bit of a car guy that is currently building one, and based on what has owned and modified in the past, I’m sure the customization world will be turned on its ear (full interview to come). Until then, I will leave you with these quick snaps of the oh-la-la interior and oh yeah…that backside! Enjoy.