Cars and Coffee

There’s a magical place where the coffee flows like water and supercars flock like the salmon of Capistrano. This place offers not only the beautiful sight of Bugattis, but also a tall cup o’ joe. It resembles the parking lot of Plano’s Classic BMW, and you might even notice a sign that reads “Cars and Coffee.”

Few things can muster a crowd of thousands to rise before the sun on a weekend, particularly when the weather’s wet, cold or anything but warm and sunny, but Cars and Coffee, held the first Saturday of each month, draws cars and crowds alike.

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Gearheads and families alike show up to the parking lot of Plano’s Classic BMW for Cars and Coffee meets

Like most things in Plano, it’s not the original—but it’s the best. The Plano version, which draws an average of 900 cars a month, is based on the founding C&C out of Irvine, California. Classic BMW’s John Kobell caught wind of it from a classic car television program, spawning the birth of Plano’s own Cars & Coffee meet in 2009.

John knew he’d found a good idea, but would it work? “We spent $22 in advertising making Xerox copies for our very first show,” he says. “We had 226 cars show up. It’s just blown up from there.”

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A pristine 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air // photos by Jennifer Shertzer

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To say the show has been a success is an understatement. Since 2009, it’s grown bigger and better, both in terms of attendance and community involvement. The October 2015 show saw the highest number of cars ever—close to 1,100—and C&C raised more than $37,000 for local charities last year.

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John was eager to make the show a community effort. Classic BMW supplies the manpower, and surrounding businesses provide space and parking lots to host the vehicles. Coffee and tea are donated, and volunteers run the entire production.

“I just wanted charity, and I wanted community,” John says. “It’s just so cool to see a husband and wife with a baby stroller and a dog going. It’s a family affair.”

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A row of Corvettes from different time periods

When asked to list the show’s most interesting past cars, John says, “Can I name a few?” A 12-passenger ’67 Impala station wagon, a $1.8 million Bugatti and a ’58 Mercedes 300 Gullwing all make the list. And Michael Schumacher’s 2000 Formula One championship car has been known to make an appearance. But John has especially fond memories of one vehicle in particular.

“The very first show, and the very first person to drive on our lot with his show car was an original ’66 AC Cobra. Those are just so rare,” John says. “And he drove it here.”

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A 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood

The show regularly draws a few thousand spectators each month. Gates open at 6:30AM, and by 7:15 there are typically a good 600 cars or so in the lot. The best time to get there is between 8 and 9AM, John says. And if you’re planning to show a car, they prefer for the vehicle to be “exotic/modified. We don’t want a stock car.”

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Stop by the next Cars and Coffee meet, held every first Saturday of the month from 7-10AM, and enjoy some Italian, Russian, English and French—and we’re just talking about the cars.

Cars and Coffee Website >   Cars and Coffee Facebook >
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