Coffee & Cars

Written by Lance Evans in the April 2013 Issue


John & Samara Terrill

It’s a passion that only a true car lover can understand. As the lady in pink happily discusses the vehicle of the same color that has been in her family for years, her eyes brighten and one quickly gets the idea that her hobby is more than just a weekend project. She affectionately refers to her Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria as she and her and considers the car that her father purchased new in 1955 as a member of the family. It was the post-nuptials getaway car for her parents and it was also their ride home from the hospital following her birth. The pink Crown has always been part of Cherroiyn McLane’s life. “She was a member of the family before I was,” says McLane. “One of the reasons why I restored this car is because she’s a big part of my family history and my personal history.” Just like their owners, every car has a history and a story that comes with it. McLane is just one of the many car lovers parked the first Saturday of each month from 8-11am at Starbucks (2116 W. Memorial Rd.) ready to show off their beauties and share the stories of their not-so-distant family members at Coffee & Cars.

Blue CarAfter paying for entry into various car shows, event promoter John Terrill says that he saw an opportunity to help other car lovers explore their shared interest for free. “I was constantly going to car shows. I said We’re smart guys, we can do this!” After speaking with the head of the land management company that owns the lot space at the Quail Springs Marketplace, Terrill was able to pitch his idea and get approval to use the parking area in front of Starbucks. Finally in August of 2011, Coffee & Cars was born. “The day I called, the guy had just sold his Lamborghini. We talked about cars for two hours on the phone, [me and] this guy I never met.”

Terrill hoped that basic word-of-mouth promotion and a few flyers would bring in at least 100 cars to the first event. From that very first gathering, he quickly saw the impact that Coffee & Cars could potentially have. “The very first month we had 200!” The numbers continued to climb. “The next month we had 250 and the following month we had 580 cars,” says Terrill. He looks forward to the plethora of cars that come out each month. “We have new cars every time. A lot of [car] clubs come out here.” Terrill insists that while the event may continue to grow each month, the no-entry-fee and come-and-go policies will always stay intact as long as participants follow limited and general rules. “No racing. No burning out. Be respectful. And if you’re not handicapped, don’t park in handicap spots.”

Purple CarAlthough you won’t see any participants racing at Coffee & Cars, there are some drag racers that come out to show off their wheels. Michael Sulzbach is an avid drag racer and Mustang fan who has also had a sponsorship with Ford. When he isn’t busy traveling the country to race his cars, you can find him once a month at Coffee & Cars ready to show off his horsepower. “I go through a lot of these. I drag race them. It’s all for fun and I really enjoy fast cars. They call me Taz on the track,” says Sulzbach. This Tasmanian devil has been coming to Coffee & Cars since it began. “I like to come out and mingle with the crowds.” Sulzbach has some choice words for car lovers who are keeping their road runners locked away. “Get out and drive it or get rid of it! If I can’t drive it, I don’t need it!” Stephen Carmichael has similar sentiments for fellow Ford F-150 Lightning owners. “Come out and join us! It’s fun!”

Orange CarWarm coffee, cool cars and even cooler people—can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning? Coffee & Cars creates a unique platform for people of various backgrounds to take part in a shared interest. While the reasons for getting into car restoration may all vary, it’s the joy and sheer fun of it all that keeps engines roaring the first Saturday of every month at the intersection of Penn and Memorial. For McLane this hobby was something new and unexpected. “I never really imagined myself being [involved] in car restoration, but it has been an amazing amount of fun and I can see why people get addicted.” As McLane affectionately talks about her Pink Royalty, you definitely get the sense that the drive to perfection is a long way down the road. The restoration process lasted two and half years and there’s still more to do. “I don’t think she’ll ever be ‘done done.’ There will always be a little something to fix, finesse or change.” Queen Victoria shall never be triumphed.

1 Comment

Jeff Beighle Says:
April 3rd, 2013 at 10:20 am
Thank you for the very nice article giving special recognition to the car collector and enthusiasts hobby. There are so many beautiful and well preserved automobiles which reflects our automotive history over several generations. No matter your age, each one of us can recall a special memory of growing up when many of these cars were everyday drivers.
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