"I can just see the newly posted signs: No Ferraris, No Lamborghinis, No Porsches, No Corvettes, No Vipers, No old cars, No new cars, No for sale cars, No fast cars, No expensive cars, No exotic cars, No trucks with trailers, No motorcycles, No skateboards, No rollerblades. No loitering, No looking at cars, 15 minute parking only."

That was the case with Crystal Cove and the good `ol boys at Irvine Company. But now the sign reads like this: "Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Corvettes, Vipers, old cars, new cars, for sale cars, fast cars, expensive cars, exotic cars, trucks with trailers, motorcycles, skateboards, rollerblades. Loitering, looking at cars, parking until you get tired and want to go home."

Ford Premiere Auto Group (PAG) Mazda has welcomed all to see and show with open arms. Arriving at 6:30 am and watching the parking lot fill up quick there is no sense of urgency, no longer worried about tickets and the such. At the new location provided by Ford and Mazda there are no more frivolous complaints from surrounding neighbors, no more parking hassles, and no more patronage to a company that does not value its strong base of loyal comers, who come to relax, talk, and spend money. Granted it trades Crystal Cove's fresh sun-kissed air and quiet intimacy for a bit of smog and noise, but nevertheless it is a place enthusiasts can call home. We are welcomed to the large parking lot to partake in the ritual of friendship, family, sugar comatose (with vast amounts of donuts and coffee), laughter, and to present something positive to the surrounding community.

It's not like the young kids of the day, who meet up for a while and try showing off with burn-outs, donuts and other reckless behaivior that casts an ominous shadow over the enthusiasts that enjoy the hobby and camaraderie. Now that Coffee and Cars has a nice sized home that is loving and enduring I think it will be far greater than the old Crystal Cove gathering ever was and will show a positive reflection on the automotive enthusiast young and old, through the true spirit of the entrant and the spectator.

With so many cars from "Nice!" to "OH MY GOSH I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER SEE ONE OF THOSE EVER!", there is something for everyone every Saturday at Cars and Coffee. Whether you like the old chop top `50 Mercs or the new Bugatti Veyron, BMW M5, Mazda RX-8 Smart, Lancia, Noble, or a done-up Cadillac, all can be found and possibly had at this gathering. Whether you are a car nut, casual admirer or even if you don't like cars at all, this is still a good place to hang out with friends and family in a positive, fun environment that shows the spirit of what it is to be an automotive enthusiast.

By Christopher M. Williams
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