Cars & Coffee

Amidst the hum of diesel engines, the sweet smell of coffee grounds and the chatter of locals, three men gather around a Ferrari 330 P3 — a replica of the car featured in the 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari.” The men ogle at the intricate curves in the car’s steel body and discuss the aerodynamics of its fiberglass doors. This specimen is just one in a line of luxury vehicles of every make and model imaginable, parked bumper-to-bumper in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe.

This is Cars and Coffee, a once-secret Rancho Santa Fe luxury car show that has opened up to car enthusiasts across North County.

“Originally, it used to be known as the secret car show, but it went from a secret to everyone being welcome, and that’s the really great thing about this,” Sanji, a long-time car enthusiast and Rancho Santa Fe resident, who declined to give his last name, said.

Cars and Coffee is a staple in Rancho Santa Fe, held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the intersection of Paseo Delicias and Avenida de Acacias. The Saturday morning informal event is free for the public and offers an opportunity for both car enthusiasts and the passing public to come together and admire a variety of both vintage and modern sports and luxury cars.

“I’ve been coming to this car show for about five years, and it really hasn’t changed,” Sanji said. “The diversity in the types of cars has changed though. Even though it may sound like it’s exclusive, it’s really not — it’s the polar opposite. Everyone is willing to share knowledge and help out.”

In addition to its welcoming environment for all levels of car enthusiasts, Cars and Coffee also attracts people of all ages.

“I think what makes Rancho Santa Fe’s Cars and Coffee different is that it provides a community of both like-minded individuals and individuals who may not be as experienced with cars, but still want to enjoy them without judgment,” Chase Erlbeck (12), a Rancho Santa Fe local and frequent visitor of the car show, said.

Something that also sets Cars and Coffee apart is the variety of cars. With new Porsches adjacent to old Broncos and Ferraris, the range of cars is hard to come by and creates a unique environment for all car lovers.

“There’s a lot of wealth in Rancho Santa Fe, which means you’re seeing things that you can’t find anywhere else in California,” Roen Taggart (12), who occasionally brings his own 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to Cars and Coffee, said.

Unlike some other car shows in Southern California, Cars and Coffee does not have “cliques” or “crews,” according to Sanji.

Every car at the meet is parked on one common street, regardless of model or brand. From old-school Fords and vintage Ferraris to electric sports cars and souped-up Teslas, every vehicle has a home on Avenida de Acacias.

“I went there expecting people to be mean or snobby, but I quickly realized that everyone there was just bonding and connecting over their love and interest in cars of all types,” Hudson Welty (12) said.

On the bustling street, some have learned valuable knowledge about cars, caught up with a friend or made a special memory – all thanks to Cars and Coffee.

“Every Father’s Day, my family would go to Caffe Positano and my dad would bring his old race car to the show and it was always something super fun and special for me,” Erlbeck said.

Similarly, some of Taggart’s favorite memories are surrounded by cars.

“I didn’t really have a choice,” he said. “Both sides of my family really love cars, so I kind of got caught up around it.”

Growing up, Taggart worked on vintage cars with his grandfather. Repairing World-War-II-era Dodges and Fords, Taggart gained experience with various makes and models.

“Over the years, I took on more projects with different types of cars and got into it on my own,” he said.

Now able to share this interest with other San Diegans at Cars and Coffee, Taggart is just one story of the community at the show. So, next Saturday, when the smell of coffee and hum of engines fills Rancho Santa Fe, pull over, park and lend an ear to a car lover’s conversation.
Read on Issuu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Staff Ed: One man strangled Jordan Neely, but it was all of us who failed him.
Next post chatSAT