Normally at 5am on a Saturday I am tucked away in bed, dreaming of driving the world’s greatest tracks. However, on occasion, a Saturday much different from the rest comes along. Southern California’s over-the-top car scene is one of the best perks of living in the LA/Orange County area, and every Saturday at 7am there is a Cars and Coffee show held in Irvine, next to Spectrum on the Ford-Mazda research campus. A huge variety of cars frequent this event, from BMW’s and incredibly tricked-out Japanese tuner cars to high-end exotics and rare vintage American muscle cars. The lot, which can easily hold a few hundred cars, almost always fills beyond capacity by the 7am start time, so those wishing to display their rides usually have to arrive around 6:30am or earlier.
Taking that into account, MClub.LA organized a rally for car enthusiasts in the LA area to meet a group of OC cars for the show. This unfortunately required a 5am meeting time, which is unfortunate, especially on a Saturday morning. A group of eight cars met up in Sherman Oaks and embarked at 5:30a to meet with the OC group. The drive from the Valley to Orange County was pure bliss, as there was no traffic and the clear weather made for a spectacular sunrise. By the time the group arrived in Irvine, the rally had grown to eleven cars as three joined the rally en-route. At the OC rally point, there were nine cars awaiting the arrival of the LA group. Shortly after another eight joined us up, and at 6:40 we made the short trek from the gas station to the show with 28 cars in total.
At the show, there where well over a few hundred cars and over one thousand spectators present. It’s a bit surprising to see such a large crowd at 7am on a Saturday for cars, but then again this is California and we LOVE our cars. All major automotive manufacturers were well represented. Many Ford, Chevy and Dodge muscle cars were in attendance, as well as an impressive number of Nissan GTR R-35s and Ferraris, as well as 2 McLaren MP4-12Cs. Also, BMW had more than ample representation (thanks in part to our rally), as did Porsche, Lamborghini, Fiat, and Jaguar. A sample of the diversity present: a 1968 Camaro Z/28 next to a Lamborghini Gallrdo Spyder, which in turn was beside a 1986 BMW E30 M3. Other interesting cars of note included a 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL, a very show-worthy Toyota Supra Turbo, an Ariel Atom, and a very “interesting” 2010 Ford Mustang…Which actually turned out to be a Lamborghini Gallardo with a Mustang body kit.
After getting our fill of automotive admiration (and lust), we departed for a nice scenic drive up the 133 highway though the Laguna Hills. From there we made our way to the Pacific Coast Highway to cruise up the coastline to Crystal Cove, which is where the show was originally held until it outgrew the location. There we took a brief reprieve to enjoy some breakfast by the coast and swap car stories. Afterward, we continued up the coast to Fashion Island and used an empty parking structure as a make-shift photo shoot location. After a few hundred pictures, we headed down to Newport to engage in some exploring. We discovered a beautiful overlook which afforded us some impressive views of the Newport Bay and decided to take a few more pictures before the group dispersed to carry on with the rest of the day. All in all, it was a very fun day and another reason to be thankful for the SoCal car scene! If you’re ever up for an early morning adventure, I highly recommend checking out Cars and Coffee Irvine!