Although changing locations a few times, Cars and Coffee has bucked trends in hosting weekly instead of monthly cruise-ins and holding the event in the morning.
Car owners and drivers have gathered at a number of places in East Cooper since the event started in 2011. The one consistent, other than the 8-10 a.m. time frame, is the sizable crowd every Saturday of several dozen cars from classics to exotics.
“The turnout on Saturday (Aug. 3) was strong and we likely had near 100 cars show up,” said David D’Annunzio, who with Don Curtis and others organize the event.
“There is no formal club or leadership,” he says, although D’Annunzio and Curtis manage the Facebook page.
The get-together takes place at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre. “Most show up at about 8:45 a.m. and it’s over by 10 a.m.,” he says.
This past Cars and Coffee was unusual in one respect: It was “the first rain-free Saturday we’ve had in over a month, but folks come rain or shine,” he says.
The event is tailored like a cruise-in, which refers to a car gathering that doesn’t include trophies as with a car show. Cruise-ins tend to be casual, don’t require registration and are geared toward enthusiasts displaying and swapping yarns about their cars, trucks and cycles.
“It is a very informal event and while there are a group of guys that almost never miss a weekend, most come when they can,” D’Annunzio says of Cars and Coffee. Launched less than two years ago, the event has been held variously at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, Brookgreen Town Center, The Market at Oakland and back to Towne Centre.
The concept of early morning car gatherings, usually with a hot cup of Joe, is not exclusive to the Charleston area.
A group called Cars and Coffee USA posts a map with local chapters including Charlotte. The website is usa.carsandcoffee.info.
Separately, comedian Jerry Seinfield in the past year started an online broadcast called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. According to the description on Google, he “is joined by friends for a cup of coffee and a drive in a classic car, sharing stories all along the way.”
The local Cars and Coffee seems to be one of the more popular morning auto meets, attracting everything from high-end Ferraris and Teslas to working class Chevy trucks.
“It’s a great way to get motivated to an early start to the day and then get your to-do list knocked out after coffee and sharing stories with other gearheads,” D’Annunzio says.
For more information, visit Charleston Cars and Coffee on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Charleston-Cars-Coffee/198336256874223
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.