Today’s Post by Joe Farace
The weather for the past several Cars and Coffee events in Parker Colorado has been a combination of really cold—single digits F at the last scheduled event—and snow. The truth is I didn’t even head down to the events; I just looked out my living room window and said, “hell, no.” I am optimistic about March’s event. It can’t possible have bad weather again, could it…
Part of my affection for Cars & Coffee events has nothing to do with coffee. Those who know me well (and now you) also know that I don’t like coffee and never drink the stuff. I drink tea. Maybe it’s part of me being an Anglophile, which doesn’t explain the German car in my garage—it’s really Mary’s, I still don’t have a car after two years—or maybe it does.
The main reason I love Cars & Coffee is that you not only get to see the most interesting cars but get to meet the most interesting people too. Like, Ziggy the owner of the above 1954 Holden 4-door (at left) that he brought to the event. Note the New South Wales Holden Car Club badge in the grille. It was Ziggy’s car back in Australia and when he moved to Florida ten years ago he brought it with him. How hard was it to import? He told me that nobody said anything and nobody hassled him in Florida, he told me. And when it came to registering the car in Colorado, it was no problem here either.
Maybe things are loosening up when it comes to registering cars that are a bit out of the mainstream. One of the two Nissan Skylines (below) at the show is owned by an Aurora, Colorado policeman. And yes, I do have a thing for Skylines that appears lost on my wife who doesn’t get the whole JDM thing. But that’s a topic for another post.
Trivia: Holden was a GM subsidiary in Australia and built many interesting cars and trucks there, including the El Camino-like vehicles they call “utes” down under. In Australia, the Chevy Colorado isn’t a pickup truck but was an off-road-capable SUV called the Holden Colorado. Australia’s near 100-year automotive industry ended in 2017 when GM Holden Ltd. closed its plant in South Australia “to move manufacturing to cheaper locations.” Which meant the end of the Australian-built Chevrolet SS as well..
I love Cars & Coffee because you always learn something at these show. At this particular event, I talked with the owner of a Pontiac Solstice coupe. Yes, a coupe. When’s the last time you saw one of those? I never had seen one before, except in photographs. The coupe version of the Solstice was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show and while the roof can be removed it doesn’t fit in the trunk. In a wonderful stroke of GM design, there’s not enough room for it—anywhere. An optional cloth top is available that can fit into the tiny trunk. The car went on sale in early 2009 and was the last new Pontiac model before the brand went down the tubes, sadly creating yet another orphan marque. There were a total of 1,266 Solstice Coupes manufactured before the production line in Wilmington, Delaware was shut down.
But that’s not all I learned. His son has a Land Rover 90, “a Defender,” I asked. “Nope,” he replies “until the Discovery was introduced in 1989, they were all just called Land Rovers.” And were only named Defender in 1990. All of these are just a few of the reasons, why I love Cars & Coffee.
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