On a bright June morning just before 9 a.m., glistening cars buffed to perfection roll into the Mercedes-Benz dealership parking lot off Airline Highway. It’s 91 degrees outside, but that doesn’t stop members of local car club Cars and Coffee from getting together to talk about their four-wheel machines.
The first Saturday of every month, the Baton Rouge chapter of the national car group meets for coffee, networking and a chance to show off new additions to their automobiles.
Parked side by side are modern and antique Ford trucks, Corvettes, Pontiacs, Teslas, Porsches, Mustangs, Nissan Skyline GT-Rs, Bentleys and even Italian and Japanese imported sports cars.
“Car culture is changing a lot,” local collector Andy Dean says. “It’s good to see a younger crowd into this. Most car shows aren’t like this. It’s usually a lot of old beer-bellied white men with old cars. Here you see different ages of people and cars.”
On this summer day, individual car owners, couples, teenagers and groups of friends peruse the rows of gleaming vehicles, snapping photos and swapping maintenance tips and tricks with newfound friends. Deep roars from revving V8 engines fill the air while drivers show off their mighty horsepower. For car lovers, there’s no better place to be on a Saturday morning.
TO EACH HIS OWN
Every car has a story. Some stories start earlier than others. At the meet, there are antique cars that have been passed down from family members since the ’60s. Cars and Coffee member Garrett Anderson owns a sky blue 1964 Pontiac Catalina (bottom of page) that once belonged to his grandfather. He keeps his prized possession covered in the garage and brings it out for special occasions. For others, though, their car journey has just begun. The latest editions of Teslas, Corvettes and BMWs are scattered throughout the parking lot.
ALL IN THE DETAILS
No two cars are the same. Gold rims, fresh paint, all-red leather interiors, finely detailed engines and LED undercar lights separate these showstoppers from the pack. Many of the car owners shop online for unique parts and work on the installations themselves. With the help of YouTube, young car enthusiasts refer to quick tutorials to make fixes and additions to their rides.
For the attendees at Cars and Coffee, car collecting is more than a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. “Working with cars can be like a scavenger hunt, a puzzle, a money pit if you’re not careful, or you can make money off them,” collector Andy Dean says. “How many hobbies do you know of where you can do all of that?” Find out about upcoming events at the Cars and Coffee Facebook group.
This article was originally published in the July 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.