After Cars & Coffee Irvine's departure many years ago, there's been a hole left in weekend mornings ever since. It was the originator, so to speak, and given the cars it managed to bring out on even the gloomiest of Saturday mornings, nothing has compared in the years that have followed. That's not to say, however, that no one has tried. Up and down the coast, groups have made varying efforts to bring car enthusiasts together. None, though, have managed to capture the essence of what once was: a gathering of collectibles, oddities, racers, and enthusiasts, but with that said, even C&C Irvine felt watered down by riffraff, time and time again. Our friends at R Compound, Narita Dogfight, and BattleCraft Race Systems have taken it upon themselves to bring something new and unique to Sunday mornings in Whittier, California, and with a focus solely on celebrating purpose-built machines: race cars of every kind.
As hosts, Duane, Sean, and Kristian have taken considerable steps over the years to invest in their own segment of the automotive community, and to be more specific, Time Attack racing in Southern California. From the outside, it's clear that the trio of enthusiasts and neighbors have a passion not only for the cars they build and race, but for the community that keeps the gears turning. An event like Race Cars & Coffee is a clear successor to their community efforts, and although I was only able to spend an hour or so in the drizzly parking lot out front of R Compound and Unit B, it was immediately clear: this is this kind of thing we've been missing for quite some time.
In ways, Race Cars & Coffee stands as a family affair of sorts: there's a clear sense of community, camaraderie, and solidarity amongst a clear core group of friends. As diehard enthusiasts of the sport they've entrenched themselves in, they've been eager to share their excitement and spread the community, reaching folks like me as they cast their net and expand their love of time attack racing.
As their first kick-off event, it was as quaint as could be, with several dozen cars filling in the parking lot spaces and the nooks and crannies in between. The quality of cars was incredible too, with makes and models reaching both ends of the spectrum, and no missiles or rats to be found (and in truth, I clearly had the lowest-quality car there. Whoops!). Faces, both familiar and new, filled the lot, offering an opportunity to catch up, talk shop, and plan out the track days to come as the season begins once more for 2020.
With just one event under its belt, Race Cars & Coffee has proven to be a contender for unbeatable ways to spend a weekend morning. Keep an eye out for announcements on when the next one might be, and join us. Be sure to follow Narita Dogfight, BattleCraft Race Systems, and R Compound USA on Instagram for updates.