For the last two weeks I've been in St. Louis, Missouri. It's where most of my family lives or is from, and each time I visit I try to find different things to check out. This time, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Cars and Coffee event in St. Louis. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I was going - I've been curious what the car scene is like out here for quite some time.
The St. Louis Cars and Coffee I attended was at Westport Plaza in Maryland Heights; a suburb just South of Lambert - St. Louis International Airport. It takes place in a parking lot between a McDonald's and a Starbucks (or an Arsebucks as it was referred to me lol). As it so happens, this was the final Cars and Coffee for this year (I was told), since most drivers put their cars safely away for the harsher midwestern Winter than we see on the East coast. I arrived in my rental Dart (more on this soon - stay tuned) bringing along my cousin's 10 year old son to enjoy what I knew was going to be a great show. What I got was even better than I imagined.
St. Louis' car meet is for true car enthusiasts. Everyone there wasn't just enjoying car culture, they were living it, and breathing it in along with the fresh brewed coffee. I'm so very happy after attending St. Louis' Cars and Coffee, because it was a breath of fresh air. St. Louis' Cars and Coffee is not overcrowded by large families and pets - the only people there are true automotive lifestyle enthusiasts. It has not been degraded by marketing into a commercial event. St. Louis' Cars and Coffee is the Cars and Coffee I miss.
So how many cars were there? A lot. It was actually a larger show than I expected. It's probably the 2nd largest show I've been to, which is saying a lot. The cars in attendance were just as fascinating, if not more unique, than those I've seen in the DC region. The only real difference I could find in the automotive offerings between St. Louis and DC was the lack of modern exotics; St. Louis had only one Lamborghini, one Aston Martin, and two Ferraris, while DC sees Ferraris at car shows as though they're Italian Mustangs. Note: this is not a complaint; it is merely an observation.
Everyone knew each other. There was no irresponsible or unsafe motoring by attendees. Folks were friendly, and I even met a fellow Jalop / Opponaut - there were four of us in attendance. I found it ironic that Jaguar brought two F-Types, the convertible and coupe, to the show for display - where have I seen this before? It makes me wonder if Jaguar dealers are instructed to try to do this across the entire US; if so, that's very forward thinking on their part, but I fear the day when all manufacturers partake in this sort of grassroots marketing - if that happens, we might as well just call it Cars and Coffee: CarMax.
So, without any further description of the wonderful atmosphere I took in on this past Saturday's crisp morning, here are the photos I snapped of St. Louis' Cars and Coffee. Missouri is the Show Me state, and, boy, did they ever show me some fantastic cars.
As a bonus, here is a Superformance GT40 I spotted in Old Town St. Charles, being driven by the owner of Fast Lane Classic Cars. Unfortunately due to time right then, I was not able to come visit and check out his nearby shop and 300 other classics, exotics, and customs, despite his cordial invitation.