Monday, April 15, 2013

Cars and Coffee Roundup

Last Sunday was yet another Cars and Coffee event, and it was a huge turnout, with over 600 cars in attendance, including a convoy of 120 late-model Camaros that arrived en masse, effectively creating the awesomest traffic jam I've ever witnessed. This particular show's theme was "Chevy Invasion" but despite that a huge selection of Fords, Mopars, and European marques were on hand to make for an even distribution of vehicles. Now, without any further ado, here are some of my favorites.

Of the countless Chevies on hand, picking a favorite would be impossible. This 1955 Nomad did stand out, though. It was modified mildly, making it a more reliable and drivable vehicle. I personally love station wagons, so a Nomad is always a pleasant surprise, especially one as nice as this.

Another pleasant surprise was this sporty Bertone X1/9. These cars are notorious for never really working quite right, but they're still popular due to the fact that when they're not broken, they're excellent sports cars. This one comes from the late 1980's, when Fiat was dropped from the name in favor of simply Bertone. In an appropriately sporty red, this car does actually look pretty darn cool. Plus, hidden headlights are the best.

While we're admiring red cars, check out this 1932 Ford. While the Torq-Thrusts and Chevy small block are standard fare, the sizzling red paint is a standout compared to the usual black. I think it really makes the car stand out more, and adds a touch of uniqueness to an otherwise ordinary hot rod. Of course, you can't really call any hot rod ordinary, but after Rod and Kustom a few weeks ago, 1932 Fords are practically boring.

The Audi dealership in Austin was kind enough to bring a pair of R8s to the show. This one is a brand new R8 V10 Spider. After a role in Iron Man 2 the R8 Spider became very popular, so getting an up-close look was very enjoyable. Being German, the Audi is a very precise car, with 4WD and enough horsepower to melt your face. This is certainly a high-ranker in terms of coolest convertibles ever made.

Even in a sea of late-model Corvettes, this blue ZR1 was a standout. It's the ultimate American speed machine, offering enough horsepower to compete with supercars, all for a fraction of the price. Sadly the ZR1 is being phased out with the new generation, although it may return in the near future. This was an interesting color choice for such a prominent car, going so far as to make it look almost -almost- tame.

Orange you glad I didn't use a terrible pun to introduce this Lotus? Me too. Anyway, this 2007 Exige S was hard to miss. Between the radical color and the assortment of scoops and wings, it drew attention all day long. I've always preferred the Exige to the Elise, as the Elise always seems too conservative. It's a great looking car that's simply incredible to drive, but it needs a bit more pizazz. This Exige fixes that and then some.

Speaking of wild paint, this 1998 Corvette Pace Car Edition is impossible to miss. How many cars can you think of that came stock with yellow wheels? The wild paint job is also an attention-getter, with a combination of stripes and checkered flag decals. Underneath all the glitz is a very basic V8 convertible, which means driving it is, as the license plate suggests, "XCITEN".

As far as classic muscle is concerned, this is an ideal example. A second-gen Camaro Z/28 with a 454 crate motor and white racing stripes. Practical? Well, that's debatable. Totally awesome? Without a doubt. This is a super clean car, and potentially my favorite Camaro to attend. Additionally, I love this bodystyle, especially in Z/28 trim.

Standing out against all of the Chevies was this 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1. This one has the big 351 V8, as well as some nice options, such as the Magnum 500 rims, color coded bumpers, and the flat black spoiler. Also, graphics in this era were straight-up awesome, with the Mach 1 logo being a personal favorite of mine.

Let's finish things up with a proper red sports car. This is a Series III Jaguar E-Type. Instead of the earlier 4.2 liter engine, this car has the Jaguar V-12. It's in remarkably good condition for its age, and is still one of the prettiest automobiles ever designed. It's even red.

So, another great turnout. Look for more posts in the coming weeks, as I have plans for some interesting feature stories. Until then, though, stay tuned and drive safe.

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