Nothing second-fiddle about Amelia’s Cars & Coffee show

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As the cars and crowd might indicate, Amelia's Cars & Coffee was a big hit | Jim McCraw photos
As the cars and crowd might indicate, Amelia’s Cars & Coffee was a big hit | Jim McCraw photos

Across the street, one of the greatest car shows on Earth was going on, but over here, in its own paddock, was the Amelia Island Cars & Coffee, a very tidy collection of street cars that were pre-registered for the event and just came in, turned right, and drove onto the grass for the day, without the aid of Passport, Intercity, Horseless Carriage, Reliable, or any of the other companies that usually transport classic vehicles to concours events. They just drove in and parked.

One disadvantage to this arrangement, of course, is that most of the cars don’t have any sort of display card that will tell you exactly who owns it, where it’s from, what year it is, and what’s so special about. Those cards are reserved for the Amelia Island Conours d’Elegance across the street.

To say that the Cars & Coffee klatsch was a success would be a broad understatement. The joint was mobbed with cars from front to back, and cluttered from side to side by fans who came to see what drove in that morning. America, England, Germany, and Italy were all well represented on the C&C field, especially England.

Why was that? Well, a group of Morgan owners from “all over the South” to quote one owner, decided to make Cars & Coffee a special gathering, and we counted 15 of them nose to tail right down the center of the fairway, old classics as well as the new googly-eyed ones.

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Pile on top of those great roadsters a Lotus Cortina, a vintage Prefect, an MG, a TR6, and a TVR, and you’ve got some of the best of British.

We are absolutely certain that Bill Warner and the gang from Amelia Island are going to have to find more room for the Cars & Coffee contingent next year.\

Photos by Jim McCraw

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Jim McCraw has been writing about cars, motorcycles, design, technology, car people and racing for 50 years, in such publications as Hot Rod Deluxe, Super Chevy, Muscle Mustangs, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Penthouse, Winding Road, The Mercedes-Benz Star, AutoWeek, The New York Times, and a number of European publications. He was executive editor of Motor Trend, editor of Hot Rod and Super Stock. He co-holds the record for the drive from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, 96:22, and has run in major events such as the Mille Miglia Storica in Italy, Goodwood, the California Mille, the Colorado Grand, the New England 1000, Forza Mille, and four One Lap Of America competitions He owns a pristine Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan.

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