Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering lives to congregate another day

Popular cars and coffee was nearly a footnote, thanks to a few bad apples. But smart planning and execution ruled the day

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A growing crop of JDM cars are beginning to appear | Jeff Martin photo

As it has for several years, the endangered monthly Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering convened this past weekend at the 101 shopping center, at the intersection 101 Loop and Scottsdale Road in suburban Phoenix. Thanks to a a better-behaved crowd and to a large police presence at the cars exit, it looks like the show will go on again next month.

As many recall, Scuderia Southwest, which organizes not only the monthly but the ever-growing annual Concours in the Hills in Fountain Hills, Arizona, sent an urgent email to the community last month warning that the Scottsdale event was under severe threat due to a handful of show-offs who were exiting in an unsafe manner –- two particular participants who nearly caused what could have been major traffic incidents.

A couple of cool Abarths | Jeff Martin photo

The organizers were faced with the cancellation of their contract by the shopping center.

In these pages, I told it like it is, and I was angry. Boy-racer types who have more money than sense or talent nearly ruined it for everyone. It would have been a shame, too. But perhaps the wankers took my advice and stayed home or went curb-crawling with their cars somewhere else.

The author and his car show companion, Enzo — who gets all the attention | Jeff Martin photo

Walking among the assorted southwestern car culture eye-candy with my loyal pooch, Enzo, reminded me that car shows and the people who hang there are the best. The organizers had a handle on things. Certainly, any jerks who thought they could do something stupid on the way-out would be traffic-ticket fodder.

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Certainly, the significant presence of Scottsdale’s finest, on motorcycles and in squad cars, helped the situation. Many police officers are car-guys, too. A part of me felt their passion for the event and for the cars transcended their usual occupational duty. They did their job.

Then there is the camaraderie. Hanging out on the sunny and warm spring morning, with friend and ClassicCars.com colleague Jeff Martin, we ran into many friends. Needless to say, the Coronavirus has reared its ugly head, as it will continue at so many public gatherings. Upon seeing fellow Chicago native and Future Collector Car Show judge Arnie Press, instead of the usual warm handshake, I was greeted with the Young Frankenstein-styled ‘elbow bump.’

There are quite a few GTs in the Southwest | Jeff Martin photo

Could this pandemic be the next threat to great shows like this? Based on recent postponements and cancellations of large gatherings and events, one can say, “possibly.”

But overall a great event took place. I would recommend it to anyone who likes cars and car people. It made me miss the wonderful weekly Cars and Coffee in Irvine, California, that was put to a painful death by the same kind of idiots. Fortunately, it appears such behavior was stopped in time in Scottsdale.

As Enzo and I left the parking lot — in the 2020 Camaro SS press fleet test car — we were guided slowly by police and cones down a small thoroughfare and back to the main street, I smiled and realized that perhaps I can have some faith in humanity after all.

Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.

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