Spring 2016 Caffeine & Carburetors: An Overwhelming Morning of Car Show Perfection

lede2.2
I’ve been very lucky to experience some incredible car shows over the last few years. From Lime Rock’s Sunday Royals to a private to local Cars & Coffee Sunday morning meetups to a cameras-forbidden event at an undisclosed location with more exotics, rarities, and one-of-one’s than I can possibly remember, I’ve witnessed some truly amazing exhibits of speed and style that were as shocking in the moment as they are to remember. Even the NYIAS is a spectacle in itself, with the show consuming the entirety of the Javits Centers, but it wasn’t until this past Sunday that I went to a show that wholly overwhelmed me. I’d heard about it, read about it, and seen pictures of it, but it truly is something that needs to be seen to be believed.
Nestled into the small town of New Canaan, Connecticut, twice a year happens a car show so big that it takes up the majority of the downtown, forces road closures, and requires police to direct traffic, both foot and vehicular. With thousands of people enjoying the scenery, the absurdity of Caffeine & Carburetors is something that put me in a full state of shock and awe from the minute we arrived. Hundreds, if not thousands of cars, from exotics to sports cars to rat rods to muscle and imports and off-roaders and everything you can possibly imagine in-between, it’s what I can only describe in one word as overwhelming.

To cover everything in the 830-11 AM show hours is nearly impossible if you care to look closer than a brief glance, but I did my best and had my camera with me to attempt to document it. I’ve included a few notes here and there, but for the most part the following is simply pictures of the cars that made the show so special. Note that all photos are unedited, taken by yours truly, and it’s clear I don’t know my way around the Nikon D80 very well. The pictures appear in the order which I saw the cars, and though I tried to capture a bit of everything, from the vintage to the exotic to the oddities, it was actually impossible to do so with crowds and the likes. There’s some tidbits about some of the various vehicles I came across throughout the day, but for the most part it’s just photos. Enough with the words; I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Real quick though…one of the best things about big car shows like these are the parking lots. When the car show lots themselves overflow, the lots themselves become a psuedo-show as well, and some of the gems you spot hidden between civilian cars are worth the time not spent at the “show” itself.
DSC_0552
DSC_0553
DSC_0563
DSC_0567
DSC_0578
DSC_0580
DSC_0584
DSC_0600
Bikes, too!
DSC_0606
Clownshoes everywhere…
DSC_0607
DSC_0617
DSC_0619
Spoke to the owner of this RX-7, who has had it for a while and loves it to death. 125k miles on the body (I forget how many on the motor), but you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. It has a few JDM items but is otherwise stock, and is a gorgeous example of a car too often modified and too rarely left the way Mazda intended.
DSC_0621
DSC_0631
DSC_0633

Something about this color combo was extremely attractive, though I’m not sure what it was or why:

DSC_0635DSC_0634
 
DSC_0638
DSC_0647
 
Dig the plate…
DSC_0652
One of the nicer F-Bodies I’ve seen:
DSC_0657
DSC_0659
DSC_0661
DSC_0670

DSC_0681DSC_0682

The LFA is one of those cars that has a presence to it that’s indescribable. Proof that all-out speed isn’t everything, I suppose. Also speaks well for it in that it was parked in an alley, behind a building, and still drew a sizable crowd.

DSC_0695
DSC_0725
DSC_0727DSC_0722
DSC_0733
Huayra! The Pagani easily had the biggest surrounding crowd of the day, and for good reason. The interior alone is to die for…
DSC_0754DSC_0756
DSC_0760DSC_0762
DSC_0764DSC_0769
DSC_0787DSC_0759
DSC_0777
The sticker on the bumper reads, “got tetanus?”
DSC_0782DSC_0793
DSC_0799DSC_0801
DSC_0804DSC_0808
Gotta love the variety…and the contrast…
DSC_0805
DSC_0810
DSC_0812DSC_0814
DSC_0827DSC_0831
DSC_0834
E30 M3 built/painted to mimic an the Lime Rock Park Edition E92. Same paint, same stickers; beautifully done. 1000/100, would hoon.
DSC_0835
DSC_0837DSC_0844
DSC_0838DSC_0847
DSC_0853DSC_0851
DSC_0849DSC_0855
 
DSC_0856
The famous Porsche 964 belonging to Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC. Not only is the car itself incredibly well built (and detailed, of course), but Larry is a genuinely nice guy and a serious car fanatic as well. This was the 3rd time I’ve met him and he continues to be extremely down-to-earth and good fun to talk to. He has stories galore, certainly knows his stuff, and is always game to talk to fans about anything from detailing to racing to the other guys he’s close with in the wide world of auto media. That he pulls a small trailer for his race tires and was going straight to the track after the show is a testament to how serious he is about cars, and that he took the time to talk about everything under the sun with me and my buddy Dom for about 15 minutes was a real treat.
DSC_0860DSC_0868
DSC_0870DSC_0873
DSC_0880DSC_0881
DSC_0883
DSC_0890DSC_0893
DSC_0899
DSC_0906DSC_0908
DSC_0913
DSC_0914
DSC_0917DSC_0921
Great dash on an original Shelby G.T.350 (if you can read it):
DSC_0922
DSC_0924DSC_0925
DSC_0928DSC_0929
To say there were a lot of people in attendance would be a massive understatement. Just how many I’m not sure, but it must have been deep into the thousands.
DSC_0931DSC_0932
DSC_0936
DSC_0942
As I was saying, the parking lots themselves become car shows as well. It continues:
DSC_0943
The retro wheels on this HHR looked fantastic. I was never a big fan of Chevy’s PT Cruiser derivative but this one, especially since it was an SS, was as good as the HHR gets.
DSC_0944DSC_0945
DSC_0946
DSC_0947
Couldn’t not stop and take another picture of the Ford GTs…spent a little while longer wiping up the drool…
DSC_0950
DSC_0952
SLR McLaren wheels on a Volvo?  Sure, why not.
DSC_0954
DSC_0955DSC_0956
DSC_0957
DSC_0960
DSC_0961
Not sure why, but something seems proportionally off about the F-Pace in person. I reserve right to change judgment upon seeing it in another color.  It maybe looks a bit like an over-inflated Cayenne/Macan?  Weird, but still attractive.
DSC_0963
Love this sticker…
DSC_0964
…and the license plate isn’t bad either (nor is that it’s boosted).
DSC_0967
DSC_0971DSC_0975
DSC_0974
DSC_0978
DSC_0979
DSC_0980
DSC_0984
Cars, trucks, bikes, and…tractors. Yes, two tractors. Apparently the green one is owned/operated by the town fire marshal, so it was no surprise to see him driving it down the street at the end of the show.
DSC_0986
DSC_0989
DSC_0990
DSC_0991
DSC_0993
DSC_0995DSC_0996
DSC_0998DSC_1001
DSC_1000
DSC_1003DSC_1004
DSC_1002
More Clownshoes!  They were everywhere!
DSC_1005
DSC_1006
DSC_1007
At one point a few years ago my best friend had a Saab 9-2X Aero, so I’m always happy to see one out and about. This one, on gold wheels, was no exception. Bonus Aztek parked next to it.
DSC_1008
DSC_1010
DSC_1011
DSC_1012DSC_1013 (2)
DSC_1014
DSC_1015DSC_1016
DSC_1017
DSC_1020
One of my oldest automotive memories is of my dad telling me about his brown 1977 Trans Am, which he still talks about regularly. There are stories galore to go along with that car, but he mentions time and time again how the best color for the T/A was a beautiful blue, so it was great to see one just like he has always described. I’d love to buy one someday and give it to him…that would be the best.
DSC_1021DSC_1022
DSC_1023DSC_1024
DSC_1025DSC_1026
DSC_1027
DSC_1028
DSC_1029
DSC_1030
DSC_1031
DSC_1032
DSC_1033
Makes me wish I had never gotten rid of my red E30…
DSC_1034
DSC_1035
DSC_1036DSC_1037
Not car related, but this was seriously the biggest, most muscular dog I’ve ever seen. Looked like it had been fed steroids all its life, but it was friendly and preferred slobbering all over the pavement to interacting with anybody who dared give it a scratch or rub.
DSC_1039
DSC_1040
DSC_1042
DSC_1043
DSC_1044
DSC_1045
Hammer!
DSC_1046
DSC_1047
DSC_1048
DSC_1049
Again with the parking lots…
DSC_1050
Casual lot-parked Viper…
DSC_1051
….and a casual gas-station parked 912:
DSC_1052
DSC_1053
DSC_1054
Volvette! Corvette engine in a Volvo wagon. Quiet, subtle, and unless you know…you wouldn’t know. Total sleeper status, and absolutely perfect. I’d happily drive one of these every day, no questions asked.
DSC_1055
DSC_1056
DSC_1057DSC_1058
DSC_1059
Surprisingly many of the show-goers and entrants left by 1030am, but not having covered everything we ended up wandering until around 1130. One of the perks of staying late is hearing everything leave, including this Ferrari race car, which was among the loudest vehicles I’ve ever been around. Just to hear it was amazing in itself, but to see it drive up/down the street and through a parking lot was a spectacle as well.
DSC_1060DSC_1061
The happiest of roadsters:
DSC_1062
DSC1009
Caffeine & Carburetors is a bi-annual event that every car fan in the area needs to go to.  Usually I’m hesitant to say *need to*, but this is a seriously impressive meetup that is worth every second of time spent there.  You can see more in a few minutes than you regularly see in weeks or even months, and for that it’s both satisfying and rewarding.  I’m eagerly awaiting the fall show, and next spring’s as well.

About Ross Ballot

Host of the Off the Road Again Podcast. 4WD and four-wheeling enthusiast and expert. Formula 1 fanatic. Contributor to Hooniverse, ATVRider.com, UTVDriver.com, and Everyday Driver. Usually found getting a vehicle stuck in the mud or on the rocks and loving every second of it.

18 Comments

        1. Toranado was the first thing I thought of. I actually had typed that into an earlier comment and edited it out because it sounded silly. I did end up with a beautiful 1967 Toronado wallpaper. The article says the Exemplar pictured was built on a 1967 Buick Riviera. The Riv had the same platform as the Toronado but was RWD, not FWD. I had a ’72 Riviera Boattail, and it was a real hoot.

        2. Dear ConstantReader: Curious as to how you managed to find that. Had you read about this car before?

          1. Yes. I remember it in the NY Times. I check the “Collectible Cars” section regularly.

    1. I’m also stumped. I can’t help but see some Maserati Bora in that profile but the rear quarter isn’t accurate (among other things). Add the stance, the shiny bits and the wheels and it just gets more confusing.

  1. http://i1.wp.com/hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_0986.jpg?w=700

    Not a John Deere fan (I like Allis Chalmers), but the old “Johnny Poppers” (named after their sound), are fun to look at, since the engine is surprisingly small, leaving most of the area under the hood as just empty space.

    http://two-cylinder-restoration.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/dscf26250001.jpg

    That old Case is pretty cool too. Narrow front end tractors are decently rare in these parts, and I personally prefer the looks and stability of those with wide front ends, but again, they’re pretty neat to look at.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here