Fri-day and night was the kickoff to the Concours d’Elegance weekend at the Inn at St. John’s. In typical Michigan fashion it was 80+ degrees at 6pm which had me nervous for a hot and sweaty evening rolling up in a non a/c car. Stickers my ’78 928 to be more precise. I took Stickers last year, pulled in to park after 35 minutes drive time and got out shaking my back and shoulders like a kid fallin’ prank to an ice cube down his shirt. Wish it were ice and not a sticky, sweaty garment. But then I’d have to get revenge on the little punk who cold cocked that cube down my back running around the party yanking on collars with one hand while ice goes dripping down the other. “Take it outside” the host yells. “I don’t need half your drink and ice all over my kitchen floor!” “It wouldn’t be a problem if jack-hand Jim-Bob didn’t start it…” Awe forget it. I really do need to get my a/c fixed though.
Alas, this year it was not to be that hot. My friend Don and I left my house around 6-ish and it was quite the pleasant drive. We pulled up to a packed parking lot, following signs to our event AutoBahn Night – a display of German cars and motorcycles – in a not so packed lot. It cost $20 bucks to register and display in the special lot, which felt steep for what seemed like night time Cars and Coffee with a DJ and a sponsorship tent. Food and drink were cash bar. Given the cash bars and food at the open-to-public RM and Sotherby’s auction preview running at the same time, I guess my registration money paid for the tent, parking and DJ? All of which closed down at about 9:30, shy of the advertised 10 o’clock closing bell. I guess Cars and Coffee guys need more coffee on a Friday evening. Meanwhile, Don and I could have gone all night.
The display of German cars was pretty impressive, like the Bitter pictured that I swore was Italian until I got next to it, but car entrants were light compared to last time. This year, the event organizers made sure to turn away anybody not registered which they failed to do prior. I bet a gaggle of guys banked on not needing to register again. I know I complained I paid $20 bucks for nothing 365 days ago because no one took my ticket. This year I complained I could have saved $20 and parked in the open lot and walked the show for free.
Look. I have no idea how much time, money and energy it costs to organize such a show. In fairness to the Autobahn Night, Don and I walked around the auction events and shopped $2,700 custom leather jackets returning to my car much later. Which meant I had no idea what crowds or response to the event drew. I just know that I grew up on the original Cars and Coffee in Newport Beach, California before it moved to Irvine then got booted and is now homeless. The show was free, you saw the best and you could buy a muffin and a tea, yeah I don’t drink coffee, on the cheap. You know what I’m sayin’? That you’re cheap Paul. No. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying $20 bucks in the grand scheme of things is nothing to park pretty. But I’d love to understand why or how much is needed. Is there a profit? Will more people pay next year? Or will attendance go down because of it? I’ll still go. I had a blast that night. Man is it hot in here? I better get up from this chair. My back is getting sweaty.