The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


North Texas gets revved up for Cars and Coffee

Val Hererra packing up his Alfa Romeo to leave Cars and Coffee. Hererra is a regular at the monthly car show.
Photo credit: Jordan Moore

The first Saturday of every month draws car junkies to Cars and Coffee. The parking lot of the Classic BMW dealership in Plano, Texas, is the location for Cars and Coffee Dallas. Proud car owners from across the Dallas metroplex drive their precious metal to the lot and park them for a morning of car talk and shared stories. Car fanatics that may not own their dream wheels are also in attendance as spectators, enjoying a cup of coffee as they roam the lot and admire what cars are in attendance that day.

Cars and Coffee sped off in 2005 in California, where it has now made its way to 11 other locations across the U.S. and five locations in Europe. It is a global event, but it is also local for the Dallas area.

This Saturday, I attended Cars and Coffee. I had heard about it through friends for over a year now, and every first Saturday of the month I was invited to tag along. I finally decided to give it a shot, figuring that I might as well see what cars could be so special to see before eight in the morning. It is a free event as well, so that was a good enough incentive for me.

After parking in a neighboring lot, I made my way to the main lot where Cars and Coffee is actually hosted. Engines were revving at different corners of the lot and cars that I have never seen before drove past me as they made their way through the lot. I may not know much about cars, but I was able to tell at the very least that these cars were essentially collector’s pieces. Each of them has a story, no matter how new or how antique the car is.

I spent some time simply walking through the lot, down different rows of cars separated into groups: classics, exotics, etc. Michael Luongo, one car-lover, describes Cars and Coffee as “car nirvana.” Whatever someone may be looking for, it’s there: “old school, new school,” Luongo described the immense variety of cars that show up each month.

Some cars can be seen repeatedly at Cars and Coffee, as some car owners bring their cars back each month. Gene Griffin is one such returning car owner. This Saturday, he brought with him his ’62 Corvette, which is also for sale. He has another Corvette at home as well, a ’67 year model. He explained that he spends about four to five hours a week working on both cars, maintaining and taking care of his antiques.

Griffin said he has “always liked to tinker with things.” When he was younger, he studied industrial engineering and had interests in architecture. He also worked on motorcycles as a part-time job in college. One could say that he’s been around engines for a while now, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to cars.

Every car owner there seems well equipped to answer any questions about cars, and they are more than willing to share their stories about their cars.

Val Herrera is another car owner who brought something to show and tell on Saturday. This wasn’t the first Saturday Herrera has been to Coffee and Cars, much like Griffin. Herrera brought with him his rather rare ride: a ’71 Alfa Romeo. His car is one of the mere 4,000 that were made. He said that there are two things Alfas are known for: “body and engine.” He explained that its body is a Bertin design. The engine is notable because of its power. Alfa picked up on the two prototypes that were made in Canada, leading to his Alfa having a detuned Formula 1 engine. In layman’s terms, Herrera holds a racing engine under the hood of his car.

Herrera was kind enough to allow me to sit in the driver’s seat of his race-worthy, luxury classic car. Glossed wood defined the steering wheel just in front of a dashboard of dials that I would never dare testing the limits of. The black stick shift to my right was another feature that distinguished me from the person whose car I was sitting in. I’ve only briefly had the experience of learning to drive manual, and even then I admired those who do so on a regular basis. That single feature is only one novelty that makes up a car that is in every way a novelty itself.

Ken Stevenson, another car owner I spoke with suggests that “If you have any semblance of a passion for cars, you’ll find something you like.” Cars and Coffee brings in all sorts of personalities, as is evident in the cars these people bring.

Stevenson shows an affinity for one Italian car: a Lancia Montecarlo. This is the car Stevenson brought in on Saturday.

Stevenson explained that this particular car was developed in the late ‘70s and won six years in a row in rally races of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s.

Stevenson’s car is a one of a kind, alongside Herrera’s and Griffin’s. Cars and Coffee is the meeting point of these crafted, modified and personality-driven cars every month. It makes me wonder which car would suit my personality if I invested myself into finding a car that I could say is uniquely mine and one of a kind.

More to Discover