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1,000+ Cars Converged to Smash Attendance Records at Our Cars+Coffee Season Opener
BY Mike Maravilla //
April 9, 2024
@openinanewtab
Photography: Justin Reyes
@_inmygarage_
Videography: Tom Piligian
@tpiligian
  • Pit+Paddock’s signature Cars+Coffee event was born to give back to local enthusiasts by providing a car-centric host venue, impressive feature cars, and positive vibes celebrating the culture.
  • 2024’s season opener, brought to you by AnzoUSA and Fluidampr, welcomed over 1,000 cars and 50+ motorcycles from the tri-state area to Turn 14 Distribution HQ.
  • The event’s electricity was another testament to Pit+Paddock’s impact on the industry and the Cars+Coffee volume was only matched by its impressive variety and merch sales.
  • Despite the irrefutable success, a handful of transgressors to our zero-tolerance policy (loud music, revving, speeding, burnouts, etc.) now threaten the event’s return.

Three years on from our inaugural Cars+Coffee event at Turn 14 Distribution, we’ve changed a lot. This online magazine has grown substantially, for one, but Pit+Paddock’s lofty vision—to grow itself as a full-service marketing agency and athlete management hub—has spotlighted our name throughout the industry. Though we often don’t have the time to think retrospectively, what we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time is incredible, from our ambitious E91 GTS Tribute build, to Dai Yoshihara’s ascent into IMSA racing, and beyond. Still, we never forget where it all started. And that humble acknowledgment, no matter how big we get, means that Cars+Coffee—and the local enthusiasts that have supported it—will always have a special place in our hearts.

BIGGER AND BETTER

For this year’s season opener, we had every intention to outdo ourselves to make sure our event would be a destination. We pulled out all the stops to curate a jam-packed feature car section, including the Kinetic Autoworks widebody A90 Supra, Fast of Westchester Corvette, Billetworkz Subaru-powered 911, Nicholas Cruz’s Integra, and Matt Alldred’s VW Bus. Dom Tucci’s 700hp EcoBoost-powered 190E–one of two cars that took home a Pit+Paddock x AST Suspension SEMA Award last year—deservedly held a row of its own at the back of Turn 14 Distribution’s entryway. Still, we were far from done. Tucci’s EVOII-esque build was flanked by two remarkably clean E30 M3s from Boxed Fenders and Ameen Rizvi, nodding to an era that established this long-standing German rivalry.

This trio helped blend the straightaway feature car section with an all-star BMW lineup in Turn 14 Distribution’s circle. There were exceptional cars to ogle on either side of the roundabout: two S54-powered M Coupes—a 1-of-1 Laguna Seca Blue shoe and a 1-of-11 Phoenix Yellow example—backed up the two E30s, followed by Andy’s S54-swapped Dakar Yellow E36 Touring, my own supercharged, carbon-roofed Melbourne Red E90 M3, and Daryl’s Daytona Violet F90 M5. The technicolor display yielded to BMW’s newest flagship and Urus fighter—the titanic XM—which held station between Turn 14 Distribution’s entryway arches.

A GRACIOUS HOST

Turn 14 Distribution continues to be our preferred venue in the area, both because of its engrained ethos with the aftermarket industry, and also because of its sprawling capacity to accommodate. Although it seems like we’ve had some bad luck with rain lately, every time favorable weather is in the forecast—like last year’s season opener which brought out over 800 cars—T14 HQ’s main parking and overflow lots are typically packed to the gills.

This year trounced our previously held record. Over 1,000 cars, 50+ motorcycles, and a handful of things in between, made the trek to T14 HQ, some traversing state lines and multi-hour drives just to spend time with us on Saturday. The queue to enter the event was immense, but our staff’s experience proved incredibly useful; they helped manage the flow throughout the morning to ensure the half-mile waiting line was moving steadily and that we were able to welcome everyone to the main draw.

Fluidampr, one of the event’s main sponsors and leading manufacturers of viscous harmonic balancers in motorsports, decided that Pit+Paddock’s Cars+Coffee was close enough to attend in person. Its tent was flanked by one of JDM’s all-time greats: a MK4 Supra. Although the body was kept factory pristine, peering into the engine bay showed you everything you needed to know about the Supra’s straight-line capabilities. It was also another reminder to all of us who missed jumping on the MK4 Supra boat that we’ll all have to continue admiring this chassis from afar.

ODDS AND ENDS

As a Midwest transplant to the East Coast, it still amazes me just how well everyone plays together out here; every car gathering is an impression amalgamation of the industry’s mainstream as much as it is about its nooks and crannies. I’ve said this before, but there are plenty of newcomers who catch us by surprise every year. That’s a good thing. It means there will always be something for everyone to admire, appreciate, or discover. While last year has us appreciating dumped Volvo estates and hydraulic-equipped lowriders, the 2024 season opener welcomed a unique 3000GT combo car/trailer, one of the craziest car transporters I’ve seen with an Integra in tow, a perfectly executed Golf MK3 Variant, and a rare Gembella E30. You’ll see more about these last two cars soon.

HELLO, MOTO

One of the biggest changes to this year’s Cars+Coffee was introducing a dedicated motorcycle corral that was heavily curated by Pit+Paddock’s Powersports Client Coordinator Laura Leonard. Our two-wheeled enthusiasts responded in kind, with over 50 bikes parked fairing to fairing. Similar to what I said about the unique varietals that attend our meets, the passionate Powersports community brought a unique flavor to Turn 14 Distribution’s front steps. “It was a chilly and wet morning, so my expectations for bike turnout were, I admit, pessimistic; however, the bike community is truly unlike anything else,” confessed Leonard. “I’m always amazed by the support fellow riders offer, and this weekend was no exception: a well-kept vintage 1997 Ducati 916, a sleek drag-modified 2023 GSXR-1000, several Ducati Panigale V4s, and a supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2SX, were just a few. There were definitely more hidden gem bikes in the lot that I did not have a chance to fully appreciate, but I am excited to have them all return and hopefully bring their friends at our next cars and coffee…and cycles.”

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE

Of course, the event itself wouldn’t be possible without the people behind the machines. Giving back to the local enthusiasts who have supported us from day one has been a driving force of this event and we tried to capitalize on that opportunity this time around. For every $10 that was spent on our website, on-site customers earned a raffle ticket to win one of three Pit+Paddock x AnzoUSA x RTIC Everyday Coolers. As a result, every type of available merch was flying off the shelves; the GarageWelt capsule collection from Grid Icons: NA Heroes was the biggest hit, allowing local enthusiasts to grab the limited edition merch before its online store debut.

The second Creator Contest also gave creatives a chance to earn some additional exposure for all of their hard work. The best of the best will receive a free year of Adobe Premiere or Lightroom/Photoshop as a reward for their effort and originality. The prospect meant that there were dozens of young shooters—all armed with their weapon of choice—who were combing the packed rows of cars for content opportunities.

A FEW BAD APPLES

Despite the irrefutable success and a respite from downpour, a handful of transgressors to our zero-tolerance policy now threaten the event’s return. This Cars+Coffee doesn’t happen without considerable effort from Pit+Paddock’s staff, Turn 14 Distribution’s volunteers, our gracious sponsors and vendors, and tremendous buy-in from our long-term relationship with the city of Horsham and its police department. Selfish is the only word that can describe people who are more concerned with fleeting moments of exhibitionism for social media than they are with the people who have given up their Saturdays to host an event for others. For the 990 others who were grateful to be there and acted accordingly, thank you. For everyone else, we hope that this is a wake-up call. Although serious injury may have been avoided this time, we as the sanctioning event body, have to take these risks into account and the additional financial, staffing, and bolstered police presence that comes with it. Hopefully, we will see you in the fall.

In case we don’t, we still have to be incredibly grateful that this season opener was such an immense success. Thank you to AnzoUSA and Fluidampr for your gracious support in our Cars+Coffee and our agency’s mission. And thank you to everyone who came out—near and far—to celebrate the automotive and Powersports communities together at Turn 14 Distribution HQ.



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