“Cars and Coffee” groups have been popping up around the United States as a way for car enthusiasts and collectors to gather together to share their love of cars with other like-minded automobile fanatics. We asked Erno Valtri, founder of a local “cars and coffee” group called Bucks County Exotics to tell us about this vibrant community that started with an idea, a cup of coffee, a few friends, and of course, their cars!
It wasn't long after I purchased my new sports car in the summer of 2010 that I discovered what “Cars & Coffee” is. The first one originated in Irvine, California in 2006 and the fun quickly spread all over the country.
I went to the two closest C&Cs I could find, in West Chester, PA and Marlton, NJ, and had a ball, meeting fellow enthusiasts and talking cars of all kinds in a super cool, casual atmosphere. Both of these C&Cs host any kind of car you can imagine and, unfortunately, both are an hour away from my home here in Bucks County.
What to do? I called every sports car owning friend I knew… all five of them, and we had our first meet ten years ago, on October 1, 2011, in Doylestown.
I decided to call our version of C&C “Bucks County Exotics” for two reasons. To avoid any copyright concerns regarding the phrase Cars & Coffee, and to aim our new C&C specifically at sports cars rather than all cars. It worked. Here we are ten years later, routinely attracting 100+ cars on a nice day, drawing from Bucks, Montgomery and Hunterdon counties.
While we get plenty of super-awesome and expensive high-end cars (you know the names…Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Maserati, et al), we also attract many vintage sports cars, and some really unusual things too. Which brings up the question, “How do you define exotic?”
Expensive comes quickly to mind of course, though exclusive, rare, odd, unusual, and just plain weird also qualify. We get ‘em all. When’s the last time you saw a Levi’s Edition AMC Gremlin? (The upholstery is denim and there’s a Levi’s logo on the fenders.)
An unexpected surprise was the interest BCX gets from local auto-related businesses. Dealerships sometimes bring their latest model to a meet. Car storage facilities and detailers like to hawk their services. Charities ask to have our cars parade their locations, and they also find creative ways to raise funds. BCX has participated in many such worthy causes.
I get great personal satisfaction out of the entire experience. I’ve made all kinds of connections within the auto industry, and it’s not just strictly cars. There are museums, restaurants, open houses hosted by related businesses, covered bridge tours; all sorts of related lifestyle activities. And I’ve made lots of good friends too. Most importantly though is the pleasure I see in so many people who simply enjoy the meets and make new friends. The camaraderie, the sharing, and everyone’s enthusiasm is really rewarding. And the kids! Seeing cars they thought were only toys or in cartoons… it’s priceless.
Bucks County Exotics meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month, weather permitting, from 8am to 10am in the Doylestown Pointe Plaza (1661 Easton Road, Warrington, PA). You can learn more about these free events which are open to the public at www.BucksCountyExotics.com.
Erno Valtri of Buckingham is a sculptor, graphic designer, wine columnist, and definitely a car guy. You can contact Erno at Info@BucksCountyExotics.com