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About 100 car enthusiasts, coffee lovers and Ann Arbor community members gathered at Zingerman’s Roadhouse Saturday morning for the May installment of their Cars and Coffee event. These events are held on the third Saturday of every month from April to October. Now in its 11th year, Cars and Coffee brings together car enthusiasts from across Michigan for a cup of Zingerman’s coffee.
The vehicles brought to Cars and Coffee events range from cars to motorcycles to tractors to motorhomes. The event showcases luxury cars, with attendees from groups like the Rally Sport Region of the Porsche Club of America and the Huron Valley Corvette Club making up a large portion of the car owners.
In an interview with The Michigan Daily, event organizer Jon Heidorn said the tradition began with him and a few other car lovers from the Rally Sport Region of the Porsche Club of America. Since its start in 2011, the event has grown to include a wider range of attendees and vehicles.
“The first one, I remember, we got together and it was a snowy, cold April day,” Heidorn said. “There may have been 15 people at the first event and by today, we’re getting somewhere over 200 cars at each event. It’s exponentially grown. This year the first event was in April and … the whole West Gate parking lot was pretty much full with a wide range of vehicles.”
Heidorn said his favorite part of planning the events is the social outlet it has created for both himself and other members of the community.
“There’s a lot of people that show up, and everybody’s got a story about their car and their life and what they’re doing, and I think the socializing aspect is really cool,” Heidorn said. “(My) favorite part of this is spending time together and enjoying it. Everybody has a shared interest and everybody’s welcome.”
Event attendee Steve Dootz told The Daily he is grateful for the sense of community Cars and Coffee provides.
“I’ve come to lots of these events throughout the years,” Dootz said. “I’m planning on coming back more this year. (I enjoy) just getting a coffee and hanging out.”
Danny Tran, who also attended the event, has been bringing his car and camera to photograph other cars for years. In an interview with The Daily at the event, Tran said the positive energy of the environment is what keeps him coming back.
“It’s a good atmosphere,” Tran said. “There is a good mix of young and old people and none of the crazy street takeover stuff running around.”
Cars and Coffee is not just an Ann Arbor phenomenon. Similar groups exist all over the country and the world to highlight the closest locations for car enthusiasts to meet up. With the luxury car market expected to grow almost 3% in the next four years, the trend of similar gatherings to admire cars is spreading quickly.
Heidorn encourages all Ann Arbor community members, not just high-end car owners, to attend future Cars and Coffee events.
“It’s not restricted to anybody, anybody can come with any vehicle and it is wide open,” Heidorn said. “We also see a bunch of families, you know, that come with young kids in the morning and get a coffee and stroll the parking lot. It’s pretty much open to anybody who wants to come and enjoy a good cup of coffee and food at the Zingerman’s Roadhouse.”
Summer Managing News Editor Mary Corey can be reached at email@example.com.
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