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Pine Street in New Canaan

Pine Street in New Canaan

This morning I fired up my 1988 E30 M3 and took a drive over to New Canaan. About fifteen years ago a dozen car enthusiasts started meeting at Zumbach’s for Sunday coffee and conversation. Today this small private car gathering has grown into a public spectacle. The streets of New Canaan were lined with everything from exotics to muscle cars to vintage Land Rovers.  Known as Caffeine & Carburetors, this gathering has evolved into one of the premier car enthusiast events on the East Coast.

I arrived by 7:15 but still had to park in the “outfield” of Main Street. The epicenter of the event takes place on Pine Street (which is a side street that runs parallel to the New Canaan train station). Pine Street parking was completely spoken for by 7am. For an hour I strolled the streets and absorbed all the fabulous metal. I saw many old friends and made a few new ones. There was a strong showing of about five E30 M3’s and my 17,000-mile totally stock and original example drew a lot of interest and comments.

The following are my top three favorite cars of the day:

The Pagani Huayra (pronounced Why Ra). Sports Car Market recently asked me to write an article on this fabulous supercar for the June issue (which will be re-published here next month). I spent about twenty hours researching this phenomenal automobile. It is without a doubt the finest crafted automobile of all time. The car drew a steady crowd all morning long.

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On the other end of the spectrum, a car that really caught my eye was a perfect and pristine Trabant. This East German socialist cardboard wonder has a ludicrously underpowered two-stroke engine that burns blue smoke. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall there was a twenty year waiting list to buy one in East Germany. After November 9th 1989 there were dozens of horrific accidents on the German Autobahns as “Trabbi’s” would make a break for it the left lane and get steamrolled by 560 SEC ‘s and 911’s doing about 120 MPH. Splat! This example was very correct and well preserved.

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The final car that caught my attention was a Corvette-powered Volvo 760 wagon. This car was a tribute to Paul Newman’s famous car of the same design. Talk about a sleeper! From the outside it looks like a normal Swedish grocery getter when in fact it is powered by a hulking Corvette LT1 crate motor.

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For a car enthusiast, there is no better way to spend a Sunday morning than Caffeine and Carburetors. The next C&C gathering is May 22nd at Waveny Park in New Canaan.

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