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Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park

If you’re from the Tri-State area in the Northeast, chances are, you’ve heard of Caffeine and Carburetors. If you haven’t, then boy, you’re missing out on something that is kind of a big deal. The premise is a lot like your local Cars and Coffee, but with some helpings of Goodwood Festival and a hint of Concours d’Elegance thrown in for good measure. Here, you’re about as likely to run into a WRX STi as you are an MGB or a Pagani Huayra. All at the same meet. You’re used to seeing a pile of mid-80s and early 90s BMW supersaloons when you come across something like this, just hanging out in the visitor lot, the famed SIGNALAUTO R34 Skyline GT-R (currently owned by the marvelous Redline Restorations).

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In the same lot as say, this:

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(That was only my second time seeing a split window). And this wasn’t even the main show.

Most C&C events are held in New Canaan, Connecticut, just outside Zumbach’s gourmet coffee, the main sponsors/hosts of this lovely event. Regulars I’ve seen are Larry Kosilla (of /DRIVE), Manhattan Car Club folks, and a raft of fixture personas from the Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen car scenes. The tastes tend towards the vintage, but you do see a huge variety of cars. I’ve been to several of these, and they’re held in three primary locations: New Canaan’s cute downtown, by Zumbach’s, scenic and open Waveny Park in the same town, as well as storied Lime Rock Park raceway in Salisbury, CT. Each location has its own distinct feel.

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Anyways, I’d already been to the season’s inaugural event in the downtown New Canaan location (perhaps I’ll recap that in a different write up), but more recently I had the pleasure of attending the first Waveny Park meet of the year. This one was particularly memorable to me, as I set out in a car you might already be familiar with—-my friend’s 1985 Toyota Sprinter-Trueno GT-APEX hatchback. He and I spent the day before at a different meet in Massachusetts, so he crashed on my sofa after a night burning gasoline through central CT’s car culture hotspots, and we met at my friend’s garage to cruise down to New Canaan in our little hachi, following a stupidly quick Z4M Coupe, and our friend’s S2000....

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A shot made all the easier while hanging out of a right-hand drive car. Our friend’s AP2 sang a song of VTEC and high revving enthusiasm through an unrestricted Berk exhaust and HFC setup, one of the best sounding S2ks I know of.

It was a damp, cool and humid mid-spring morning in New England, with diaphanous fog rolling through the hills and clinging to every tall tree in view. When we got to Waveny, the whole fairground was shrouded in mist.

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After answering the question of whether or not that AE86 Trueno is ‘the one from Regular Car Reviews’ no less than five times, we started wandering around. No sooner than a few steps from our cars did I spot a very appropriate ride hanging out, a Lime Rock edition M3.

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And my current new-vehicle crush (I haven’t driven one...yet), the M235i in my favorite on-offer color, Estoril Blue Metallic. I wonder if it has the M-Performance limited slip differential. I’m very enamored of the 2-series and its pleasing proportions. A nice exhaust and some CSL wheels and I think it’d be a very, very desirable daily. Maybe when your author slogs away enough cash...

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And who could mistake those headlamps, fish-grille and outsize foglamps on this lithe Aston? Dare I say the nearby manor and castle are an appropriate backdrop for a Bond car.

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But perhaps something more track-oriented is your cup of tea, sir or madam. Well, Caffeine and Carbs have you covered in spades with these ultralights. I would do awful things for a Super 7. They definitely look the part, and I bet they get driven pretty hard. But, I also hear they’re hilariously frightening with such a short wheelbase and such low weight.

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This might be the best-looking car on sale right now. I really love the F-Type. Incidentally, one of our group is a Jag technician. You won’t fault him for being desensitized to the sensuous sheetmetal of this beauty, will you?

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park
Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park
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I’ve always had a soft spot for the Esprit. My father owned an 80s Esprit turbo 2.2, and it was the first car that I can remember us having, and probably what sparked my love of cars. Seeing the later Esprit was stirring, to be sure. Something about its angular lines, wide stance, and somewhat Japanese-looking wing appeal to me. As you can see, the setting for Caffeine and Carburetors is pretty lavish in terms of architecture. And some of the cars present wouldn’t look out of place running the Milli Miglia.

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And, we’re back to the subject of Lotus. These have seen a jump in price lately since they’re no longer allowed to sell them, but word is, Lotus is coming back with something really bonkers.

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This is about where I lost it. Wandering around the back lot, I found this immaculate AW11 Supercharged MR-2. I almost never see first generation Toyota MR-2s in good condition, never mind the Supercharged.

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Fortunately, the owner was standing nearby and answered questions while I openly gawked. We had to inform him the chariot we rode in on, and their similar engines. But I really just couldn’t believe how clean this car was. He said it was sketchy to drive, and that the supercharger’s boost was basically ‘an on-off switch’. Interesting guy—he apparently used to have a bridgeported Mazda Rx3 wagon!

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I almost felt ashamed of myself. Pretty soon, we’d need a microfiber towel to clean up.

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That little red stripe following the body lines adds just a little bit of extra flair. And while I’m not normally a fan of black wheels on black cars (Despite my Fiesta ST having black wheels...) I dug this.

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Okay, one last one, I swear!

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Shifting gears entirely, there were a lot of exotics on display as well, including a McLaren P1. There had been a P1 (and a Huayra!) at the last meet in New Canaan, but I’d missed both before they departed. Here was my chance.

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Just chilling out next to that Mp4 and GT3 like a pack of automotive tropical Lifesavers. In that particular color combination, it reminded me a bit of the iconic Veilside RX7 bodykit, but this was much prettier, and much more fluid. A classic example of ‘looks like it’s moving when standing still’ design language. But pollen doesn’t care about class or MSRP, and this car was absolutely caked in it.

No meet with exotics would be complete without an Aventador nowadays, and I have to say it looks pretty good in white, like an 80s crime show reboot.

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park

But let’s take a second to roll back the clock for this E-Type. Would have been very nice to have it posed next to the F-Type, but alas, it wasn’t to be.

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The day’s turnout was just incredible...

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park

We even had a wooden car show up!

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Now here’s something that’s only going up in value, the Honda/Acura NSX. There’s a couple of these at most of the C&C events, but this was my first time seeing this particular red vehicle, and I was impressed with how original it looks.

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Here’s another ride I greatly appreciated seeing. The F430’s harder-edged sibling, the 430 Scuderia, heir to its predecessor, the 360 Challenge Stradale, was recently succeeded by the 458 Speciale. I still really like the Scud, and had the distinction of being designed with input from Herr Schumacher.

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You all know I love RX7s, so I had to stop for this FB/SA.

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But, as I was examining it, the brap-brap of another rotary engine stole my attention. Not a hundred feet away, this wild FD3S was making ready to roll out.

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A full Rocket Bunny Tra Kyoto-kitted FD3S RX7 isn’t something you see every day, even at meets like this! It was almost assuredly straight piped, and loud as hell. A crowd rapidly gathered as it made a slow exit from the throng of onlookers.

Meanwhile, there was just space after space filled with vintage Porsche 911s.

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Remember Larry Kosilla of /DRIVE Clean, and Ammonyc? Well, his SpeedSport Tuning 964 was present and accounted for. This car seems to only get cooler and cooler.

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park
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There’s a word for his attention to detail; I think it’s called ‘obsession’. If you’re not familiar with this car, it was a build collaboration by Larry with Speedsport Tuning here in Connecticut, and the final tuning work was done by another nearby shop, EFI Logics, in Bethel, CT. You can find all the videos about it on the /DRIVE network youtube channel.

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I’m literally drowning in 911s!

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Making my way back towards our cars, it was getting hotter and more humid—the fog was burning off, and the skies clearing up. A beautiful spring morning was about to bloom into early afternoon. I quite liked the overcast skies though; they made a pleasant backdrop to shoot against:

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These track-ready sedans were almost perfectly placed, two rivals relaxing under the trees.

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Hehe, I can’t resist taking a snap of a nice Civic hatch. This EK was pretty on-point.

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But, not far away, is a car I didn’t expect at all. A Guards Green, Ecoboost, manual S550 Mustang. That color is outrageous!

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Mountune, COBB, and Livernois are doing good things with these already. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them putting down very serious power—after all, the 2.3L Ecoboost in this car is the basis for the massaged 2.3L mill in the upcoming Focus RS.

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park

And then, we were ready to leave, though not before this nice little Evo passed me by.

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Illustration for article titled Caffeine and Carburetors Spring Meet at Waveny Park

This was my first time at Waveny, and I think I like it the most out of the three venues Caffeine and Carburetors occupy throughout the year. The atmosphere and surroundings are very relaxing and spacious, and the layout makes it so that you never feel like you have to move through a crush of people like in downtown New Canaan, and it’s not quite as remote as Lime Rock. I would definitely recommend you check this event out if you’re ever in the area around the same time.

My buddy with the AE86 was homeward bound, so I climbed into my friend’s S2000, we put the top down, and followed the steady stream of traffic out. I was already wondering what would show up to the next one.

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(I’m Kay Inoue, a freelance photographer from the New England area focusing on the import car tuning, drifting, and motorsports scene. Follow me on Instagram @inoue.kay and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kayinouephoto).

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