Vintage Park embraces classic, modern cars
Coffee and cars are two things that are celebrated and enjoyed by a diverse mix of vehicle owners, car lovers and families alike during the Houston Coffee and Cars event at Vintage Park.
A variety of cars, ranging from Ford Model T's to exotic Lamborghinis, are on display the first Saturday of each month at the Houston location.
Event founder Phil Bres created the gathering after searching for a way to connect with an automobile enthusiast group over coffee several years ago, said co-coordinator Bill Fester.
"The whole concept was that you could get together with some friends, and it wouldn't have to be a show," he said. "There wouldn't have to be judging. It wouldn't be that you would have to have a perfect vehicle to show up. There's some really great car shows in Houston and to be involved with those you have to be invited. Your car has to be absolutely perfect, and it will be judged. [Bres] felt like that was not what he wanted to do, and from there the idea grew."
Since Bres moved to California, Fester and Jorge Verdigo use their knowledge and passion of vehicles to collaborate Coffee and Cars together. More than two years ago, the free community get-together quickly became too large for the original Houston Uptown Park Center location, which held 300 cars.
While some groups of people travel from distances as far as Austin or even Louisiana to see the car showcase, most of the people who frequent the gathering live in the Houston area. The site is open to anyone who wants to gaze at classic and modern cars or bring their own special vehicle to display.
"The thing is there will be people who will come with 35 or 40 Ferraris, and each of them is easily worth a quarter of a million," Fester said. "There are also people that will show up in a rusty pickup, and they are just as welcome. You can have that kind of diversity. You could have folks with Mustangs and people with classic antique automobiles."
An estimated 600 to 700 cars were on display last year with current vehicle tallies at more than 1,000. About 2,000 attendees make the monthly drive to check out the automobiles at Vintage Park, and some arrive as early as 5:30 a.m. to secure a particular spot.
"I've arrived at 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m., and there were plenty of cars that were already there," Fester said. "It's great to think that people would get up that ridiculously early to bring out their pride and joy."
To accommodate for the influx of event-goers, some of the businesses located in Vintage Park open early.
"[The idea is] everybody could have a good time, and it is cars the reality is that is the basis of it," Fester said. "Every sort of occupation and nationality is there. You could have that big of a group, and have a good time."
The next Coffee and Cars gathering takes place from 8–10 a.m. Aug. 4.