Cars & Coffee San Clemente Aug 5th 2017

Saturday morning bright and early finds us once more at the San Clemente Cars and Coffee, except this time we brought along our vintage Alfa Romeo 164 LS. The 164 was an awesome model that had a hell of a lot of torque and always made you feel as if you were the master of the road. Well it always made this writer feel that way anyway. So we loved talking it up and sharing it with other Italian car enthusiasts. Again we marveled at our surroundings, with the hills all around we think it’s one of the prettiest backdrops to display, well just about anything but specifically compliments the C&C car show.

As you can see from the pictures there were everything from VW buses (which always bring back fond memories summers of love, surfboards, beach boys, hippies, camping depending upon where in the country you were at the time.) to Porsche and Ferrari. We even spotted a very sleek McLaren! (We’d wish for more vintage supercars though. Where are you?) The new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, was the showstopper and highlight of this particular Cars and Coffee for us. Why? Because the Giulia just in case you didn’t know, has a top speed of 191 MPH and can go from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. 3.8 seconds… So yeah, absolutely, seeing this new design knocked our Italian socks off!

Anyway here are the newest pics. Enjoy!

You can read about the Giulia here

Cars & Coffee San Clemente July 29th 2017

We were happy to finally make it out to the Cars and Coffee San Clemente this morning bright and early. We arrived at about 6:00 and shortly thereafter the cars started to pour in. The first thing we noticed? How it was entirely surrounded by picturesque hills. Also, (being the parking area for a newer outlet mall,) the place itself was clean and upscale. With it’s large white parking area, it was the perfect backdrop for showing off all the colorful automobiles.  It was great to see many new faces. Plus there were a lot of folks and their vehicles from the now defunct C & C in Aliso Viejo.

Ruby’s was serving up hot coffee and yummy pastries and for some of us missing our Panera fix after losing Aliso Viejo, it’s to the left as you drive in. We weren’t sure if it was open or not, but it’s still good to know it’s there. On a personal note, my favorite car this time was the Fiat Multipla. Massimo and his brother used this vehicle (well not this one but one very much like it!) as a working truck when they were young and I love hearing the stories they tell about it.

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. However, on a last note, it was totally worth it to make the trip down here and we plan to do it again in the coming weeks.

A very quiet Cars and Coffee Aliso Viejo Aug 13th 2016 this week. There is construction (a new restaurant?) taking up a good chunk of the parking lot, or blocking at least the “spotlight” part of the parking lot, an area where many of the heavy hitters showcase their vehicles. This alone changed the vibe of our Cars and Coffee Aliso Viejo, it just didn’t feel the same. Many people weren’t in attendance also due to the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance this week.

However, even though it felt a little smaller and perhaps a little less glamorous, both these changes are temporary and things should go back to normal in the next few weeks. Nevertheless, there were a lot of little delightful details to keep us busy,  like cars with eyes, mini cars inside full-size cars, odd vehicles, a pure white poodle in a cherry red car, (They looked amazing!) and even antique costumes to go along with antique automobiles. Take a look at the gallery, we missed the poodle, though, he moved and blurred the shot!

One strange vehicle that resembled some kind of really long skate board…

So we wondered around a bit, took in the sights, said hello to the few diehards then called it. However, we did manage to get some colorful photos of the autos there and one strange vehicle that resembled some kind of really long skate board. We didn’t find out exactly what this thing was, but we’re guessing that if it’s at Cars and Coffee it probably isn’t slow and probably not for the faint of heart either!

This photographer’s favorite pic was the Mercedes kids car nestled inside it’s full sized parent. What a clever idea. Obviously, everyone in that family gets to ride in style!

Virtual Ferrari F1 2000, Come Play!

Virtually of course!

Although we couldn’t produce a real one to show you.., yet. We do have a second best option to “play” with today for a bit of diversion.

A 3D virtual Ferrari F1! That’s right, you can zoom, rotate, flip and in general get a great look at this fantastic example of 3D and great looking ultra automobile.

Remember that back in 2000 the F1 2000 won Ferrari the constructors championship as well as the drivers title for Michael Schumacher and the first title for Ferrari in quite awhile. Anyway you don’t need me to rewrite the story. You can check it out on the F1 Technical Blog, where you can read the full specifications of the car, along with it’s lustrous history.

But don’t forget, AFTER you’ve finished reading, come back and entertain yourself with this cool virtual one. All it would need is that Ferrari engine sound in the background and.., perfection!

To play with the virtual F1 press play (the arrow in the center) and after it loads the model, use your mouse to manipulate the car in any direction by clicking and holding your left mouse button down while moving your mouse around the screen. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out to get that up close and personal feel. Be sure and check out more automobile 3D models and other things on Sketchfab, it’s a pretty fab way to waste an hour or two.

 

Espresso and Exotics March 26 2016

You may have seen us advertise that if you see us at the Aliso Viejo Cars and Coffee we’ll be at the shop having our own version right after. We call it “Espresso and Exotics.” Here is what it looks like. (Photos above) We drink espresso, eat cookies, look at engines and have lively discussions. Massimo also talks about the projects he’s working on while giving a mini tour of the place. Not only do you get to see engine parts you’ve never seen before, but it’s also a chance to have a rare look at what happens to your exotic after you bring it in for repairs.

On this day we actually skipped the car show and went straight to the shop, arriving around 9:AM. So I must now add that if you don’t see us at Aliso Viejo but still would like to have some added fun after the show, give us a call at 949.680.2799 just to make sure we’re there. Drop by, we’ll have a nice cup of espresso waiting for you, Italian style!

Cars and Coffee Feb 27 2016

Another beautiful Saturday morning for cars and coffee at Aliso Viejo. This time we decided to show off our 1995 Alfa Romeo 164 LS as it had just been detailed and looked spectacular if we do say so ourselves. We set up and then wandered through the event. It was crowded this week, as you can see from the pictures. Many folks came from far and wide. As you know, this particular location attracts a variety of automobiles in various condition which makes Aliso Viejo a very colorful car show to attend. We saw a lot of friends and customers enjoying the day, adding to the fun! A number of Porsche 914s filled up a dream roll on the asphalt including an orange one that had a sticker on it from the 1971 Rally Of Monte Carlo. Now here’s where we got excited, If the sticker isn’t a reproduction then we and this particular Porsche share a common history; Massimo and his brother Bruno Mondino were there at that same rally in 1971!
This week a number of Mini Mokes made an appearance together. They’re such a cute rugged little car with such a rich history that we were just charmed. We learned that the word Moke was an archaic term for donkey and that this mini automobile was designed with the military in mind as a light vehicle but its wheels were just too small. Low ground clearance made it impractical for rough terrain so it became a passenger car. FYI, The Mini Moke had a long production run (1964) through several countries before ending in 1993.

Other cars that caught are attention were 3 Lamborghini’s, (we believe came from the dealer in San Diego) but the show stopping twist, at least for us, was a Ferrari 308 that had been modified into a fully electric vehicle if you can imagine that. In the photos you can see how that looks with cables and batteries. It bore the mark “GTE” instead of the normal GTS. The owner decided he’d had enough and pulled out as we watched it. Even though we knew it was electric, it still left us in a bit of a shock as it accelerated, the only noise it left behind.., a resounding silence. The familiar Ferrari growl disturbingly absent.

As it accelerated, the only noise it left behind was a resounding… silence, that familiar Ferrari growl disturbingly absent.

It was one of those strange disappointments that stop you for a second, and makes you think! We ended up taking a moment to reflect and talked about a future where there were no more of these amazing automobiles and powerful engines with distinctive sounds. It made us miss a future past, a future that we’re at the beginning of now and a past to mourn in our future. Nevertheless, the GTE is  green and promises a cleaner future. A double edge sword and hopefully a fair trade.

 

Source: Mini Moke  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_Moke

Cars and Coffee Aliso Viejo Dec 12 2015

This morning found us at the Cars and Coffee in Aliso Viejo, our favorite venue for cars, coffee and pastries from Panera Bread. This time we brought our own Ferrari to show off so we were there bright and early. We don’t know if there was something in the air this time, perhaps a bit of magic? But this weeks gathering was particularly captivating with many stunning vehicles and interesting folks in attendance. One BMW brought along some Christmas cheer to share with all of us (First photos) that we think set the tone for good lightheartedness and above all, fun for the upcoming holidays! We even had a celebrity among us or so it was rumored, a very well loved actor arrived driving car “42” do you recognize him? One photographer gave us the idea to take moon hubcap photos, shooting to capture the other vintage vehicle in the hubcaps reflection. We’re not sure we did a great job but what an excuse to capture more pictures of these awesome cars! After much laughter, chatter and of course a couple of pastries; pain au chocolat, we headed back to the shop where we indulged in our own interpretation of coffee, you guessed it, espresso, Italian style. All in all, we think this weeks Cars and Coffee was one of the best we’ve been to. We still look forward to next week’s though!

Remember, if you see us at Cars and Coffee wandering around, it means afterwards we’ll be headed back to the shop (It’s right up the street) for espresso. You are more than welcome to come and share some talk and some really amazing espresso with us!

Photo of Lamborghini Countach Italtech GT

Lamborghini Countach Italtech GT

The Name Countach, Nothing To Do With Beauty

There are many different versions around the web of how the Lamborghini Countach got it’s name and they all center around the theme and the assumption that it’s used as an exclamation upon seeing a beautiful woman. Actually the name Countach has nothing to do with beauty but can be used for anything that has made a sudden surprising impact on a person on a personal level. Although I’m sure that it would get used for the sudden appearance of a beautiful woman, in general this accepted definition of the word usage and the accompanying story are simplified explanations and not the officially embraced one by the people of the Provincia Grande. The problem is the language itself. From town to town the Piemontese language breaks down into dialects that change significantly and often bares no resemblance in sound or writing, to it’s cousin right up the street. In Massimo’s native town of Boves the word for rabbit in his version of the language is Cuciu. Coo chu, and in Peveragno less than 3 miles away, the same word becomes Pérru, Pear ru. Yet both languages are considered Piemontese. So Countach is not a word that would be generally recognized by the entire population of a region and out of context, would only be understood by the residents of the tiny town of Vernante itself which leaves just a bit of a hole in the original story.

Another problem with this tale is that even if it were true that this word was used to exclaim the beauty of a woman and mostly used by men, they would have to been very old men as this word is from the 18th century and is only used by the (now) oldest generation of people alive who still speak the old Piemontese language.

“The story is that Ferruccio  Lamborghini was on his way to Monte Carlo via Limone Piemonte and stopped in a bar in Vernante for something to drink. Vernante is a  tiny town on the way to and before Limone/Pimonte.” Massimo describes the whole process of getting to Monaco from Limone. “After Limnon/Piemonte you cross the border at the top of the pass and go down the other side along the Roya into France where you get to Monico/Monte Carlo.., and there was this table in the bar with these old people playing cards and Ferruccio heard the people saying oh Countach, Countach and countach is an expression in our region which is close to where I’m from, that doesn’t mean anything it’s like saying on my god, oh my god, so something surprising happened while they were playing cards and they remarked on it. Around Cuneo and my region that’s what they say happened and how the car got it’s name.”

Photo Map of Vernante

Vernante Home of the Countash name

Do I believe that Lamborghini named his car thanks to a bunch of old guys playing cards in a bar in the small town of Vernante? Yes! Knowing how things go there a bit I find their unsubstantiated story a bit more believable than the beautiful woman thing, (I’ve heard all the exclamations for that!) and besides this is the story that any person from the Provincia di Cuneo (Provincia Grande) has grown up hearing including Massimo, and will retell with pride as they all claim the honor of the naming of the Lamborghini Countach for themselves, by association. So yes, the word countach after the instant mind’s image of a beautiful automobile, the exclamation OH MY GOD, or the more vulgar, HOLY SHIT comes to mind thanks to my husband and the people of and around Vernante and that’s the story I’m officially sticking with!

 

Have your own version? Tell us in the comments!

Cars And Coffee Photo, Aliso Viejo. Jeff Henyan and Massimo Mondino

Cars And Coffee Aliso Viejo. Jeff Henyan and Massimo Mondino

Cars and Coffee, Aliso Viejo, Aug 8th 2015. Spend another glorious morning with the cars and coffee crowd. Posting these pictures kind of late as tomorrow is Saturday again with another cars and coffee event coming up, but we couldn’t resist posting these photos from last weekend, of these beautiful automobiles, such a shame to leave these beauties languishing on our computer!
Boy has c&C Aliso Viejo become popular. The event has gotten so large compared to it’s former humble beginnings that it is barely recognizable. We remember when not even a quarter of that lot was full and maybe included 3 rolls of vehicles! (I’ve posted a couple of photos of this so you can see what it is today) Autos take up almost the entire parking lot now, packed from the front to the back. So now instead of a cars and coffee event, it’s officially become THE Aliso Viejo Cars And Coffee “Event.”
While Visiting one of our happy customers was delighted to pose for a photo with us along with his car and we were delighted to have a chance at a snap with him! Here is Mr. Jeff Henyan with Massimo Mondino and his Ferrari 360 Modena behind him.
On a light note, there was a bit of gossip floating around that because the Aliso Viejo cars and coffee had gotten so big that there might be a split so to speak, into two ventures with the new second venue being held at the state fair grounds. Now this is completely unconfirmed gossip mind you, but if it were true, what a intriguing development. What have you heard? Let us know in the comments.

One of the projects I remember well was from when I was working on an engine rebuild of a 1938-1939 2.9 V Alfa Romeo, not only was this a very cool car to look at but mechanically it was unique, and I’ll tell you why in a moment, so it was with great pleasure that I embarked on this unusual project. As I began to take the engine apart and clean the individual pieces, I noticed that there was writing on the parts, and as I squinted to read the writing I could see that each was not only made by hand but signed and dated with the name of the artisan. The dates were all different, 1937, 1938, and the names, Giuseppe, Guido, went on and on as I uncovered each piece. Even the value spring was signed and dated “1936” in tiny tiny script, Each part of that engine whether large or small, was beautifully crafted by people who were so proud after it was finished, that they signed their names to the work. It made me wonder what they would think if they knew that almost 70 years later someone would take apart this engine and read their signatures and what would they think of the work we do today? How difficult these pieces would have been to create back then when there were no machines to help, when every part had to be exact, planned created, honed again and again until it was perfect; each piece worth signing. But most of all as I did my work, I wondered what happened to them, these people who put so much heart into everything they did. Not long after these parts were made war broke out. Did they survive? What were their lives like after? Did they go on to make more more automobile parts, or something else? There was a time when people cared about the quality of their work and took pride in it and the entire time I was rebuilding this beautiful 1938 Alfa Romeo it was indeed a sentimental journey, and one of the most touching projects I have ever worked on.

 

#VintageAlfaRomeo