Tag Archives: new jersey cars & coffee

Post Card from the Weekend of Thunder, Trans Am at NJMP

Last Saturday morning during the Detroit Grand Prix morning meeting the Trans Am official giving us some encouraging words mentions their next round in New Jersey and a lightbulb goes over my head… hey, I live in New Jersey! why don’t I sign up?

Before I even made it to my station assignment in Belle Isle I was firing off an e-mail to NJMP to see if I could join their ranks to volunteer Trans Am at Thunderbolt… within minutes I had a response: Welcome to join! Sweet….

NJMP doesn’t rely on volunteers though. They hire workers to flag events and pay them about $8/hr to do so. The response email I got said that they had the event fully staffed but if I wanted to volunteer I was welcome to come. I wanted to push my luck and ride a wave of recent events I’ve got to work on the Start stand but for this event my request was denied. Still, I got to work some of the most awesome stations Thunderbolt has to offer. Day 1 I was solo on Turn 2. Day 2 I was the blue flagger on Turn 1 which was sweet! Day 3 I was blue flagger on Turn 11 which is in the “Octopus” or “Tail of the Devil” turn where the cars drive all the way around the station, which is almost on an island surrounded by ARMCO and a Tire-wall. That was amazing! More about the event later, for now some pix…

Day 1, paddock walk:

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Day 2, scrutineering line:

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I now use Pennzoil Platinum in the Miata, and like it very much!

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Day 3, Flagging Turn 11

Checking out the Starter Stand:

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New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission jacking my registration prices up so they could sponsor NASCAR…  and then there’s a marketing fail, “Just Drive 125???”

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Was happy to spot another NC1 Miata in the paddock:

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This time around when I drove past some cool race cars I stopped and jumped out to take a few shots… should have done this with the Pirelli World Challenge Miata’s though, kicking myself for not doing it at Mosport and Lime Rock.

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What an awesome trip!

Cars & Coffee at Prestige BMW in Ramsey Presented by Lamborghini Paramus & McLaren Bergen County

What’s crazier than Northern New Jersey weather? Warm enough to put the top down in the convertible one day followed by freezing temps and a dusting of snow the next… The car nuts of course… they are crazier! Because there was a ton of them at the Cars & Coffee organized by Cars & Caffe LLC and hosted by Prestige BMW in Ramsey, co-presented by Lamborghini Paramus and McLaren of Bergen County (other fine Prestige brands…) early this Sunday morning… church for car people as I call it. Luckily we have a lot more fancy dealers as hosts to choose from for future events including Radical just down the road from BMW… Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, already had a Maserati event, perhaps Rolls Royce and Bentley would be up for it in the near future…

Where else can you compare the tininess of your Miata against the girth of a Ferrari 458 or a Lamborghini Gallardo?

Here of course. At the Cars & Coffee. Where some people take the event so seriously they bring the whole family along. I’m still trying to figure out where they parked the minivan although I guess it could of been an SUV that brought a whole clan of well-groomed Arabic speaking teens or an equally large group of Filipinos. One thing for sure, the variety of people and cars was outstanding!

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Miata Ferrari sandwich. Not one but two awesome 458’s with a California plated MX-5… again I did not manage to meet it’s owner.

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McLaren P1 Spider? Oh yes, and those Z3 Coupes were well rep’d!

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Luckily we didn’t get much snow in my town but cars heading southbound on the highway I was going north on definitely had a few inches of snow that the owners didn’t bother to clean off. It was a very dramatic thunder and lightning storm overnight that made my dog Maxi Max jump in my bed and hide under the covers.

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The star of the show for sure… a Lancia Stratos with French plates!

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Best part of the dealership hosting the event on such a bone-chilling cold day was the warmth of it’s showroom floor, complete with a wonderful coffee machine where the ten deep line of kids made the wait a little lengthy but long enough to warm up. I loved the classic BMW’s on display, the Lime Rock Edition M3, a 700 Coupe, a 3.0CSi, some cool McLarens, Lamborghini Countach, Ford GT in Gulf colors.

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Outside some awesome looking classics too. Like this right hand drive Toyota Soarer across from a Ford Pick up and a Chevy Impala the ’60’s version not the more modern front wheel drive junk.

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American muscle: Hellcat. Italian sports car: Gallardo. Japanese…

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It’s a great time to be growing up as a kid in America. You like cars? Come out to one of these Cars & Coffee and enjoy the hell out of it!