Irvine’s nationally recognized Cars & Coffee event left a major void in Southern California’s car culture when it abruptly ended in 2014. While Orange County has played host to multiple would-be successors, two events seek to fill that void. Currently the larger of the two, Aliso Viejo’s event takes place 7 to 9 a.m. Saturdays at the Town Center shopping area. If you drive an interesting vehicle, bring it, park it, and share it. With hundreds of available parking spots and even more attendees, there’s plenty of room and a welcoming feel. Someone is bound to strike up a conversation about your auto’s finer points. Up the road at the fairgrounds, OC Cars & Coffee curates its weekly Saturday show (7 to 9 a.m., pictured at left) by limiting cars in the show lot to only certain eras, body styles, or pedigrees. While this may seem exclusionary, it does weed out the dime-a-dozen models, theoretically leaving only “the cars you won’t see the other six days of the week” (their tagline). This event has a relationship with the Petersen Automotive Museum, which has been known to bring cars from its collection to the show. It also has corporate sponsorship from Ruby’s and Meguiar’s, both known for their support of local car culture. Free.
Aliso Viejo Town Center, 26701 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, facebook.com/candcav/info/; Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, occarsandcoffee.com