Tag Archives: Cars & Café

MN C&C – June 2011

Another month brings another gathering of cars and people drinking coffee. Sadly I was unable to attend due to being in Iowa for a wedding. Luckily David Nichols who has a site called Track Time Audio, was able to snap some great photos and provide us with a gallery full of eye candy. So grab a nice tall glass of lemonade and click through the gallery below.

MN C&C – May 2011

Holy crap, it’s already that season again! Actually, if you live in Minnesota you’d find it hard to believe it’s that season again due to the late spring we’ve had. Regardless, it is that season where gearheads, car junkies, kids, wives, and anyone else that wants to get up early on a Saturday morning, gather together to gawk over cars while drinking coffee and eating doughnuts.

The weather was predicted to be quite crappy. When I woke up it was clearly nice outside with dry roads. I did a quick check on the radar and saw a nice storm cell North of us. It was supposedly going to pass through the C&C area. I made an executive decision not to take the 300ZX and instead roll in the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible I had as my press car. Hindsight is 20/20, but the weather turned out to be amazing and I wish I had taken the Z. At least the Camaro was a convertible so I was able to cruise with the top down.

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Cars & Café – October 2, 2010

I know even when I am not at Cars & Café you wait eagerly the next Monday for a full run down. To be frank, I was on the Fireball Run this last weekend and my energy levels are dangerously low. So, not only did I miss this month’s Cars & Café but I haven’t even had the chance to get the full run down. Have no fear I wont leave you completely in the dark. Alex Bellus did attend and has provided a terrific photo gallery for your enjoyment. I’ve been informed this was the last Cars & Café for 2010. So until next year, dive safe and stay warm.

Cars & Café – September 4, 2010

Another month has come and gone which means it is time for yet again another Cars & Café.  Unfortunately this month the Saturday happened to fall on the holiday weekend known as Labor Day.  Most people in Minnesota that have a cabin know Labor Day weekend as a work weekend and I fall into that category.  As I was cleaning up boats, many auto enthusiasts in Minneapolis were gathering for coffee and doughnuts.  Oh and there were cars as well.

The weather was gorgeous (where as last month is was *ahem* crappy) and the cars flowed in.  Luckily for us my friends Ross and Alex Bellus both were in attendance reporting back.

The good is a long list this month.  The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake made an appearance again as did the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage.  The Bentley Continental SuperSport made an appearance along with three Porsche GT3 RS’s.  These are all super but the Mazda Miata with a LS3 V8 shoved in it, well that really takes a special place in my heart.  The amount of awesomeness that oozes from that is off the charts.

I’m told little to no head scratching vehicles made an appearance, so I will just have to take the word that there were few.  I did hear about a VW Golf that had digital camouflage (what!?).  Also, the above VW something or another that was chopped and had a small bed welded on on the back made an appearance.  Oh and that VW something or another had full hydraulics in the front which the owner lowered down once parking.  Also a BMW had a very unique sound system in the trunk that payed homage to BMW’s M division.

From the Super Seven to the Yenko Camaro, the cars were all there and the weather cooperated.  Many thank’s to Ross and Alex Bellus for providing the photo’s.  Until next month when the enthusiasts gather again for a cup of coffee and doughnuts, oh and the cars.

Photography- Alex Bellus and Ross

Cars & Café – August 7, 2010

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage

Another month, another gathering of man and machine.  Of course I speak of Cars & Café, out at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen.  This month promised, as usual, to be eventful.  I woke up a little early (4:40 am), as I did poor planning.  I had not washed the 300ZX (note to self: next month wash the 300ZX before the morning of Cars & Café). So, I washed the 300ZX and popped off the T-Tops.

As I was cruising out West to meet up with my buddy in his S2000, I saw black sky in front of me – then lightning  – and then I saw a car come over the hill with windshield wipers on (this was not going well).  I hit the gas and made it to his garage with the 300ZX still clean and dry.  We ended up taking his daily driver and leaving the 300ZX and his S2000 there, as it started pouring down rain right after I pulled into the garage.

Upon arriving, it was clear the rain, which was at this point a nice steady rain coming down, had affecte turn out.  Nooooooooo I cried to the car gods.  Luckily some of the cooler rides still managed to show up.  As I was admiring a nice Ford F150 Lightning, I heard something loud pulling into the complex.

I turn to see a true hard core car guy (you would have to be) driving a Cobra in (remember no top) through the rain.  Two Dodge GLH Turbos sat next to each other, both in ridiculously good condition.  I also counted not one but two Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbos (I drooled a little).  Quite a few Acura NSX’s showed up, along with a Lexus IS-F.

Two BMW’s caught my eyes this month.  One was a early 90’s 540i manual white on black with only 28k on the odometer.  The kicker?  It is for sale and they are asking only $25k!

Someone buy that car or buy me that car!  There was also a mid 80’s M6 in fantastic condition that caught my eye., along with an early 2000’s black Audi S8 that is a regular at Cars & Café.  I just love that car!

So good story,  I am walking by the club house and hear tires squealing like a burn out.  I look around and am quite confused.  Suddenly I realize that the sound is coming from behind this building in the VIP section.  I go running through the crowd, and as I turn the corner I almost fall over.

This Lamborghini Miura owner clearly had put the car in reverse instead of first gear (as best I can tell from the situation).  The car had gone backwards off the cement and onto the pebbles directly below.  Part of  the car definitely was resting on the cement.  The tires were squealing and these two guys were pushing the back of the Miura trying to get it back onto the cement.  Finally after a few minutes they accomplished this task, but not before you could smell the clutch and tires.  It was quite a scene.

Also filed in the – ahem – interesting category, was the Toyota Camry Solara parked in the American muscle section.  Hey at least it was on dubs!  Sitting next to that was a Chrysler 300C.  Not just any Chrysler 300C, but one riding on 24’s – and wait – it gets better.

The person had welded extensions (eyebrows?) onto the leading edge of the hood.  You can still see where the person welded and sanded them.  They were not painted yet (I am assuming they are going to paint them….at least I hope so).  Let’s not forget the white Toyota Yaris hatch with lime green wheels.


On the list of awesome cars I would include the RUF 911, Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, and a Jensen that showed up.  The red GMC Typhoon that was for sale earlier this year was on hand, along with two Ford GT’s (they are Cars and Cafe regulars).  A new Lotus Evora made the trip, along with a Ford Mustang Shelby Super Snake.

One of the cleaner Oldsmobile 442’s I’ve seen was on site as well.  Obviously I have already mentioned the two Dodge GLH Turbo’s but I want to just mentioned them again in this section of awesome.  Last but not least was the regular BMW 200ti. It is a work in progress, but hot all the same.

One cool thing was this garage that had a Corvette Z06 in it.  Ok that car was nice but you know those bag chairs you take to soccer games and such?  Well they had one of those. and then they had a ginormous one that was literally super sized.  To get a idea of just how big it was they let me sit in it and I got a picture!

Overall the rain really put a damper on the attendance, or at least it felt that way.  With most of the people clearing out before 10 AM, it had to be one of the shortest Cars & Cafés I have attended yet.  Thankfully, the doughnut holes provided by Imola Motorsports stayed dry in the clubhouse.

Yes they were tasty,and yes I ate some.  Just for the record, doughnut holes always seems to taste better when they are delivered in a BMW M5.  I can not prove that, but that seems to be my experience.  Here’s hoping for a dry Cars & Café next month!

Up For Grabs – Kevin Tan of Imola Motorsports BMW M5

That is correct!  The owner of the infamous Imola Motorsports is selling the vehicle that brings us all such joy when it pulls into Cars & Café with doughnut holes each and every month.  The vehicle is Kevin’s personal 2006 BMW M5.  This is the car I always seem to be taking pictures of and tweeting about for your viewing pleasure.  I have personally had a ride in this car and it is just terrific.  The exhaust system sounds heavenly.

Below are some details.

  • Exterior- Interlagos Blue
  • Interior: Black
  • Approx 38,800 miles
  • SMG transmission
  • Alcantara Roof
  • Heated seats
  • Edmunds Certified used car value $49,284
  • Asking $49,000 with ALL the modifications listed

All service completed either at BMW Motorwerks or Imola Motorsports.
transferrable CPO warranty through BMW

Factory Options:

  • 322 Comfort Accesso – $1,000
  • Smart card / smart key automatic, includes central locking and includes ignition starter
  • 416 Rear Electric Sunshadeo – $575
  • Side manual blind; Rear electric blind
  • 453 Seat Ventilationo – $800
  • Driver and passenger ventilated seat; Requires: [X2xx] Full Leather w/ Alcantara Roofliner And [4MA] M Multifunction Seats w/ Active Width
  • 465 Fold Down Rear Seatso – $475
  • Rear seat center armrest with ski bag; Asymmetrical front facing rear seats
  • 4MA M Multifunction Seats w/ Active Widtho – $1,900
  • Active backrest width adjustment
610 Head-up Displayo – $1,000
  • Dashboard with head-up display
655 SIRIUS Satellite Radio – $595
  • Audio system with satellite
X3xx Full Leather w/ Alcantara Rooflinero – $3,500
  • Leather seat upholstery with additional leather; Luxury trim leather on dashboard; Leather handbrake; Excludes: [X2xx] Full Leather w/ Alcantara Roofliner
BMW IPOD Integration kit – $550



  • Eisenhauso Meisterschaft GT with Carbon tips ($2200)

Wheels & tires:

  • Radenergie 20×9 Fronts ($1400 each)
  • Toyo T1-R 255/35-20
  • Radenergie 20×10.5 Rears ($1800 each)
  • Toyo T1-R 285/30-20


  • Eibach Springs


  • Full LED interior ($100)
  • Factory European headlights with clear corners ($1450)
  • Euro Angel Eyes ($249)


  • Vorsteiner Carbon splitters ($600)
  • Vorsteiner Replica hood ($1200)
  • Painted Hartge rear diffuser included
  • Painted rear windshield spoiler included
  • BMW Carbon Emblems
  • Black front grills
  • Black side grills
  • Front Clear Bra

Tell your friends and empty your piggy banks kids.  This is one sweet ride.  If you are interested sound off in the comments and I will see if I can’t swing you a super deal.  I already checked and my piggy bank and find myself a little short. Otherwise I would consider this fine piece of V10 beast for my garage possibly.

First Drive – EVOMS Porsche 997.2 Twin Turbo

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting the great folks of Evolution Motorsports.  The crew, led by fearless founder and owner Todd Zuccone, came into town to tune a monster Porsche GT2 for a customer.  They got to work quickly and set up shop at Imola Motorsports with Kevin and his crew for the week.

You know the saying all work and no play makes a something something something?  Well, to avoid that scenario Todd and the crew brought along their latest creation, which they call the “PDK Car.”  This is a 2010 Porsche 997.2 Twin Turbo equipped with the new PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, good luck saying that if you aren’t German) dual clutch transmission, which since this is a 201o model, it has the proper paddle shifters, not those dumb buttons on the steering wheel.

After spending some time talking with Todd, it became very clear why they are one of the leaders in this industry.  When I asked about his company versus the competition, he was very professional.  His responses consisted of statements like “the work speaks for itself” and “really it is about experience”.  After a nice chat, he tossed me the keys to the PDK car.  Of course I had a big stupid grin on my face – because someone just tossed me keys to a 650 hp Porsche.

Below was the set up on the 997.2 TT I drove-

Evolution MotorSports EVT.2 650 HP Performance System
EVOMSit SDI3 ECU Calibration (www.evomsit.com)
EVOMS 65mm Billet VTG Turbochargers
EVOMS ClubSport Headers
EVOMS / Fabspeed 70mm Sport Exhaust w/ GT2 Style Tips
HJS Motorsport 200 Cell Catalysts
EVOMS Billet Boost Diverter Valves

Alright, so I know the real question is what was it like?  Well two things, one I was in the middle of the city and did not have a long time with the car.  Thus I did not have track access.  Secondly, it was rush hour (note to self, plan better for these things).  Regardless the car takes off like a you are being shot out of a rocket.  Keep in mind the turbo 911’s have all wheel drive.  Thus this car was clawing at the pavement from all four corners.  This really made a huge impression with me when launching or even just hitting the gas.  Todd had warned me that the tuning in the software for the PDK downshifts was not 100%.  He was right, it is a little slow on the downshift.  If you pull the left paddle (for a downshift) it has a slight delay and then drops down a gear.  Upshifts are lightning fast and you can feel the shift under hard acceleration.  When I say feel, it feels like a hard fast thud.  Not a sound that makes you cringe however, because it does not sound like it is breaking.  The sound is more of a clean quick shift made at lightning fast speed.  The steering was terrific just like any other Porsche 997.2 TT.  The exhaust sounded great with a strong braaap braaap noise coming with each shift.

The interior was mostly stock, though the seats were not stock – rather they were thin and covered in leather with center inserts to keep you from moving.  They were very tight and you were not going to be moving during an aggressive track session.  The seats also had a harnesses for track days and a fire extinguisher was bolted to the floor directly in front of the passenger seat.  The particular car I was in had a factory navigation and sound system, along with automatic climate control.  That was all fine and dandy, but I turned off the radio and the air conditioning, rolled down the windows and listened to the sweet sound of the tuned 3.8 liter pumping out 650 hp to all four wheels.

They took the car to this past months local Cars & Café , and after that headed over to the track to run some quarter mile figures.  It ran consistent mid 10’s pushing 130 mph.  This was achieved by someone that had never even been in the car.  That in itself is a testament to the ease in which someone who has never gotten into the car can drive it consistently and pull great numbers.

Overall the “PDK car” was a beast.  It was not twitchy or hard to drive, yet it had terrific power delivery.  This is a car that could be tracked on Saturday and still drive to work on Monday.  I already know they are working on a R8 Twin Turbo among other things.  I can only expect to see greater things to come from EVOMS in the near future, and I for one look forward to that.

Full Disclosure- The review vehicle was provided by Evolution Motorsports

Cars & Café – May 1, 2010

Ford GT

Another month of spring has come upon us and that means another Cars & Café gathering on a Saturday morning.  The coffee was flowing and everyone seemed very happy to see Kylee from Imola Motorsports pull in with the doughnut holes in the backseat of Kevin’s M5.  This month, rain was not in the forecast and the cars started flowing in early and fast.  By 8:30 the lot was full and people were already parking cars up on the hill.

My Father & My 300ZX

Some of the notable cars from last month made repeat appearances including the VW Bus and the Scion XB with the LED lights.  In fact, the XB parked next to our 300ZX.  On Friday night I saw a Subaru WRX that looked like it was on its way to a rally but, in fact, it was being pulled out of where it is kept for Cars and Café.  The WRX was literally kitted out and looked rally ready.  Two really nice last generation Toyota Supra’s were in attendance along with two Ford GT’s that seem to be regulars at the event.  Two Audi R8 V10’s pulled in along with two 4.2 V8 models.  Of course the myriad of Porsches, Audi’s and Mercedes were lined up.  Two BMW 8 Series made it out along with an M Coupe.  A custom 1978 Porsche 924 was revealed at the show and I must say it looked terrific.

Audi R8 V10

Custom 1978 Porsche 924

The AutoMotorPlex has been hard at work on newest build out of new buildings.  They are in the process of building out new garages currently.  As you can see in the picture, it looks like the heated floors are being laid out now (that is just a guess).

This month the organizers had something special in store. Many left the AutoMotorPlex for the first annual drag day immediately after the event.  The group traveled to Eau Claire, WI to Rock Falls Raceway.  Sadly, I could not attend due to a prior commitment though I heard it was a blast.

With more cars than last month and terrific weather, we are already off to a great start to the season.  Next month promises to be even better as the weather warms up more.

Cars & Café – April 3, 2010

It has been four long months of winter wonderland but the sun has finally broken out and the snow is melted.  Another season of Cars & Café has come upon us and the first one of the season did not disappoint.  I was a little nervous as the weather predictions for Saturday were calling for rain, but that all changed last Friday.  I started to get hope as the prediction changed to a chilly 51 degrees and sunny.  I woke up early Saturday morning (late, I was supposed to get up at 6 but had a major alarm clock fail on my part.  I forgot to turn it on and woke up at 6:37 am) and looked outside to find the sun breaking cover.  Excited, I hopped in our 1990 300ZX and headed out to the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen.

Our 1990 300ZX

It was a chilly 42 degrees at 7:38 am when I rolled into the AutoMotorPlex.  Gates opened at 6:30 am and only a few tuned up Audi’s and a lonely (read awesome) BMW Z8 were there so far.  I parked in the Japanese parking area and started mingling.  Cars started pouring in around 8 am and it just never stopped.  The sun started warming things up and we reached a nice 57 degrees.  It turned into a huge turnout with couples, families and enthusiasts alike, all coming together with the passion of automobiles.

Some of the more notable (read interesting) rides included a first generation Scion XB that was white with plain steel wheels.  What made it really interesting was it was lowered, had the windows tinted, and had strips of LED lights taped (yes, taped with black duct tape) directly above the headlights.  Parked next to that was a Nissan 240SX with a broken up body kit that was held on with zip ties.  Yes, you read that right zip ties.  The 240SX was painted green with John Deer graphics.  The owner commented on how the zip ties break all the time and he replaces them constantly.

LS1 Shoved into a mid 80's Mazda RX7

All was not lost though because many really awesome cars where there as well.  There were more Corvettes from all different eras than I could count.  Some Corvettes were heavily modified some were plain stock though most were tasteful (save for a few).  A Volkswagen bus showed up and was in really good condition.  When a mid 80’s Mazda RX7 pulled in, I knew something interesting was under the hood mainly because of the sound coming out of it.  Upon further inspection the owner had shoved a LS1 engine under the hood with a custom exhaust system.  One of the most questioned cars was the original Mini Cooper but it was a stretch limo version.  The owner informed people it was originally owned by the Spice Girls and was actually signed by them on the rear.

Spice Girls Mini Cooper Limo

De Tomaso Pantera

The cars garnering the most attention were the Ford GT, Lamborghini Murcielago, De Tomaso Pantera and the Aston Martin(s).  A ton of American cars showed up and they even had their own (decent size) section.  Three Pontiac G8’s were in attendance all parked next to each other.  Two were GT’s and one was a GXP.  The GXP had a Holden badge on the rear and one GT had a custom hiding (flip down) front license plate.

The turnout was terrific. The weather held out and really ended up being beautiful.  I am not sure we could have asked for a better Cars & Café to kick off the season!  Here is looking forward to the first Saturday next month.

Cars & Café- October 3, 2009

Audi/BMW Section

Audi/BMW Section

Once a month a magical event called Cars & Café where car guys gather to gawk at cars and drink coffee.  On the first Saturday of the month from early spring to late fall this event is held at the Auto MotorPlex in Chanhassen, MN.  Normally 400 to 500 cars show up with some being on site already stored in garages.  There are set parking assignments based on the cars origin.  This month’s event happened to be a mere 49 degrees and drizzling rain.  This is not the opportune weather for such a event and because of that the turn out was closer to 100 cars then 500.  I heard people calling the turn out everything from “weak” to “terrible”.  I personally was happy even with 100 cars though obviously would have preferred 500.

Parking Assignment Diagram

Parking Assignment Diagram

Ford Mustang with the BMW identity crisi

Ford Mustang with the BMW identity crisis

There are a good variety of cars that show up to this event and this month’s was no different.  Everything from the Ford Mustang with the BMW identity crisis to the Porsche with the Chevrolet small block V8 with supercharger as the engine.  Nothing truly seemed out of the ordinary here.  Coffee and doughnuts were provided by the sponsors.  I even caught Kevin Tan, pulling in.  Kevin owns the new European automotive shop in town called Imola Motorsports.  Also of note, Imola Motorsports is one of the various sponsors of Cars & Café.  Many of the garages at the complex are dreamy to say the least.  With car lifts, full kitchens in some, not to mention they are fully customizable to suit the owner.  The Auto Motorplex is one sweet place to be.  My buddy brought his Honda S2000 and I took our 1990 Nissan 300zx.  Of course the cold drizzle and sloppy roads made all the cars quite a mess once at the event.

Porsche with Chevrolet small block engine and supercharger

Porsche with Chevrolet small block engine and supercharger


Blue on Blue Ferrari

Free and open to the public you do not even need to own a car worthy of being shown.  Many people come to be around car guys and look at the cars.  Parking is available right outside the gates.  The people that come whether with a car to show or not, are everything from the true car enthusiasts to people that just like to look at cool cars not to mention kids.  The first Saturday of November will be the last one for the 2009 season weather depending.  Between the coffee and the cars you should definitely check out Cars & Café.  My guess is with the weather the way it was today I will be done for this season.  Until next years Cars & Café……

My father and my 300zx with my buddies S2000

My father and my 300zx with my buddies S2000

My buddy with his one ticket and 4 warnings on the way home...priceless.

My buddy in his S2000 with his 1 ticket and 4 warnings on the way home...priceless






Note- For all the pictures check out my Flickr stream. My Flickr Stream