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Cars, Coffee and Community-Building

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jan 10, 2016

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


Bruce Springsteen sings, 'Meet me at the giant windmill in Arcadia' (Glenn Oyoung)

Story and pictures by Glenn Oyoung Los Angeles is the car culture capital of the world, with no shortage of “cars and coffee” gatherings for gear heads looking to show off their rides. As a relatively new transplant to Arcadia back in 2013, I was surprised by the number of great cars from classic muscle cars to modern exotics that I would see on a daily basis either on the street or tucked away in garages. I also happened to be a new dad at that time and was looking for a good excuse to escape diaper duty. Meeting new friends and fellow gear heads seemed like a good way to do that while creating a new signature event for Arcadia. I approached the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick, who also heads up a non-profit called Arcadia’s Best that is responsible for various community events. With the backing of Arcadia’s Best and permission from the city and Denny’s to use their lot, Carcadia at Route 66 was born. Carcadia just celebrated its second anniversary last month. Pull into the Denny’s lot on the fourth Sunday morning of every month, and you can see the keys to our success. It comes down to a few things: a friendly environment, a diverse group of people, and a wide variety of cars. We’ve grown from our initial meet that had a dozen cars to consistently filling the lot to capacity with forty or so cars. There’s always at least one “unicorn” level car that makes waking up at 5am to set-up cones and grab the requisite coffee and donuts worth it for me.


Carcadians enjoying the Sunday morning cars and coffee (Glenn Oyoung)

Some of the more unique cars we’ve had at Carcadia include the Arcadia Police Department’s 1959 Ford Galaxie, a 1957 Mercedes Gullwing, a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a BAC Mono, and a Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta. The most common question we’re asked about Carcadia is “I have (fill in the blank), can I bring it?” The answer is YES. Anything with wheels is welcome. In the last two years we’ve had hot rods, muscle cars, imports, exotics, motorcycles, and even bicycles on display. While I truly love the cars we get at Carcadia, what I really enjoy is watching gear heads from totally different backgrounds mixing it up. Attendees have shared with me that’s what makes Carcadia one of their favorite gatherings too. Some regularly come from as far as Diamond Bar and Huntington Beach to meet new people and see new cars. Whether you love classic Shelby Mustangs or more modern “classics” like Acura NSX’s or E30 BMW M3’s, the automotive passion is the same. We all want to go faster and look cooler, and through the generations we’ve used similar tactics to do so – from spoilers to wider wheels to lowering. We all can appreciate the attention to detail and love that go into restoring and maintaining a beloved car. And at the end of the day, I’m pretty most of us would rather admire a car than change diapers. That’s enough motivation for us to keep this great little car gathering going.


Lambos in line at Carcadia (Glenn Oyoung)

Carcadia at Route 66 is held the fourth Sunday of every month, from 7AM – 9:30AM at the Arcadia Denny’s located on 7 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia 91006. Got something to say about Carcadia? Add your Facebook comments here.

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