It all started with a conversation between two car guys… Over my thirty years managing car dealerships I have always been a car guy and always keep one eye open for a cool car and when I catch a glimpse of one you will usually find me chasing after it to take a picture! While working at an Audi dealer I saw a flash of bright orange drive past the showroom window headed toward the service drive and sprang from my chair at the sales desk to go investigate. Sure enough there it was, an awesome Audi R8 brightly covered with the MOMO logo and sporting a seriously large pair of turbos from under the rear bumper. I struck up a conversation with its owner while grabbing my phone to start snapping away for my ole Instagram account and soon we were both complaining about the lack of good car meets in the Inland Empire area. As we spoke an idea formed in the back of my mind and soon became a burning desire, ‘why not hold a cars and coffee type of meet here at the dealership?’ I quickly asked my new friend how many of his friends with equally cool rides he could gather if I was to open the lot at the dealership on a Sunday when our service department was closed for a car guy morning, I would provide coffee and donuts! He stated confidently he could recruit at least 15 cool car owners and it was on! We had 12 cars show up that first day and I decided it was worth doing again, on a monthly basis. As it happens often in the car biz a new opportunity opened up, literally right across the street when the local Chevrolet dealership was bought out and the new management asked me to join the store and build a sales team. As I accepted the offer one of the things I did first was tell all my car peeps that I had moved but would still open the lot, at my new store, for our cars and coffee meet. February of 2017 we had 6 cars brave the light rain to come to our first official Riverside Cars and Coffee meet. It was a small gathering but enough to solidify my desire to continue giving local cool car owners a place to hang out and show off their cars! I soon bought the website URL and started an Instagram and Facebook page for the event. By December of that first year, we had over 60 cars regularly coming out. On the business side our dealership sold eleven new vehicles to show attendees, two were very high-end Corvettes along with some big-ticket lifted trucks as well and the word of mouth exposure was unmeasurable not to mention the increased social media visibility all at no cost other than a few dozen donuts! When I decided to leave the retail side of the car business one of my biggest concerns was what was going to happen to my precious monthly car meet?!! I walked across the street to see my friend at the legendary J&M Speed Center where I have bought performance parts for many years and asked if there was a chance they would let me use the parking lot at the shop… Park some hot rods in their parking lot and have car fans walking around a performance parts shop? It was a win-win idea and so it continued, our first meet totaled right at 80 cars and now we see nearly 200 rides regularly rolling in each month! Along the way I have had assistance from some really amazing folks, the manager at the Starbucks in Corona was the first to jump in with support and we continue to get our coffee there, 10 gallons each month! A local artist created some awesome designs for the show that we have put on tee shirts to raise funds for our donuts and they have taken off big, check our Alley Cat for some kick-ass apparel items! All my efforts would be for nothing if it weren’t for the amazing car folks that show up every month! Each month we have a group of dedicated regulars that always come out and in addition, there is always something new that rolls in and its crazy fun to see what comes out every time we get together! Riverside Cars and Coffee meets on the third Sunday of every month from 8 am until 10 am right in the heart of the Historic Riverside Auto Center, if you are a fan of hot rods and cool cars you should join us for some hot Starbucks coffee, fresh donuts and awesome car folks camaraderie! See you soon 😉
Huge Thanks To Those Who Make Riverside Cars and Coffee Possible:
Host J&M Speed Center
Coffee Sponsor: Starbucks Corona
Apparel Design: Alley Cat So Cal
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Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
Need to reach me?
Call or Text: (909) 206-4377
22400 Barton Rd Suite 21-451
Grand Terrace, CA 92313
the Car Guys reads:
Bloomberg (yes, Bloomberg!)
Japanese Nostalgic Car
is friends with:
Used Car Ricky.com
Alley Cat SoCal (apparel and Design)