Nearly 250 cars were at the Katie’s Cars and Coffee event this Saturday.
Photo by Reena Singh.
The biggest buzz about Katie’s Coffee in Great Falls comes from much more than the free flow of caffeine.
Every Saturday, hundreds of rare and classic cars from all over the east coast gather in the parking lot to talk shop for an early morning event dubbed Katie’s Cars and Coffee.
The event takes place from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and invites all cars - free of charge - to attend. Project cars, classic antiques and flashier models - like bright yellow Ferraris - have all been seen in attendance.
"For us, it’s about seeing cars and meeting people," said Great Falls resident Peder Jungck (CQ).
During this Saturday’s event, Jungck brought a silver souped-up Dodge Ram SRT with a viper engine. He said he comes every week, even when the weather becomes unbearable for all except five or six dedicated show-goers. During the past Saturday, about 250 cars showed up, making it the biggest event of the season.
"Everyone here is so excited and passionate," Jungck said. "Every week, there’s something you’ve never seen before."
Jungck chatted excitedly about a Bugatti that made an appearance last season.
For Michael Kearney, owner of Katie’s Coffee and Old Brogue Irish Pub, $2 million Bugattis are only a small part of what makes the Cars and Coffee event special.
"People come from all over the area," he said. "They come from the Carolinas. They come from New Jersey. The nice thing is that there’s no specific type of car here. It’s not just all high end or oldies."
In the nearly four years the event has been happening, he has seen everything from the Bugatti to a 16-foot plane that was mounted on a Toyota frame.
"It’s kind of like a street fair," Kearney said. "It’s a very special thing. And it helps that Katie’s serves really good coffee."
North Potomac resident Joe Parlanti, owner of a hunter green 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, said he tries to make it to the event several times each season.
"We like the variety and quality here, but for us, it’s about the drive," Kearney said.
His car, he said, is the British version of the Shelby.
"It was sometimes called the poor man’s Shelby," he said. "They made this car for only three years."
"We think, for sure, it’s one of the largest cars and coffee events on the east coast," said Kearney. "It’s the variety of cars that come in; it’s the road on the way here; and it’s the atmosphere of the area that makes it really special."