What a strange weekend. First there were the Camelopardalids, which was kinda a bust, although I did catch a few meteors, and even more satellites. Then it was a last minute decision to attend this weekend's Cars and Coffee at Katie's Coffee House.
I had stayed up all night watching for meteors, with my camera set up for time-lapse astrophotography; a facet of photography that fascinates me but I don't often attempt. That evening, a number of friends all excitedly asked me if I was going to Katie's - originally I had planned on skipping, since I was scheduled for my lower wisdom teeth to be removed at 11AM. After several people all asked me, then the emails from Jalopnik began rolling in - everyone was planning on showing, and even though I'd be on zero sleep and a tight schedule, I knew I wasn't going to miss out on the Summer's largest Cars and Coffee.
I didn't sleep a wink - after finishing off the Camelopardalids, and editing a few photos quickly for Twitter and Facebook as the sun rose, I placed my camera in the car and just drove straight to Katie's, bright and early. My good friend James had just finished unloading the Performance Parts Inc racing-spec LS3 powered 1993 Fox Body Mustang Cobra which took center display next to the Countach and F40 which regularly appear.
When I arrived at 6AM, there was nobody in the side lot, and the main lot was ony 3/4 full. Within 30min, both lots were full, and the show soon began to overflow into the back lots, which is a new record of turnout I have never seen before. Clearly, Great Falls' best kept car culture secret is out.
For me, there were three big highlights to the show; first up was the 1958 Lister-Jaguar "Knobbly."
The next was possibly overlooked by many showgoers, but was really something special. A European spec Citroën SM, with the enclosed 6 headlight design (2 of the headlights follow the path of the steering - a feature seen on this 70s luxury tourer that is still pushed as "new innovation" by automakers to this day). Very cool to see one of these guys in person.
Finally, a brand new McLaren 650S arrived quietly - amazingly, many people didn't notice it roll in despite its bright orange paint that screams "LOOK AT ME" when engine isn't screaming it instead. It's incredibly quiet at low speeds, which is seemingly the new norm for modern supercars. Adding to the hilarity is that this 641HP beast had to circle the lot a few times before it found a parking spot - the show was in full swing and at new levels of business when it arrived.
This car was brought by Aston Martin of Washington, DC in Tysons Corner, since they recently received a small stock of them - I was a bit surprised that a dealer car was so dirty with pollen - come on guys; 5 minutes with a California Car Duster! This car, however, was meant to be driven and enjoyed on the road - if your car is dirty because you were too busy driving it and eating up turns, I cannot hold anything against you.
I love this car's design. Definitely a driver's car, meant for eating up roads at high-revs.
There of course were other very interesting rides, like this custom hot-rod made out of aircraft aluminum and an powered by an actual aircraft engine. I unfortunately can't tell you much more about this one since I didn't stick around long enough to listen to the owner's full description; perhaps you can tell me more in the comments.
The headlamps are also fashioned from actual aircraft landing lights, and retract into the body via a crank.
With record number of cars comes record amounts of people. Memorial Day Weekend is always going to be one of the busiest for car shows, regardless of weather, but with the fantastic warm and dry conditions we've had this May, everyone was at Katie's, including pets. This show was for the dogs!
PS: The only dog cuter than Dachshunds are Corgis (I WILL own one someday)... #Sorrynotsorry Shiba Inu. Wow. Such doge. Much car. Many cute. Wow.
As it is Memorial Day Weekend, and Rolling Thunder is in town, many of the visiting bikers also bring their best friends - everyone was eating up this sidecar dog wearing goggles.
There are always some bikes at Katie's, but of course there were more than usual this weekend, since Rolling Thunder is in town.
Another car that caught my eye was the CLEAN, and award winning M3. It was pristine, as though it was still sitting on a dealer's showroom floor.
Also spotted were this Merkur XR4Ti, a Ford Cortina, and McMike's Mini Cooper with Yakima roof pod.
Also interesting was the presence of not one, but TWO Panteras.
There was plenty more carporn to take in. Some was even NSFW.
It was quickly approaching time for me to leave and get to the oral surgeon. Before leaving to go get my wisdom teeth pulled, I stopped to watch this Lincoln Continental drop top cover itself before it headed out. Needless to say, convertibles are a lot faster today.
After leaving Katie's, I went directly to the surgeon, still on zero sleep. I got my bottom two impacted wisdom teeth removed (my tops had previously been taken out), and I finally got to pass out recovering from the general anesthesia (being placed under anesthesia does not rest your body because it is not sleep - you are unconscious, but not asleep and recovering energy, which contributes to why people are often exhausted after anesthesia - even minor surgery is very taxing on the body).
So between the anesthesia slowly clearing from my system, my ~36 hours without sleep, and then narcotic pain meds, I finally got to pass out and get some precious sleep - that's why my pictures are delayed from my usual rapid delivery of car shows. Luckily, my surgery went without any of the complications or nerve damage that was a real concern and risk beforehand - I had an excellent surgeon who did some great work removing all 4 teeth safely, thanks to a clear CT scan. Here's to hoping I don't get dry socket (it feels like I'm getting one... damnit).
So while this gentleman was getting high on photography, I was high on photography AND pain meds. Now that I'm rested and well into my recovery, I'm spending the rest of my weekend relaxing and enjoying this amazing weather.
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Hope you all had as interesting a weekend as I did!