My Car Quest

June 16, 2024

Cars & Coffee, Enderle Center, Santa Ana, CA

by Wallace Wyss –

Photos by Richard Bartholomew –

This event happens every Saturday 7 am to 9 am.

When I first attended this event a year or so ago, I thought it was a one time event for Porsche 356 folk, then recently I ran into a Porsche turtle car owner who told me, no, it’s every single Saturday and it seems to have accidentally morphed into a 90% Porsche event.

Like most Cars & Coffees, it starts at about 7 am and peters out about 9 am.

Porsche 911

Don’t think it’s only Porsches. Certainly other interesting cars are welcome. This last weekend I saw a hot rod, maybe a ’32 Deuce, a Ford Woodie Wagon, an old Chrysler, a ‘60s Chrysler convertible, a ’63 Corvette “split window” coupe, and a cute little fiberglass bodied Saab owned by a guy that has no less than ten Saabs and yes, I can’t resist, practically sobbed when I mentioned that, as a marque, Saab is fast disappearing into the sands of time. (The same guy brought a very early Saab to last week’s meet and it’s amazing how innovative Saab was at that time, only to become more conventional each year).



As far as Porsches, I would say by about 8 am, there were as many 356s as 911 and 912 models but gradually the 356ers left only to be replaced by 911 models, the occasional 912, and this last weekend, several 2017 models, indicating to me that some new Porsche owners are just as anxious to meet and hang out with the owners of old Porsches.

I applaud this because when I owned a 356 Convertible D I wasn’t in a Porsche club and had no one to talk to about secrets of upkeep, etc. and sold it for a song, only to regret it later (now that they are worth say $140,000…)

I also counted about four Ferraris at the peak, all newer models. I am embarrassed to say, as a guy who has written no less than three Ferrari books and painted over fifty portraits of prancing horse cars, I can no longer recognize each new model, but suffice to say that we know the old Ferraris are in Orange County, but maybe their owners don’t take them out as much as the owners of recent models.

There was even a big Cayenne with some sort of slogan on the side about Trans Siberia and I’d like to read about that event, find out how many made it across the Russian steppes. This one didn’t look race equipped so I am guessing it is commemorating the event, not it’s own participation.

Alfa Romeo GTV

What is there to do there? Well, besides jawboning about cars and kicking tires, there’s the Coffee Grinder restaurant, more of a bakery than a restaurant, and right across the lot another fancier full restaurant and the event attendees seem to favor both places equally. At the risk of being a food reviewer, the almond croissant at the Coffee Grinder is among the best I’ve ever tasted.

This is one of those “dress down” events where the participants appear to be making an effort to wear clothes that give absolutely no tip to their financial status, i.e. if you are a King of Industry, you wear blue jeans and a quilted jacket on a cold morning.

A few women attended, and I applaud them for supporting their husbands/boyfriends and going out to a Cars & Coffee with them.

As far as famous people, if I was full time in the Porsche community I am sure I would have recognized some but one that recognized me was a nearby businessman, “Chip” Foose, who has a TV show where he modifies cars. I am really glad he left the confines of working for an automaker because now he can create whatever he wants.

As far as location, you can’t beat the ease of finding this event. If you get off the 55 freeway (might be called the Costa Mesa freeway but I remember it as the “Newport Freeway” as I worked in Newport in the late ’60s) at 17th St. and go about fifty feet East, there is the shopping center.

Hot Rods

Ironically only a few miles more to the South is the location off the 5 freeway where the weekly Irvine Cars & Coffee occurred weekly but alas, that was done in by the layout,–you exited onto a side street and the more immature among the participants, only a small handful of miscreants to be sure, took to doing burnouts to appease the equally immature waiting audience, even when a police car was RIGHT THERE.

So local businesses complained (as well as the police) and that event ended. At this event the exit is a few feet further and the participants seem to be middle aged, so I doubt if we will see the same collection of burnout fans gather at the exit like they did at the Irvine event.

I also think since Orange County is growing in propularity and home to at least two car design studios (Hyundai and Ford) that it is becoming a car centered community as well as a Silicon Valley of the South (a rival to the Silicon Beach of the Playa del Rey area in Los Angeles). And the beauty of Enderle Center is that you can leave the event by 9 am and be in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach or Huntington Beach within 20 minutes. There’s not that many Cars & Coffees that are so close to those great towns so you have an added incentive to take your lady friend (presuming your wife is your friend…) because they can go shopping or you both can go dine by the sea later.

Porsche 356

You wouldn’t think a shopping center with chock-a-block parking presents good opportunities for an artist but I am there for the light and OC, with ocean air even this far up from the surf, has good clean air and blue skies….Art by Wallace Wyss

You might see us at Enderle, Rick shooting about ten pictures to my one. I still am hoping for that perfect sunrise where I’ve got the perfect car in the perfect place as the sun comes up…I hope you can see by my artwork that I’m getting there…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books. He’s also a fine artist and his fine art prints are available at various venues. For a list of what’s available, write


THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Richard Bartholomew is an artist and photographer based in Southern California.



More photos are in the two slide shows below.

Cars & Coffee, Enderle Center, Santa Ana, CA
Article Name
Cars & Coffee, Enderle Center, Santa Ana, CA
As far as famous people, if I was full time in the Porsche community I am sure I would have recognized some but one that recognized me was a nearby businessman, “Chip” Foose, who has a TV show where he modifies cars.


  1. Wayne Watkins says

    You are so lucky living so close to a brilliant array of classic cars . I lived and worked in Newport Beach in 1968 after hitchhiking from New York . I lived for a few weeks in my freshly purchased 57 nailhead V8 pillarless Buick wagon ( paid $150 for it in Pasadena ) Got my social security card & worked on the Reuben E Lee floating paddlesteamer riverboat . Met John Wayne who tipped me a week’s wages for talking with him . Apparently I was the first Aussie he had spoken with . I remember all the managers drove new 911’s and adter renting an apartment at 120.5 28th Street , I swapped my Buick with one of the dishwashers for a 1960 Corvair which I had resprayed yellow at Earl Scheib for $29.95 . It now had yellow windows , yellow seats , yellow tyres due to some dodgy Mexican masking . I cannot remember how many fan belts that yellow lemon broke . One time coming back from a Can Am series race at Riverside it broke again , the engine overheated and I was given a ticket for ” Soliciting on a Freeway ! ” , whilst trying to hitch a lift to buy yet another fan belt . Very little to do with your story , but it brings back such great memories of living in Orange County in the flower power 60’s .

  2. Richard Bartholomew says

    I had a corvair that I bought in the early 80’s from a guy at Torrance airport and the number one rule was don’t go anywhere without a spare serpentine belt. Rule two was have ballast in the front trunk so it would handle safely.

  3. We have regularly Saab 93 / 96 with two strokes engines and also Lancia Fulvias
    Do not hesitate to get in touch for infos if you have questions about them !

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