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2018 Katie's Cars & Coffee Thread - Great Falls, VA

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So did the guy with the viper purposely make his car look like a complete POS?


We didn't think it was very funny; there are lots of deer on the roads around Katie's, and we've had accidents involving cars and deer. This looked like the aftermath...

Edited by rcollum
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Without a doubt, this was the largest day ever at Katie's. Cars were parked all the way around the Great Falls Village shopping center. While I am glad Katie's remains popular, the fact that we had overflow cars parking across Walker Road on the Safeway parking lot, and also parked unsafely along the side of Georgetown Pike. This will generate a lot of complaints, if this is not just a blip in attendance for the first gorgeous-weather day of the year.


That MGB is a newly-manufactured car from a firm called British Motor Heritage in England. It runs Mazda MX-5 running gear.


--Bob Collum





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  • 2 weeks later...

Since it was raining lightly when I left my house, I drove the (gasp) Subaru this morning. I had really wanted to drive the Seven, but didn't want to deal with the rain. Luckily, some people braved the weather, which turned out to be a largely dry by the time we got to Great Falls. There were three Evoras there, but I never got a picture of Mickey's car.


Keep an eye the NoVA Lotus website's calendar; we are planning several events for Northern Virginia in the new few weeks -



DC British Embassy Open House:





Jefferson 500 - Kevin McGovern Invitation:





GYLO 15:





Memorial Day Weekend Drive:





--Bob Collum





Edited by rcollum
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  • 2 weeks later...

It rained today. It's rained for what seems like a week! A small turnout for a Saturday at Katie's, but still, a dedicated, enthusiastic bunch!

The guys I usually have breakfast with on Saturdays were there, and we made the best of it.


I got there early. Michael D was there this morning, mourning the Seven he sold last year.



--Bob Collum






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A very big turnout, even as early as we get there... Chuck Stone, who I know from the Jaguar club, has bought a Westfield 7. He drove his Westfield to Katie's today. A lot of nice cars there, today.


--Bob Collum







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I had the only Lotus I saw at Katie's today. (Mark Franke was there, but his Esprit is in the shop.) There was an amazing showing of TVRs - 11 of them, while I was there. Quite a sight!


This inspires me - what would it take to get a bunch of the local Sevens to show up someplace? I attend two events, pretty much every week - Katie's on Saturday (very early start time) and Fairfax Circle on Sundays, starting at a more-reasonable 8:00AM. We could also arrange to get together someplace for a lunch. I know the various track and autocross events mean a large number of weekends will not work for a fair number of us. Is there a day/time that would work for a handful of us, or more?


--Bob Collum






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Well, finally - perfect weather on a Saturday morning! That means a lot of cars & people at Katie's. Chuck Stone parked next to me in his Westfield Seven. As it turns out, Craig Chima was involved in Chuck's Westfield, and in my Caterham! Michael D. came by, and we talked for a while.


We had another Dodge Demon there today. My friend Pete and his son drove their Beck Porsche replicas.

The Stanley Steamer is a crowd-pleaser. Check out the rearview mirror hang-tag on the Cobra...


--Bob Collum






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A newcomer visiting Katie's on a morning like today could be forgiven for thinking "what's the big deal about this?" Today's light mist, which kept away the majority of normal attendees, was not enough to keep regulars away. Most other local cars & coffee events would be happy to have the number, quality and variety of vehicles there today. Occasional light mist aside, it was not at all unpleasant to walk the lot, perusing what people brought out. My Elise got a lot of attention today.


Michael D. was there today, with his dog, Buddy.


--Bob Collum






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A warm, clear, beautiful morning at Katie's. As you would expect, there were a lot of cars, and a lot of people there. Another Seven-related car was there today - Graham brought his Acura-engined LoCost Seven. (My Seven is in the shop, having a crack in the header welded.)


Graham is eagerly anticipating his first participation in the Sevens track event in NJ, coming up.


--Bob Collum






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I got my seven back from the shop Friday evening. (Cracked header repaired - thanks, R & R Auto!) No surprise that I was the only Seven there, since the NJMP track day for Sevens ran from July 4th thru 6th. I did have several Lotus friends there. A good morning, for sure!


That last shot is a bonus - who knows what it is? I figure I'll never see another one!


--Bob Collum






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I drove my Caterham, accompanied by Mark Franke in my Elise. Chuck Stone brought his Westfield.


The Lamborghini Espada is a personal favorite of mine; an Italian oddity, with a 12 cylinder engine, and seating for four!


I did a walk around the lot with Michael D.


--Bob Collum




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My first trip to Katie’s was in 2009. A friend (Alan) told me it was a really cool, small gathering of interesting cars and car people. I took a few pictures; they show an original Mini Cooper, two Elises (Alan’s and mine), and a fire engine. The picture was taken after 8:00AM. Crowds were not a problem.


Fast-forward to today, and you have to get to Katie’s INSANELY early to get a ‘good’ spot. As the popularity skyrocketed, so did the quality and variety of vehicles. I have learned a lot by asking questions about what I didn’t recognize or understand. I have a network of friends and acquaintances that all started at Katie’s.


There are downsides to such a huge, popular event. Over the years, we have had accidents involving vehicles coming to or leaving from Katie’s – a couple of modern Ferraris on Georgetown Pike and 495, a Cobra replica, and the sad, fatal accident of the young man driving his S2000 down Walker Road. One of the most widely-reported Katie’s stories was the parking accident between the Mercedes and the Ferrari – I heard people on Metro talking about that, the week after.


This past Saturday, we had another landmark, and not in a good way: a guy with a ~$300,000 McLaren 720S, bought the day before, crashed the car on Walker Road, and had to be medivac’d out to the hospital. This story has made it to the Fairfax County Police Facebook page, and onto the TV news. The McLaren driver’s injuries, thankfully, are not life-threatening, but he after-effects of such a story will color peoples’ opinions of Katie’s Cars & Coffee.


This is NOT meant to be an accusatory screed; God knows, there will be plenty of vitriol from non-car-people. What I want to do, is remind us all that we in the car hobby are very visible, very identifiable targets for people who would like nothing better than to shut down car events they see as being breeding grounds for antisocial behavior. Even many of my car friends have an instant, visceral reaction that ‘that guy (or girl) is an idiot!’ Take that reaction and move it to the large number of non-car-people, and you can see that incidents like this can make for increasing hostility in the general public about “car events” in general.


We car people need to move beyond the too-easy excuse that it’s only “idiots” that cause these problems. The roads in this area are filled with people driving distracted and making completely illogical moves in the middle of traffic. Suburban roads, like the ones surrounding Katie’s, are packed with wild deer, which can dart in front of you like a furry kamikaze. These variables could mean that anyone could be involved in a very serious accident, whether or not it is “your fault”.


Like me, I’m sure you have done some unsafe moves in your car. We all need to keep in mind that the way we drive our vehicles has consequences. Use whatever helps you to keep that in mind…


Do I want to be injured, or to die?

Do I want to damage my car?

Do I want to hurt or kill someone else?

Do I want to have to endure all my friends referring to me as ‘crash’?


Those of us who used to enjoy a Sunday cars & coffee at Fair Lakes, VA (Kohl’s) know that it’s possible to lose a venue because of bad actors. Let’s do what is necessary to make sure we, as a group, clean up our behavior, and keep this weekly event safe, and thriving!



Edited by rcollum
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  • 3 weeks later...

It threatened rain this morning, but we never really had any, to speak of. As a result, attendance was a bit lower than usual. Still, a lot of interesting vehicles and people.

Our friend Paul has a '32 Ford Roadster, with no top. We kept our umbrellas at the ready to keep his seats dry.


--Bob Collum






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In recent weeks, Katie's has had too many incidents that reflect poorly on the vast majority of attendees who know how to act. From the medevac of the McLaren driver, after he put his brand-new car into a tree, to the pickup driver who did a burnout, directly in front of a policeman, Katie's is coming under ever-more public scrutiny.


This morning, I spoke to Mike Kearney, the owner of Katie's and the Old Brogue. Mike is also in charge of the Great Falls Village business owners' association. As such, Mike is the recipient of complaints from the other business owners, regarding parking and other issues. If you move one of the orange pylons to park your car, Mike hears about it. If you park in one of the marked 'No Parking' areas, Mike is the one that gets the call. In short, all of us who come to Katies Cars & Coffee are guests of Mike's. Too often, when Mike asks someone to move from where they are parked, Mike gets abuse from the people who are in the wrong. That's not right - we are guests at this venue.


Katie's is arguably the best gathering of its kind in the area. Several of us have been coming to Katie's since it 'officially' started, in April of 2010 - some even earlier. It is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. Amazingly, I have heard people complain about being asked to move their car, saying that Katie's makes a fortune off the cars & coffee. Let's be clear - on a great Saturday morning, Katie's makes a small percentage of the dollars the restaurant takes in on an average Saturday night. Believe me, this event is becoming more of a pain for Mike and his staff than it is worth. (And, by the way, if you don't buy anything from Katie's, inside or outside - you have no room to complain...) Mike and the staff have adjusted to our crazy-early schedule, and are serving us as early as 6:00AM. Put yourself in their shoes - do you think it's their first choice to get up so early on a Saturday morning? It's damned tough to recruit for positions on a schedule like this.



To put it as bluntly as possible - we could lose this venue. I was a regular at the Kohl's Sunday cars & coffee in Fair Lakes, which we lost a couple of years ago, because of several bad actors. It's no fun, but we were all to blame, for allowing those few to ruin it for the rest of us. If you value this venue, make it clear that we will not tolerate childish behavior. Loud engine revving? Take it elsewhere. Burnouts? High-speed runs down local roads, to & from Katie's? Take it to the track. If you behave like the guests you are, you will be welcome. People that cannot behave should be firmly but politely asked to leave.



I would welcome any suggestions regarding self-policing, to save this venue.



--Bob Collum

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I faced the same issue when I used to be in charge of the local auto-X. One incident and we could lose the lot. And large lot owners were not exactly lining up to replace the lot that was lost. We used to have a controlled access where folks signed the waiver and got a brief lecture on not screwing this up for everyone, including mandatory sane driving after they left the facility. A lecture that was repeated many times during the day, at the drivers' meeting, over the loud speaker set up, etc. And violators were kicked out, losing the chance to participate.


Your C&C event is far less manageable. Maybe some safe/sane driving banners in strategic locations? Or some "Don't be THAT guy" posters of Mr. Med-evac's wrecked car tacked up in strategic locations? Maybe even under windshield wipers of some of the regular cars? I am sure the hassle far outweighs the coffee sales for the coffee shop at this point.

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A perfect-weather day at Katie's... and, a good turnout of 'our' cars. I had my Seven, and there was a Westfield Seven there, as well. Greg Smoak showed up in his blue Elise, Mickey and his daughter were driving their Evora, and there was a grey Exige from Maryland. I saw a yellow Elise as I was leaving, but I didn't get a picture of it...


There was a brand-new Ford GT there today, too.


--Bob Collum






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