The Cars and Coffee style of car show is fast becoming a favourite way to catch up with fellow car lovers around Australia, with most events happening early in the morning on a weekend and finishing with plenty of time to enjoy your day off. Plus, any excuse to get a barista made coffee is a good excuse!
One of the most prominent events in the 2019 calendar for many Victorian-based car enthusiasts has been the newly formed Highball Cars and Coffee. Organised by the Highball Motor Club (HMC) and in collaboration with Bosch Australia, the first Highball Cars and Coffee was hosted at Bosch Head Office in June 2019.
The Highball Motor Club calls itself a “vehicle agnostic automotive enthusiast group” – essentially meaning that regardless of what make, model, year made, body type or vehicle value, any car is welcome at HMC and will be treated with equal enthusiasm to all other cars. This philosophy is reflected through their Cars and Coffee events, and while opening up an event to any car can be a potential recipe for disaster when trying to organise a car show, it works incredibly well for HMC with all three events to-date being very successful in drawing a large variety of vehicles and car enthusiasts.
“After the Wilson Cars and Coffee finished up in February 2019, there was a bit of a gap for our style of cars and coffee event in Melbourne. Melbourne has one of the best car cultures in the world in my opinion” says Jonathan Peart – Highball Motor Club member and one of the many organisers for the event. “Our first event, Cars and Coffee 01, was right in Melbourne’s winter with temperatures below freezing and the whole event was covered in fog. We saw 250 cars that day which really was a dream come true for us. Since then we saw 350 cars at Cars and Coffee 02 in August and 430 cars at Cars and Coffee 03 in early October. We believe that everyone that attends appreciates the inclusive nature and ‘Grandstand’ atmosphere as cars arrive and park up. We are also grateful for Bosch Australia donating $2 for every coffee sold at the event, which gives Highball Cars and Coffee the opportunity to give back.”
To put the Highball Cars and Coffee variety into perspective, the previous events have seen the attendance of multiple variations of Honda NSXs (original and new shapes), De Tomasto Panteras including multiple standard and GTS models, classic and modern BMWs including beautiful examples of E9s through to M2 Competitions, many Mazda MX-5s from original examples to wide-body builds, arguably every type of Porsche 911 from classic air cooled through to the latest track oriented GT3RSs, Mercedes-Benz varieties from Pagoda SLs through to S-Classes and modern AMG’s, exotic supercars of all shapes and sizes from Testarossas through to current McLaren generation and Lamborghini stables, as well as many interesting vehicles with stories to tell and JDM quirky cars not usually seen on Australian roads. The list is seemingly endless.
Coffee is just as important as the cars at these events, with the coffee at Highball Cars and Coffee supplied by renowned Melbourne based coffee roasters ST. ALi since their second event. ST. ALi have been around cars for many years, which includes their joint venture with Mercedes-Benz running the Mercedes me store and cafe in Melbourne. Many of their baristas are car enthusiasts who hope to enter cars in the future too.
Highball Motor Club itself was formed in 2015 with an inaugural ‘Highball Rally’ through country Victoria, as an opportunity for like-minded individuals to meet and enjoy the company of others in a motoring environment. The Highball Rally was also an occasion to highlight the significant issue of men’s mental health; a philosophy that has always been close to HMC. The success of the first rally lead organisers to frequently plan new events ever since, including annual road-trips, auto show excursions, club dinner functions and other Cars and Coffee runs. Through word-of-mouth the club events grew in size and member numbers increased.
While they have seen expansion, the original vision for the club has remained; providing a close knit relaxed environment of camaraderie for like-minded people of any age, background and gender, to mix and be able to spend time with each other sharing in a common passion of cars and all things motoring related. Jonathan Peart says that they welcome those interested in being a part of the club to attend a few Highball events and meet the existing members before requesting a membership. The club is a tight-knit group to ensure their foundational philosophy is kept.
Events happen every 6-8 weeks. For those interested in attending the event, details can be found on the Highball Cars and Coffee Facebook and Instagram pages.
Images: J Brezic Photography