My wife and I moved here six weeks after getting married, and knew almost no one in Portland. A few months after moving I ran into a long-time Portland Cars & Coffee attendee at the Audi dealership. It was so nice to meet a friendly car enthusiast in a place where I had nearly no friends. He told me about Portland Cars & Coffee.
My first time attending the gathering was at our previous location at the Starbucks in Tigard on Sequoia Parkway. Everyone was so friendly and the gathering was diverse. It was low-key and laid back. Maybe 25-50 enthusiasts in a parking lot on a cool winter day.
Among the long-time Portland Cars & Coffee attendees I met that first day was Mark Scholz. At the time he was one of the two gentlemen managing the gathering. When we started chatting and he learned about my background his eyes lit up. You could see the gears turning. As they say, the rest is history.
We’ve grown, a lot. What was once a group of 25-50 enthusiasts has grown into over 300 cars and 600 people on a weekly basis.
A good chunk of my closest PNW friends are because of Portland Cars & Coffee. What’s more, you aren’t just my friends, but friends that my wife and I are now close with as well. As we started a family the community supported us. The friendships I have, the things people have done to help us, I can’t begin to give thanks for.
Thank you for rallying behind Mark and I as we guided Portland Cars & Coffee through its growth and evolution.
As I transition from co-leader to more of an leadership advisor role, a special thank you to the members of Ground Control is necessary. Without this group of people, Portland Cars & Coffee would simply not exist anymore. They are the ones that make this run.
More than that, thank you all for taking my family in and making us part of yours. I will forever be grateful to this car community.
While I might not be here locally on site, you can bet I’m not gone.
Please, keep in touch.
The new leadership will consist of a trio of gentlemen including Mark Scholz, Mason O’Lennick, and Chris Mitchell.
Joel will assist with the transition through the 2016 season and stay on in a leadership advisor capacity there after.
Joel and his family are moving to Minnesota, and while distance makes the heart grow fonder, it’s difficult to be in charge of a gathering when one can’t be on site frequently.
About the new leadership:
Mark Scholz –
Mark has been with Portland Cars & Coffee since the beginning in 2008. He’s a driving instructor, Italian car nut (although German cars are growing on him quickly,) and car enthusiast. By day he sells garages with homes attached, and by weekend he is either at the race track, with his daughter, or at Portland Cars & Coffee.
Mason O’Lennick –
Mason has been attending Portland Cars & Coffee for over five years and has been an active leader in Ground Control since its inception. His experience and knowledge spans topics such as business operations, non-profits, legal, and is of course, an automotive enthusiast. He’s active in the local car community with the BMW club and is an avid DIYer.
Chris Mitchell –
Chris has been coming to Portland Cars & Coffee well over five years and has been an active leader in Ground Control since its inception. His background includes digital marketing and branding strategy, small business management, along with event planning. Chris spends most of his time racing or helping other automotive groups around the PNW, and regardless if it’s Saturday, is a regular coffee addict, always willing to lend a hand.
We are excited about this new chapter in Portland Cars & Coffee’s history and look forward to seeing it continue to evolve.
– Joel, Mark, Mason, Chris
*Photo credit – Tom Hoots
5/14 – Mercedes Day
5/21 – Porsche Day
5/28 – Default, no set theme
6/4 – Tuned Day
6/11 – Default, no set theme
6/18 – Wagon Day
6/25 – Race Car Day
7/2 – Default, no set theme
7/9 – Concours Day
7/16 – Default, no set theme
7/23 – Ferrari Day
7/30 –Stars of the DTM
8/6 – Default, no set them
8/13 – Motorcycle Day
8/20 – Default, no set theme
8/27 – Mustang Day
9/3 – JDM Day
9/10 – Mopar Day
9/17 – Default, no set theme
9/24 – Default, no set theme
10/1 – First Responders Day
10/8 – Excursion/Adventure Vehicles
10/15 – Default, no set theme
10/22 – Default, no set theme
10/29 – Default, no set theme
* *Themes and dates subject to change for various factors.
Over the winter our Facebook group has grown with lots of new faces. This is great! Given that, here are some things you might want to know about how things work during the main season:
The main parking spots directly in front of World of Speed is the Featured Section. The goal with this section is and has been to keep things dynamic, fresh, and to highlight some vehicles.
What goes in featured parking? You can refer to this blog post here.
We start at 8 am, not before
The World of Speed parking lots are gated. Gates will not open for Cars and Coffee parking until 8 am. If you arrive early—and you are absolutely welcome to, if you want to be in the Featured Section it’s highly recommended—please line up on the side of the street. Everyone you see entering and inside the parking lot before 8 am is Ground Control staff.
There are two parking lots
Lot 1 is the main side of the World of Speed building, including the loading docks. Yes, we park in the loading docks. Please wrap around the loading docks and park efficiently so we can fit as many cars as possible. Ground Control will be directing traffic. They are there to help, please listen to them.
Lot 2 is next to the main lot. To access Lot 2 you’ll be directed to the right as you pull in. We’ll be directing people to Lot 2 once Lot 1 is full.
Please do not park in the back two rows behind World of Speed (see red on map). Those are reserved for World of Speed employees and customers. Also, do not park in the alley way, church parking lot or surrounding business parks. Handicap parking spaces are for those with handicap permits only.
When both lots are full there is parking on side streets. When cars leave and spaces open up we’ll continue letting people in.
Ground Control Staff
Ground Control Staff are the group of volunteers that make Portland Cars & Coffee run. They all have badges and are there to help. Have a question? Ask Ground Control member.
Don’t be that guy
Seriously, please. We know you’re awesome, your car is awesome, and it’s super loud, not to mention fast. This is a family event. We have police on site for a reason.
We look forward to seeing everyone at World of Speed for the 2016 season opener this weekend.
~ Mark, Joel, and Ground Control
The Featured Section
The featured parking section is the area in front of World of Speed, which is approximately 22 parking spaces, plus the cul-de-sac sometimes.
What Goes In The Featured Section?
The featured section is ever changing and completely dynamic. Some weekends there is a theme to the featured section, whether it be cars from XXXX and before, or only German cars, or even only modified cars.
On weekends there is no theme for the featured section it defaults to unique, rare, and exotic vehicles.
We look forward to keeping things interesting, and more importantly, fun, as Portland Cars and Coffee continues to evolve.
Who Decides What Goes In The Featured Section?
The Ground Control volunteers make the call as to what goes into the Featured Section.
~ Mark, Joel, and Ground Control
By The Numbers
Many have asked for the numbers, so let’s run through them:
Lessons Learned–We Watched And Listened
Many of you provided valuable feedback both on-site at World of Speed and by reaching out to Mark Scholz or Joel Feder. Thank you. We spent a lot of time listening to that, and watching how things went. In just one weekend we learned a lot, and have made a list of adjustments that will be implemented immediately next weekend. These adjustments should make it so people get into the lots faster, it’s safer when exiting, and it’s more clear where you should go if you arrive before the gates open. We’ll lay out these adjustments before the weekend once they are all set.
We can’t wait to do it again next weekend, and the weekend after that.
Have a great week and we’ll see you all Saturday for Cars and Coffee.
Joel, Mark, and Ground Control