Cars & Coffee on a Crisp Autumn Morning


The seasons have changed and a cool crisp fall morning seemed like a good time to check in on the Portland Cars and Coffee gang in Wilsonville, Oregon. With cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 40’s I wondered if there would be much going on a quiet Saturday morning. The answer was a lot was going on. As usual, gear heads from all over the area showed up with some beautiful and unusual automobiles.

Let’s start out by looking at a couple of survivors. Yes, there were rare classic and exotic cars that only the most successful among us can afford, but it’s also pretty cool to see a car that is still going after years of use in its original condition.

Here is something you don’t see driving around very often. This is a 1940 La Salle Series 50 Business Coupe. It turns out, this was the last year for this GM luxury brand. La Salle was above Buick and below Cadillac in the GM line of the time. The following model year, all La Salles became Cadillacs.

Under the hood is a 322 cubic inch flat-head V-8 that should have made 130 HP when new. I saw it drive into the event, and it appeared to run perfectly. Here is a 78 year old machine that is still able to do exactly what it was designed to do, and could still be doing so in 2096 with basic maintenance and proper care.

Our second survivor is this humble little 1967 Chevy II 4 door sedan. There probably aren’t many enthusiasts out there lusting after cars like these, but this boring economy car has hung around long enough to become pretty cool actually.

It looks like some basic ignition parts were all it took to keep this 250 Turbo-Thrift 6 cylinder engine going. With its single barrel carburetor, it’s supposed to make 155 HP.  It’s kind of amazing how much simpler engine bays were back then.

Let’s change gears, and look at a couple of classic American muscle cars from the 70’s. The GTO is a 1970, but I can’t tell exactly what year this second generation Camaro is. They both looked like they were almost brand new.

This one had me fooled until I looked at the photos at home. What I thought was an immaculate custom Austin Healey 3000 with a Ford V-8 stuffed into it, was actually an immaculately done kit car. It was getting more attention than the Ferrari that was parked next to it.

Here is another car with an unlikely V-8 engine. I’ve always been kind of fond of the Porsche 914 with its Beetle DNA and relative affordability. When I saw and heard this driving in, it never crossed my mind I was looking at a highly modified 914. This extrovert ditched its air cooled flat 4 for a small block V-8 and a radical body kit. The owner said it’s a lot of fun.

This VW micro bus looks fantastic with that color combination. I’ve seen a few of these Mitsubishi Delica (delivery / car) right hand drive vans that have been recently imported from Japan. This is the first time I’ve seen one of the rare 4 wheel drive Chamonix versions though. It looks like a serious off roader.

This 1965 Chevy Malibu looked almost showroom new. The interior is tastefully updated with a leather bench seat.

This restored Mustang appears to get little regular use. It could be parked in a museum, since it looks like it just left the factory.

I will finish up today’s photo report with a couple of Harley Davidsons. The Sporster on top appears to be street legal with a little LED headlight fitted into the front number plate. The other bike is a pure racer based on what I’m guessing is the new 750 V-twin.

Once again, my visit to Portland’s Cars & Coffee exposed me to some of the coolest cars from collectors and enthusiasts around the NW. If you are ever in the Portland area, the event is absolutely free, and held every Saturday morning, year around at the “World of Speed” museum in Wilsonville Oregon.