One of the car-related forums I frequent mosts is The Car Lounge (TCL), a general discussion forum welcoming to any and all makes and models. TCL has been around for a relatively long time, and some of us there have known each other through this little corner of the Internet for many years. There been plenty of meetups over the years, to facilitate putting actual faces to the usernames, and more importantly to hangout and enjoy this car hobby of ours (read: drive). However, yesterday was the first local TCL meet I finally gathered enough social courage to attend.
Hosted by a retired car enthusiasts who lives nearby in Danville, the meet consisted of meeting up at a local BART station parking lot not so bright and early (it rained) in the morning, then doing a loop of a local mountain road, and finally ending up at the host’s house for some drinks and discussions. The following photos are mostly of the gathering at the home:
My view of the proceedings. Long live the analog gauge; I have zero desire for cars with LCD screens to replace absolutely every function inside the interior (look at you, Audi).
Yes, this is just the garage, not even the main house. Surely it’s every car enthusiasts’ dream.
I of course will shamelessly take photos of my own car.
This green monster likes to eat its own. Also, this color is a vinyl wrap, and not paint; it’s superbly executed.
During the morning drive session I was two car behind this GT350, and I have to say the sound the ‘Voodoo’ engine makes is spectacular. Compared to my GT3 it's less "synthetic" and loads more throaty - it really barks.
Whenever you see one of these, an obligatory “JAAAAGGGG” is required.
I am unable to find anything wrong with anything inside the picture.
The timeless interior of the Porsche 930. Black-faced instrument dials with white lettering and red needle can never go out of style.
Owner of the house has an absolutely minty 930 in Guards Red - my favorite Porsche color. What a thing to look at, and I'm sure, to steer as well.
The iconic Mustang taillamp design, which coincidentally equals the same mount of bars you get in cellular reception out in rural Danville.
I bet you can’t tell whether this Aston Martin V8 Vantage has got a full vinyl wrap on it.
And then suddenly an Austin Cooper showed up, replete with stickers and a roof rack.
One of the best and most appropriate custom license plates I’ve ever seen.
This thing must be a riot to drive.
My first time seeing a Fisker Karma in the flesh, and it's certainly got presence. The owner actually knows Henrik Fisker and on the wall next to the car is a personal sketch done by Henrik as a gift.
Inside the garage is an utter dream hangout space. And yes, the blue McLaren 12C is also vinyl wrapped.
I simply could not get enough of this 930 so I took some more shots. I low-key wish my GT3 were painted in Guards Red but alas very few 991.1 GT3 came in that color with the specs I wanted.
I also went back for more shots of the E-Type Jag. A convertible series 1 with a hardtop would be my choice of the lot.
Having driven behind this MK1 Rabbit with not stock everything, I can say this car goes and grips like stink. It’s got the perfect stance, too.
Now this is the kind of party I like.
A bone-stock AP2 S2000 that's got miles on it is excellent stuff.
Is this enough ‘patina’ for you?
This 12C has got trick doors but a non-functioning windshield wiper (see how it’s stuck in an awkward position). It’s a car built in Britain, after all.
Later in the afternoon a few us decided to drive Mines Road since Livermore is just a few highway stops away from Danville. Mines Road is Norther California’s equivalent of Angeles Crest Highway down south, a twisting yet scenic piece of winding tarmac that goes on for tens of miles. It’s super fun but quite intense, a superb spot to tease out the limits of a sports car (in a safe manner, obviously).
Here is a picture of me encountering some wild locals.
Overall I am immensely happy I came out of my usual introverted cocoon to meet up with a few like-minded petrol-heads, some of whom I’ve known digitally for many years. There aren’t much better ways to spend a Saturday than talking shop for hours and then going for a long and spirited drive afterwards.