Mountain Lakes is a borough in NJ you've probably never heard of. At 2.9 square miles, it's roughly equivalent to the size of a pinhead when compared to other communities in the area. Last year, a cars and coffee at the local train station was organized to take advantage of the beautiful landscape that the borough is situated in and put Mountain Lakes on the C&C map. This past Sunday, the first gathering of 2017 took place and was a strong proponent of the quality over quantity mantra.
Although the two extra parking lots that were designated for overflow weren't needed, a good amount of attendees still arrived in fashion, driving everything from a jet black Karmann Ghia to a Mitsubishi Evo that left its front bumper at home. A dyad of manufacturer-plated cars were also in attendance...a new Audi R8 Spyder and the yet-to-be-released Lexus LC 500. When the morning ended, I would wager a bet on the tally counter ticking towards 40.
The beauty of lower stimulation from less to look at leads to more interaction with people, rather than machines. I am a people person. I enjoy the art of conversing just as much as the next raconteur. But when I'm covering an event, whether it's a C&C, a concours, or a cruise night, my attention is always darting from one movement to the next, forever scanning to assure that I don't miss an opportunity to capture some memory in the making. Conversations are often cut short, as I abruptly about-face to point my camera towards the next incoming mobile model. I'm sure those on the other end don't quite appreciate my antics, but it's hardwired into my brain and I can't start apologizing now. Maybe I should wear a pin on my lapel that indicates my incurable condition. To make a short story long, the less cars I have to cover, the more curbside chats I can hold.
It was nice to get a more in-depth look at the cars from the owners' perspectives, from learning about the Lancia Scorpion's glass buttresses added for the 1977 model year to combat the blindspots, to being able to open up the Land Rover 110 and take a peek inside. According to one Datsun driver, it was quite the task coming across the NOS stickers for his light-blue 280Z for a reasonable price. And beyond that, gazing a bit longer at the details of the cars, seeing the beauty in the minutiae rather than the totality. All of that adds up to a more intimate C&C experience.
With that said, I do wish much success for the group, although preferably at a slower rate. That way, everyone can take the time to get to know one another instead of having to don name tags at every meet, which for reference sake happens on the last Sunday of the month. To get more information, request to be added to the Yahoo! Group 'MountainLakesCarClub' and look for a Facebook page to be created in the near future. Until then, peruse my gallery HERE to see what showed up.