I was in the office speaking with my coworker, Michelle, who mentioned the ridiculously early time for the Cars & Coffee event the following day. I was perplexed. “10:00am is hardly early for a Cars & Coffee” I said. She responded, “What? It starts at 7:30am That’s freakin’ early!” She then proceeded to show me the Facebook event. My jaw dropped. I was prepared to drive all the way down to Miami for the Parkhaus1 Cars & Coffee, but it looked like I could just hang out in my hood since The Creative Workshop is seven minutes away from my place! I was overjoyed. Michelle sent me an invite and said, “I’ll see you there…maybe.”
She never showed. Her loss.
As I’m sure you all know by now, event times are irrelevant to me. I always arrive at least an hour before they start. Cue the 4:30am alarm. I was at The Creative Workshop front door by 6:00am, just as the crew was showing up. They all looked very tired, and I was about to find out why.
As the door unlocked, I felt this rush of excitement. I’ve driven by this place so many times not knowing exactly what it was. Now the opportunity was right there waiting for me to enter. I walked into what I can only describe as an automotive wonderland. It was a sensory overload, especially at 6:00am. There were shelves of books, car parts, plaques, signs, lubricants everywhere. Then, there was the smell – that smell of old wood and metal. The Workshop is a 10,000sq. ft. historical building over 70 years old!
I wandered around the office area checking out the space trying not to have an anxiety attack. I felt like I was in heaven. The place was amazing.
I walked up some stairs and it wasn’t until then that I realized how big the place really was. Cars were everywhere, but in the center was something I had never seen before. It was mesmerizing.. I had no idea what this thing was. All I knew was that it was exquisite. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. The color alone just screamed at you like an angry Italian grandmother. It was also very tiny. I’d say that at it’s highest point, it reached just past my knees! (I later found out that it was a 1953 Stanguellini 750.)
The guys started moving a few cars outside so they could shuffle around the remaining cars to make room for event attendees.
I went over to the other jewel of The Workshop, The 1955 Arnott Climax Le Mans. Words failed me as I stared at this beauty. 1 of 3 left in existence, originally built by Miss Daphne Arnott of Arnott’s Garages in Harlesden, London. The entire body of this car is “fiberglass” sitting on a tubular ladder frame. I say fiberglass in quotes because fiberglass didn’t exist when this car was built. The “fiber” used was more like a burlap material, according to Jason Wenig, owner of The Creative Workshop.