One of the greatest things about living in California is that you can have fantastic weather at any time of the year. Though we are quickly approaching the shortest day of the year, on November 21st, California did not disappoint. This sunny autumn day brought out a great contingent of cars to the November edition of Neue Klasse and Kaffee at the Loma Brewing parking lot in Los Gatos.
The official start of Neue Klasse and Kaffee is not until 8:00 AM, but by 7:45 AM there were already 5 or 6 cars waiting. As the morning sun started to shine, the city of Los Gatos filled with vintage BMWs and some other fun cars. Close to 30 cars packed the lot with the masked owners engaged in their conversations.
The Usual Suspects
Art, as he usually does, brought his m20 powered Schwartz BMW 2002 that he has owned since it was new in 1973. That car still looks fantastic and always attracts attention wherever it goes. People say that a black car looks great for the first 20 minutes after washing it. Art’s car stays looking great all the time.
@KevinT came to us from a Porsche world. He has not left it but just added another fun toy. After a few months of sorting, with the help of several members of the forum, this car is now a common sight at Neue Klasse and Kaffee.
@Stuart brought a pair of California Autumn color 2002s. One in Inka orange and the other in Jade
The next three cars have been at our events in the past. They were never there together. For most people seeing a 4 door 1960s BMW is an event to celebrate, there is usually at least one ay Neue Klasse and Kaffee. This time we were blessed with three. All of them are a bit different. A restored example of a 1967 BMW 1800 in Tampico owned by @sprout1600itb. Followed by an original paint and interior, Derby 1964 BMW 1800 that was used by its previous owner as a Time and Distance rally car with badges to prove it. The plan by its current owner, yours truly, is to keep it in the original condition. A 1967 rodded BMW 1800 in “Super Faded” Polaris with a 5-Speed transmission, lowered suspension, widened wheels, and massive (compared to stock) tires show what @MOJOJOY does to his cars when he is left unattended. All of these came to the US from France and ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Not something we see all the time.
A couple of events ago we attracted a small vintage Porsche contingent. This month was no different. These examples have not been seen in the NK&K in the past, but I think they will be coming again. The cars were not just there to show the cool paint, bodywork, and engine builds, also followed us on the drive.
The route designed by @002rescue did not disappoint. With the departure time of 10 am, the streets of Los Gatos, once again, got to see several 2002s looking for their way towards Highway 17.
After a brisk couple of miles on the highway, the backroads of Santa Cruz mountains have met us with some fun fall colors. The roads were mostly empty which only made this adventure so much more fun.
After about 20 miles of Old Santa Cruz Highway and Soquel San Jose Road, we dropped onto a somewhat busy Highway 1. A little fight through traffic and it looked like we all were back together as we turned off onto CA-129 in Watsonville. This is one of the better ways to get from the coast to US-101 and even with some slow-moving weekend traffic it was still a pleasure to have the BMW 1800 carving the little canyon. The first place to regroup was in San Juan Bautista with a very timely pit stop for those who had a bit too much coffee in the early hours of the morning and those who needed another espresso. This was the first time we actually knew who was on the drive.
The drive continued towards King City. Highway 25 is absolutely lovely. The first time I ever dove that road was in the middle of the night after a 2002 Fest West in the early 2000s. It was fun then, in what later became a fully-fledged autocross BMW 2002, and it was fun now in a stock 1964 BMW 1800. Others were lining up behind to see how the “big boat” maneuvered through the corners. There were several miles of the road that were a bit rough, but the suspension handled it well, though this might have been where the starter met its end.
This drive took a couple of hours and just in time for lunch we stopped at a fantastic taqueria. This gave everyone a chance to discuss the past road and the next loop. As more than half of the day has passed, several people headed back to the Bay Area, as others refuel for the next stage. Unfortunately for me, the starter was no longer functioning and I was left stranded in the dirt lot in King City. I was able to get a hold of the group, who gave me a push to get the Neue Klasse back on the road. This is the type of the community this is. Everyone in the group was willing to help a fellow driver. With hopes not to get stranded, a decision was made to only do a short loop before heading home with an escort of a couple of other cars. This section took us through a few inland roads before getting back to US-101. It was time to head back.
The drive back was uneventful and I pulled into the garage shortly after 4 pm. Investigation the next day proved a faulty starter. Removal was relatively easy, and thanks to the efforts of @MOJOJOY, the starter was rebuilt and delivered back to me before I had to carve the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. And now we wait for the next adventure.
All photos from the event can be found at
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Neue Klasse and Kaffee is a monthly gathering for the Vintage cars of all makes and models in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, CA organized by BMW 2002 FAQ. We meet on the third Saturday of every month between 8:00am and 11:00am at Loma Coffee Bar in Los Gatos, CA