Concours d'Caffeine gives car buffs Sunday morning buzz
A collection of classic cars shining in the Sunday morning sun at the Saugatuck Railroad Station fueled interest in what may be the start of a local tradition.
The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce hosted the first Concours d'Caffeine next to the rail depot, showcasing dozens of vintage vehicles from around the region, along with an auction, food and the chance for visitors to get to know this burgeoning part of town.
"It's another unique reason to have fun in Westport," said Matthew Mandell, the chamber chairman.
"It brings people down to Saugatuck that otherwise wouldn't be here in the morning," he said, "and hopefully they'll spend the day in Saugatuck."
"Events such as this one add to the continued economic and cultural vitality of the Saugatuck area," said Selectman Avi Kaner, "benefitting businesses and residents alike."
Visitors from toured the diverse display of vintage wheels, which spanned more than a century.
"At the turn of the 20th Century Connecticut was considered the automobile capital of the world, with more than half of all motorized vehicles in the U.S.," said Bill Scheffler, the Concours d'Caffeine.
For me, I love the backdrop of Saugatuck," said Kara Sullivan of Westport. "To see these cars in this setting is perfect."
"It's fascinating," said Angela Ryan of Westport. "I think we all would just love to take rides in these old cars."
Cameras were flashing and car camaraderie blossomed as people mingled with the motors, models and memories of automotive history.
"It's fabulous," said Marcus Krutolow of Danbury, who owns six cars himself. "Men and cars just somehow meet. Since I'm seven years old I've been working on cars. You fall in love with it."
"They're a fun hobby," said Bill Zoeller of Wilton. "They really are. They're designed to keep you busy."
Organizers said they look forward to a repeat of the event next year.
"I think this is the start of another Westport tradition," said First Selectman Jim Marpe. "I predict next year we'll be back and bigger than ever."