On Sept. 22, Chevrolet 21 presented the Cars & Coffee Lehigh Valley series, which, over the last year, has attracted more than 20,000 visitors to SteelStacks’ PNC Plaza.
The free event is put on to create a comfortable atmosphere where car enthusiasts can show off their vehicles and admire others.
Cars & Coffee now features up to 500 different vehicles, ranging from antiques to exotics. Food vendors served light breakfast options, including breakfast sandwiches, muffins and coffee.
In 2011, Cars & Coffee was created by Dan Kendra and Johnny Chung. After informal car meetups and discussions on Facebook, car enthusiasts throughout the area came together in the parking lot at the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley. The event had a huge turnout and moved to SteelStacks’ PNC Plaza a year later.
Friends, family and individuals came together early in the morning to experience the event.
Traveling from New Jersey, Phil and Loriann Mattina shared they have been coming to the event for years. They say they come for the cars and the people.
“The car guys and the car ladies… everyone’s really friendly,” Phil said. “We have common interests, we see and talk about the cars, and we learn new things.”
The couple owns a 1970 Corvette but did not bring it to the event this year.
Around the plaza, vendors sold t-shirts and Chevy promoted its vehicles.
John Karmazyn and his family live a few miles west of Allentown, and enjoyed looking at the exotic cars. They hope to attend another Cars & Coffee in the future.
“There’s something for everyone here,” Karmazyn said. “I came with my family, and the kids love playing with the dogs that came.”
With engines revving in the background, Jordan Lomax of Horsham, Pennsylvania, commented on the beauty of Cars & Coffee.
“You kind of have a camaraderie of brotherhood with people of your likeness,” Lomax said. “I have a Dodge Challenger R/T, and most of my club members have other Challengers, Chargers, and Cameros.”
Lomax said car culture naturally brings people together. Some people come to take pictures of the cars, others marvel at the beauty of the historic Bethlehem SteelStacks. Lomax came to the event as inspiration for designing his own cars.
One aspect of Cars & Coffee is the ability for enthusiasts to meet people with predecessor vehicles. This gives people the ability to see how their cars have changed over time, what new things have been added and what has been taken away.
Numerous people have shared videos of the cars, trucks and motorcycles they’ve seen to YouTube, from hot-rods to muscle cars.