Performance and Specialty Car Enthusiasts,
Start Your Own Cafe Racers Chapter.
By K. Scott Teeters
Are You A Car Guy?
What exactly makes someone a “car guy”? Cars are everywhere and have been around for well over 100 years. At first they were called “horseless carriages” and then became known as “motorcars.” It didn’t take long for men who liked mechanical things to focus on the new contraptions. By 1910 a new breed of Americans known as “auto enthusiasts” were building racing cars that soon morphed into fast road cars. The book, Motion Performance – Tales of A Muscle Car Builder by Martyn L. Schorr has an excellent overview of the early days of enthusiast, racing and low volume specialty cars. Schorr, the founding editor of VETTE magazine, is also the founder of Sarasota Café Racers.
Marty Schorr and his Red C6 Roadster
It’s the “Behind the Wheel” Experience That Counts
As the decades rolled on, performance cars came and went. But the common denominator is the guy behind the wheel. Driving a performance car is a visceral, sensual experience, and unless you are in the driver’s seat with both hands on the wheel and both feet actively engaged in operating the machine, you just won’t “get it.” It’s the experience of controlling an animal machine that’s about as close to sex as you can get.
Classic Cheetah Corvette Race Car
Variety of Performance Cars
When it comes to “performance cars” the variations are almost endless. Big cars, small cars, three, four wheels, open roadsters, closed coupes, high-strung little engines, huge 16-cylinder engines, supercharged, turbocharged, injected, open exhaust, exotic exhaust, cast iron to carbon fiber. And we haven’t even touched on the different brands. Some look like they just got off the drag strip, others off a road course, and some off of dirt roads. Some cars race hundreds of miles; some just a quarter-mile at a time in just 3.5 seconds! Others compete in 12 and 24-hour enduros.
89 Spice-Corvette GTP Corvette Racer
Living the Experience of Driving
Car clubs have been around for a very long time because people like to be with others who are like themselves. Most clubs form around a particular kind of car. There are clubs for almost every brand and kind of car. Now, there’s a new forum for car lovers that has nothing to do with any particular kind of car or racing. It’s about living the experience of driving specialty or performance cars.
Enter, Car Guys Who Lunch
Enter “Sarasota Cafe Racers – Car Guys Who Lunch!” “You gotta have lunch every day. So why not have lunch with car guys like yourself?” says Sarasota Cafe Racers founder Martyn L. Schorr. If your interest in performance cars dates back to the late ‘60s and ‘70s, no doubt you are familiar with a little project Marty had some involvement with – the Baldwin-Motion Phase III Chevy Supercars. Joel Rosen spun the wrenches and Marty created the in-your-face print ads and catalogs and branding for arguably the most audacious offering of performance street machines of the day. The Baldwin-Motion cars were nearly bulletproof and were built to deliver astonishing performance. Rosen’s Phase III 427 and 454 Camaros were guaranteed to run 11.50 in the quarter-mile. While editor of CARS Magazine, Schorr kept the crowd stoked with cool cover shots of Baldwin-Motion cars, ads with attitude, and honest, down-to-earth road tests. Baldwin-Motion cars are now highly sought after machines.
Classic Baldwin-Motion Print Ad
Have Lunch, and Bench Race
Schorr, a Bronx, New York native, moved to Sarasota, Florida in 2000. One of the perks of being a car magazine editor was access to lots of hot cars. Marty is the owner of a one-of-a-kind, Baldwin-Motion, LT-1-powered Iso Grifo – a true Italian exotic. But after relocating to the land of sunshine and oranges, what’s a car guy to do? Find other car guys, have lunch, and bench race!
Marty Schorr’s Baldwin-Motion LT-1 Iso Grifo
The Non-Club, Club
What started out as just a bunch of car guys getting together twice a month for burgers and BS, gradually became a unique car club. A non-club, club. No Dues. No Drama No Poseurs!. Just the common bond of “driving” a unique machine. It’s something one feels in the gut. It’s the sensation of forward (and sometimes sideways) movement, engine sounds, petroleum smells, feedback from a machine, and keeping it together when you’re close to the edge.
Sarasota Cafe Racers Meeting Place
Now You Can Form Your Own Café Racers Lunch Group
Now, five years and LOTS of lunches later, Schorr is taking the concept to an international level. Actually, it’s in invitation to play. Marty says, “We are encouraging serious car enthusiasts to use our model (http://www.SarasotaCafeRacers.com) and create multi-marque Café Racers lunch groups where they live. Car guys can contact him at (mls@SarasotacafeRacers.com) for start up information. Once up and running, they can develop a web presence, link to our website, network with other Café Racers and use our logo. And it’s all free. Our raison d’etre is all cars, all the time! And our only rule: Be a real car guy or be gone!”
If you like the model and the vibe, Marty can help get you up and running. Of course, your chapter would have your city or town’s name integrated into the logo.
So stop by SarasotaCafeRacers.com and check out the amazing roster of car guy rides. You’ll find Ferraris, Corvettes, Cobras, Camaros, Jaguars, Morgans, MG-TCs, A Cheetah, and a Baldwin-Motion LT-1-powered Iso Grifo. Plus, wait till you see the race cars! There’s a Bonneville Salt Flats speedster, a Ford GT40, a GTP Corvette, and Porsche Carrera RSR Turbo, and much more. Linked to the site is Schorr’s The Car Guy Chronicles blog featuring news, views, and reviews.
Marty sums it all up best. “It’s all about cars and camaraderie – and having fun. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.” – KST
Save the Wave,
K. Scott Teeters
We Have Questions!! Participate in our Post.
Should you decide to start your own Café Racers Club, let us know and we’ll announce your new club here. Marty Schorr’s club started out with just a few guys. So, start small, work your way up, and have fun!
Do you have some “hot car” pals? If so, do you think they would enjoy their own local Café Racers chapter? So forward this post to them and see what they think. Get your own Cafe Racers chapter started!