Caffeine & Carburetors Returns to Downtown New Canaan Sept. 7; Future Installments Could Be Held at Waveny


The New Canaan man who launched what rapidly grew into a hugely popular gathering of classic and specialty car enthusiasts in town—so popular, in fact, that organizers and town officials have worked hard to figure out just where and how often it realistically can be held here—says he’s excited about the return of the event to New Canaan on Sunday, Sept. 7 and optimistic about its future in town.

Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous gourmet coffee shop at Pine and Grove Streets, birthplace of Caffeine & Carburetors, said he and fellow organizers—Todd Brown of Ridgefield’s 109 Cheese & Wine and Peter Bush of FM 95.9 The Fox—have had “good conversations about the future of Caffeine and Carburetors, and so I’m very comfortable that the event will be here in New Canaan for 2015.”

“The event coming up on the 7th will be well attended, I think. We are getting a lot of calls from all over, people are very eager to attend because we did cancel June. So I think if the weather is fine, we’re going to have a great turn-out, a lot of great cars are coming, some surprises I know of.”

Those include high-end specialty, very limited production cars “as well as the typical array of Porsches, Ferraris, Maseratis,” Zumbach said.

For the first time, Caffeine & Carburetors in 2014 burst its seams on Pine Street and expanded to include Elm Street, as well—a testament to its popularity and a boon to local businesses that also complicated the event’s logistics in terms of safety, traffic and staffing. After installments in April and May drew several thousands to New Canaan, town officials opened up conversations with Zumbach about possible alternative locations here in town.

Zumbach said he is scheduled to go Sept. 10 before the town’s Special Events Committee and, respecting the approvals process, spoke about a possible future location in general terms only. confirmed with parks officials that plans are underway for a future Caffeine & Carburetors at Waveny—more on that below.

Asked about the event, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he is “delighted” about the Sept. 7 return to New Canaan.

“After further review and much dialogue, we all came to an agreement that we want to see this event take place in New Canaan, but it does not necessarily have to be in the center of our village, and the folks at Caffeine and Carburetors have taken some input from myself, the Police Commission and the town of New Canaan about the possibility of having some of these events not in the center of town and I am looking forward to one or two of those events taking place in the near future.”

Zumbach said he was “very excited, very enthused” about the prospective new location (which we’ve learned could be Waveny) and confirmed that one long-term plan is to have a mix of downtown and non-downtown events in 2015.

“I think there’s a certain wow factor that people who have never been to that location are going to love it,” he said.

Zumbach said it remains a priority for him to ensure that all New Canaan merchants have an opportunity to benefit from Caffeine & Carburetors. Details about vendors on-site at Waveny and signage for directing car enthusiasts to the main business district are top-of-mind as plans for a possible October event unfold.

“We attract 3,000 to 4,000 people on a Sunday morning and I think that my fellow retailers and merchants really benefit by it,” Zumbach said.

“I’m a resident of this community, I work here, I have a retail business here, I have always felt a part of the community, I want to give back as much as I can,” Zumbach said. “And this is a great opportunity for this town to benefit. I’ve always said that Caffeine and Carburetors puts New Canaan on a national map, because this is a nationally recognized event. These are high-net worth individuals coming to our community, sometimes for the first time, from as far away as New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina—they’re coming to our community and I’m sure most of them leave very, very impressed. And if they can spend a dollar or two, and we’re done by 11:30 a.m., then that is great. I’m very proud of the event. We’ve worked hard. In five years, it’s grown to a certain point, and it’s still manageable. It’s actually a lot of fun to do.”

Here’s a slideshow from the May Caffeine & Carburetors—a video from April’s event, set to an original tune from New Canaan Music, is embedded at the top of this article:

[acx_slideshow name=”May 6 2014 Caffeine and Carburetors”]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *