PHOTOS: ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ Returns to Downtown New Canaan

Hundreds of auto enthusiasts gathered in downtown New Canaan Sunday morning for the third “Caffeine & Carburetors” event of 2018. Pine Street and the one-way stretch of Elm were closed to motor vehicle traffic as New Canaan residents and visitors to town mingled over brew from Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee, owned by C&C founder Doug Zumbach, visited tents set up by nonprofit organizations and sponsors and learned about the vehicles themselves and morning’s happenings from New Canaan’s Peter Bush, known to many locals as a longtime host on The Fox-95.9 FM. 

“It’s a great turnout,” C&C volunteer Matt Konspore of New Canaan said on the clear, sunny morning while guiding slow-moving vehicles out of the show. 

Flo Carbone of Bankwell, a sponsor of the event, said from the local bank’s tent: “Everyone is out having a great time, beautiful day.”

Caffeine & Carburetors will return to downtown New Canaan Oct. 21 for the final event of the year.

‘The Cultivated Collector’: Classic and Exotic Car Showroom, Clubhouse Planned for Vitti Street

A new business featuring classic and exotic cars is slated to open this spring in a largely disused Vitti Street lot and structure that once housed an auto body shop—the latest dramatic change in a corner of downtown New Canaan where officials envision a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. ‘The Cultivated Collector’ at 19 Vitti St. will include a street-level showroom of what founder Matthew Ivanhoe called “investment-grade collectible vehicles,” second-level “clubhouse” for auto enthusiasts seeking camaraderie and connections to services for the owners of the valuable cars themselves. “It is our objective to be a shining cultural Mecca that represents the town,” Ivanhoe, a Greenwich resident and former principal at a Bedford Hills, N.Y.-based auto business that last year sponsored New Canaan’s popular Caffeine & Carburetors gathering. “We are not just car enthusiasts—we are art collectors, we are wine collectors, we are watch collectors, and we hope to share that with the town and be a beacon that represents the change that this area is undergoing.”

Ivanhoe underscored that The Cultivated Collector will serve as a passive space for auto enthusiasts and is not a repair shop or anything similar.

PHOTOS: Caffeine & Carburetors Wraps Up 2015 Season with Strong Turnout at Waveny

Antique, classic, muscle, racing and speciality car enthusiasts descended on Waveny Park on a crisp, cool autumn morning Sunday for 2015’s final Caffeine & Carburetors gathering. Town officials had approved four installments this year of the popular event, launched by New Canaan’s Doug Zumbach and sponsored primarily by Bankwell (whose Lucy French provided us the photo at right), between April and October: two downtown and two at Waveny. After foul weather forced a cancellation of the September gathering downtown, thousands of spectators ventured to the park. Town resident and collector Peter Bush of The Fox 95.9 FM took to the microphone to emcee the event, tapping an encyclopedic knowledge of autos to describe many of the cars parked in the forecourt of Waveny House and elsewhere, while spectators sipped coffee—much of it purchased from Zumbach’s eponymous gourmet shop, which operated a stand near the center of the action—leash-walked their dogs, shot photos and video, talked shop and connected with fellow enthusiasts. Zumbach estimated the crowd at 3,000 to 3,5000 and the car count was at 800-plus.

Did You Hear … ?

We got a heads-up on Twitter from New Canaanite Peter “The Bushman” Bush of The FOX 95.9 FM about a recently redecorated roof of The Veggie Barn on Cross Street. Looks like town resident and Veggie Barn owner Santo Silvestro supports Donald Trump in ’16. Silvestro wasn’t immediately available for comment. The rooftop likely will be visible to any planes passing overhead. As Bush later Tweeted: “A little something for the Donald to see from 10K.”


While Peachwave on Forest Street did close last weekend as planned (though the team there decided last-minute to extend by one day, through Sunday), company officials tell us now that a reopening is possible.

Caffeine & Carburetors To Propose Four 2015 Dates, Downtown and at Waveny

Calling Caffeine & Carburetors a safe, responsibly run gathering that benefits the community, aligns with New Canaan’s recreational principles and has earned support from town government, public safety, arts and business leaders, the event’s creators are proposing four dates for a 2015 season. New Canaanites Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous Pine Street coffee shop where the grassroots event was born, and Peter Bush, as well as Ridgefield’s Todd Brown, are seeking the following Sunday dates and places for this year’s Caffeine & Carburetors:

April 19—Pine and Elm Streets
May 17—Waveny Park (in conjunction with the Carriage Barn Art Center’s exhibition “Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle”)
Sept. 13—Pine and Elm Streets
Oct. 18—Waveny Park

Noting that Zumbach covers all costs for the event, the proposal says Caffeine & Carburetors “attracts New Canaan families and visitors from neighboring towns who attend to enjoy cars as well as the charm of the town and its restaurants and shops.”

“Caffeine & Carburetors proved itself to be a responsible and caring steward of Waveny Park by all accounts, with officials observing the event as being a ‘success,’ with ‘people enjoying themselves,’ going ‘very well,’ with ‘no issues or problems,’ being ‘orderly,’ and garnering a ‘tremendous donation for the Food Pantry,’ ” the proposal said.