This past weekend was one for the books. While a certain unsanctioned week of debauchery happened in the usually sleepy town of Ocean City, Maryland, we had a quiet morning of civilized fun here at ECS Tuning for the season closer NEO Cars and Coffee. In short, the turnout was stellar. It is always so fun and surprising to see both the variety and quality of builds that come all the way to Wadsworth, Ohio bright and early on a Saturday, especially with how many European cars come to participate. As a Nashville native, I never expected the car culture to be as diverse and well established as it is here in Ohio, at least, I never expected it to be more than old muscle cars with sandals-and-socks wearing boomers behind the wheel. However, as you can see from the overflowing parking lot, we have an extensive community covering all corners of automotive enthusiasm.
Although it wasn’t remotely rowdy like the other event happening a few hundred miles away, the wonderful participation from North East Ohio enthusiasts made our Saturday memorable, fun, and safe. There was something for everyone present; muscle, vintage European, supercars, hypercars, dedicated track toys, and some astonishing fabrication work on completely custom demonstrations of creativity.
As always, we opened our shop doors to the masses where we showed off some of our fleet and our employee builds. Notably, the Summer Drift Series cars were present for everyone to see the amazing work some of our enthusiast employees invested in purpose-built drift cars brimming with all the name-brand products we tout as go-to options for our customers. We practice what we preach when it comes to our builds, and the SDS cars are excellent examples of that mantra.
With the shop set up for guests, we were also happy to host LIQUI MOLY, CRP, Valeo, and UPS who all set up display booths to interact with the attendees and answer questions about some of our more popular aftermarket products. Beyond the vendors, our own Rennline, Turner Motorsport, and ECS booths were stocked with tons of production and pre-production parts that demonstrated the range of skills our engineers possess, which offered a first-hand look for those interested to learn about the extensive design and testing process all our In-House Brand products experience before they are made available to enthusiasts around the world.
Outside, as the morning Sun rose and bathed us in a warm glow, the parking lot filled up and overflowed. While the event technically began at 8:30, as early as 7:30, packs of enthusiasts were already rolling in ready to spend as much time as possible around good friends with delicious coffee.
The variety is not just surprising, but outstanding. Almost anything you would ever want to see was in one place. It would be wrong to point out specific cars because choosing between everything would be impossible. Just take a moment and enjoy a parking lot stuffed to the seams with every interesting car North East Ohio has to offer. Look closely: there was more there than pictures can do justice, but what we captured gives a fair representation of just how jaw-dropping the turnout was.
Truth be told, the number of cars was overwhelming. I spent all morning walking the lot and felt like there wasn’t enough time to see everything. So I got up on the roof, a time-honored tradition here at ECS, where I was able to take it all in at once. What I saw was mind-boggling. We have hosted NEO Cars and Coffee several times here to incredible success, but this weekend was one that set a new bar. Only at something like a cars and coffee event could you have a Nissan S-Cargo JDM import parked mere feet from Audi R8s, LS swapped FR-S’, bagged muscle trucks, and a pristine Corrado SLC on three-piece BBS.
Nothing made me happier than realizing that day I have become a part of this culture here in North East Ohio. Every time I turned around I was greeted by friends I have made since relocating from Nashville. The car community here has welcomed me with opened arms and helped me feel included as a transplant from a completely different part of the country. Sometimes, I have the impression that I am alone up here, a thousand miles from home. Days like Saturday, though, remind me I have a new place to call home, one with an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, and mutual love for unique and creative builds by dedicated enthusiasts. All in, the NEO Cars and Coffee season closer at ECS was a resounding success. The atmosphere, the friends, and the cars all reflected the attitude that has made me fall in love with Ohio, despite its quiet and relatively tame nature. Here’s to another example of why we do what we do. Thank you, everyone, who came out to join us for a celebration of all things cars to end another wonderful Summer season of excellent shows, drives, pop-up meets, and projects. We can’t wait for the season opener already.