Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, Sep. 17, 2017

Don’t believe the weatherman. Yes, he’s frequently right; but he’s wrong as often as he isn’t. Guess that makes the forecast a 50/50 proposition. If you allow your planned outdoor activities to be dictated by the weather, you’d miss out on half the things you wanted to do.

On Saturday, the forecast for Sunday, September 17, 2017 predicted a sunny, warm, humid day, with a slight chance of thundershowers. Except we all woke up to fog and mist. As I headed to the garage and looked at the Alfa, then the Miata, I considered taking the newer car. I quickly changed my mind; it’s not as though I’ve never driven the Alfa in the rain. My determination was to set an example, and as I pulled onto the highway, wipers flailing, headlights barely cutting through the fog, I told myself that we’d be lucky if 7 or 8 cars showed up for this morning’s breakfast run.

The hardest part about the morning is chasing people out of the Sheraton parking lot

Sometimes you feel better about being wrong. Our stalwart group arrived, 17 cars strong, plus one spouse as a passenger. My planning partner Larry and I were trying something new this morning, in the event we had a crowd like the last few outings. For the first time, we sent out maps, directions, and destination info a few days ahead, in the hope that the group could familiarize itself with the route.

What transpired instead was a plan to split the group in two, with Larry leading the first 8 cars or so, and I, your spirited Alfa driver, leading the rest. This worked perfectly. Traffic lights and stop signs did not break us apart; no one made any wrong turns; we kept to our planned pit stop; and we were at the diner by 10:10am, only 10 minutes later than intended.

One Alfa chasing another through the fog

Larry planned a stunning route, mostly along Greenwood Lake Turnpike, Warwick Turnpike, and Route 94. We dipped in and out of NY and NJ several times, and traffic wasn’t terrible. Maybe the weather was keeping people home. Several times, the sun blessed us with its warm rays, as it worked to burn off the fog.

A typical view along today’s route

The Hampton Diner on Route 206 in Newton NJ hosted us this morning, and it was our first time with them. A table set for 18 awaited us as we entered. The service was a bit slow, but it was a New Jersey diner on a Sunday morning, and no one seemed to mind. We’re not shy about yakking it up while waiting for food.

“When you smile for the camera….”

Speaking of yakking, this crowd loves to gab, as captured in the photos. A few of us managed to linger in the diner parking lot for close to an hour after the meal. For one moment, we considered heading back in for lunch.

With the group size continuing to grow, and everyone getting along so well, the biggest challenge may be keeping things moving along so that we eat breakfast while it’s still morning.

The most frequent comment I heard as we departed the diner was “are we going to do this one more time this year?” The answer was “yes, we’re counting on it”.

 

1991 Alfa Romeo Spider

 

1967 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Jr

 

Jaguar F-Type convertible

 

1991 Alfa Romeo Spider

 

Pontiac GTO (Holden-based)

 

Porsche 911

 

1972 Chevrolet Nova

 

BMW 3-Series E30

 

 

C6 Chevrolet Corvette

 

1980 MGB Limited Edition

 

BMW Z3

 

Porsche 911

 

Ford Mustang convertible

 

Porsche 911

 

Porsche Boxster

 

1966 Buick Skylark convertible

 

 

Three buddies with their German machines

 

The 2 BMWs and Porsche looked sharp together

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, July 30 2017

For only the second time this year, our informal “breakfast club” got its act together to go for a drive on Sunday July 30. After a prediction of heavy rains for Friday and Saturday, the weatherman promised a good day on Sunday, and we got it! At my 7 a.m. departure, it was actually cool (probably low 60s), quite unusual for midsummer NJ. The great combination of bright sunshine, comfortable temperature, and low humidity stayed with us all day. As Ken said to me, with only the slightest exaggeration: “this isn’t the best day of this summer; this is the best day of the last three years!”

The turnout was impressive, something we don’t take for granted, what with everyone’s summer schedule so jammed. We had 15 vehicles, four of which held passengers, for a total of 19 hungry mouths. We were happy to see some new faces out with us for the first time. We pushed off from the Sheraton Crossroads, as promised, as the clock struck 8:30 a.m. Destination for the morning was a perennial favorite, Stella G’s in Hackettstown NJ.

A casual observer of our motorcade would be forgiven for thinking it was the local Porsche club’s outing, with a few non-German cars thrown into the mix. At least it seemed that way, with a total of five 911s plus a 944 cabriolet. The two additional German cars were both BMWs: a 320 and an E30. Three other European sports cars rounded out that continent’s representation: an MGB-GT with a V8 conversion, a Jaguar F-Type convertible, and your scribe’s Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior.

Four domestic vehicles completed today’s field, three of them GM products: a C6 Corvette, a ’66 Buick Skylark convertible, and a ’94 Camaro Z-28. The nineteenth vehicle was a ’64 T-Bird convertible.

After a short run on Route 287 South (we try to minimize highway driving), we exited onto Route 23 north, then turned south / southwest, heading toward Sparta and a rendezvous with Route 517 which would take us the rest of the way to Hackettstown. With a group this large, it wasn’t possible to keep all the cars together on the road, and the back half went their own way in Sparta, eventually taking the highway again, but getting to the restaurant only minutes behind the first arrivals. For those who did stay on the planned course, the roads and scenery made for spectacular driving.

The good news about Stella G’s is that the food is great; the less good news is that it’s packed on Sunday mornings. Our hostess Lauren informed me that “a table for 19” wasn’t going to cut it, so we were seated in waves of three. The seating arrangement didn’t affect the food and coffee, which were top-notch as always.

And what did we do after breakfast? We did what we always do: we retired to the front sidewalk, where the yapping continued for an unspecified amount of time. The party broke up by 11:30 am, which put everyone home by early afternoon. We start early, get a lot done, and still get home in time to tackle that honey-do list. What’s better than that?

 

Tim’s MG-B GT V8

 

The author’s Alfa Romeo

 

Woody’s 911

 

Rich’s Jaguar

 

Ken’s 911

 

Willis’ Corvette

 

Bill’s 911

 

Sal’s BMW

 

Peter’s 911

 

Larry’s Camaro

 

Ted’s 911

 

If you’re near Hackettstown, this place has the Sunday Breakfast Club stamp of approval

 

If we stayed any longer, we would be ordering lunch

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

 

 

Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, April 9 2017

We eased into our first driving event of 2017, with 6 cars occupied by 8 hungry drivers and riders. After a cool but sunny dawn, we got the weatherman’s promised warmth. In all, it was an almost perfect early spring day for a drive, evidenced by the dropping of several convertible tops.

Our destination was the perennial favorite Silver Spoon Café in Cold Spring NY. They were expecting us, and we were seated by 9:45, and drinking coffee by 9:48. The food was good, the service was exemplary, and as is our habit, we exited the café only to spill out onto the sidewalk to continue our chatter.

We were happy to be able to drive so early in April, and while we’ve said it before, we’ll say again that our intent is to schedule one drive per month for the remainder of our Northeast driving season.

Larry’s 1972 Chevy Nova

 

Jim’s Datsun 280Z

 

Ralph’s Buick Skylark

 

Bill’s 1961 C1 Corvette

 

Rich S’s Shelby Mustang

 

Your author’s 1993 Mazda Miata

 

Along Seven Lakes Drive in Rockland County NY

 

The Breakfast Club

 

In front of our host cafe (hostess graciously agreed to pose with us)

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Run, November 6, 2016

The final Sunday morning breakfast run of the season was held on November 6, 2016. New Jersey weather in early November can be unpredictable; today, we were blessed with sunshine, high pressure, slight winds, and temps in the mid-50s. In other words, it was perfect weather to take our classics out for one more spin around the neighborhood.

Julio's Coronet in the foreground, with most (but not all) the remainder in front
Julio’s Coronet in the foreground, with most (but not all) the remainder in front

Today’s joke was that we’ve become victims of our own success; we had a record 20 cars (even if not all of them hung with us the entire morning), and 20 hungry mouths to feed at breakfast. Kicking off from our usual starting spot at the Sheraton Crossroads Hotel in Mahwah, a number of first-timers joined the usual crowd. We ventured north, eventually connecting with Route 513, which we followed south all the way to Route 80 and then Route 46 in NJ, ending at Paul’s Family Diner in Mountain Lakes.

The BS starts before the caffeine flows
The BS starts before the caffeine flows

Several participants commented on the wide-ranging variety of machinery in today’s caravan. The British made a strong showing with Rich S’s MGB-GT V8, Rich L’s Jaguar F-Type, and Greg’s ’66 E-Type Coupe (RHD, no less).

American muscle was well represented by Julio’s Coronet, Ralph’s Skylark, Larry’s Nova, Paul’s Camaro, and Nick’s Mustang.

The Germans, as usual, had an army of 911s, including Peter’s, Dave’s, and Ted’s. BMWs were represented by Sal in his E30, and Julio’s’ son in a 3-series sedan.

The class winner was the Corvette contingent. We had Burton’s C1, Bill’s C2 (with a 427 3×2), two C3’s (neither joined us at breakfast) and Ron’s C4.

Jim brought his Datsun Z but didn’t drive with us, and the lone Italian car (again) was your author’s very trusty Alfa.

 

American, German, and British machinery sweep through the curves
American, German, and British machinery sweep through the curves

 

The cruise down Route 513 was scenic, if a bit hampered by locals driving modern cars. We arrived at the diner at 10 sharp, and although it was under construction, both the food and the service were exemplary. After the usual post-meal parking lot BS session, we were all on our way back by noon. And so ends a very successful 2016 driving season. The sooner that Old Man Winter gets here, does his thing, and gets out, the sooner we can dust ‘em off and start driving in 2017. We can’t wait.

 

BRITISH:

Greg's '66 E-Type FHC
Greg’s ’66 E-Type FHC

 

Rich S's MGB-GT V8
Rich S’s MGB-GT V8

 

Rich L's Jaguar F-Type
Rich L’s Jaguar F-Type

 

AMERICAN MUSCLE (NON-CORVETTE):

Ralph's Buick Skylark
Ralph’s Buick Skylark

 

Nick's Mustang
Nick’s Mustang

 

 

Paul's '69 Camaro
Paul’s ’69 Camaro

 

 

Larry's 1972 Nova
Larry’s 1972 Nova

 

CORVETTES

Burton's unrestored C1
Burton’s unrestored C1

 

Bill's '67 C2, with a 427 with 3x2 barrels
Bill’s ’67 C2, with a 427 with 3×2 barrels

 

 

Bob's (?) C3
Bob’s (?) C3

 

 

John D's C3
John D’s C3

 

Ron's C4
Ron’s C4

 

PORSCHE 911S

Peter's 911
Peter’s 911

 

 

Dave's 911
Dave’s 911

 

Ted's 911
Ted’s 911

 

BMWs

 

Sal's E30
Sal’s E30

 

Julio's son's 3-series sedan
Julio’s son’s 3-series sedan

 

JAPANESE:

 

Jim's Datsun Z-car
Jim’s Datsun 280-Z

All photographs copyright © 2016 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Drive, Oct. 2, 2016

We had an excellent turnout for our early October outing, with 16 like-minded friends willing to venture out in spite of a gloomy forecast (for the record, it didn’t rain during the drive). All in, we had 12 classic cars, 2 modern Volvos, plus a motorcycle! Several first-timers seemed to like it well enough that they’ve threatened to show their faces again.

You could be forgiven for looking at the photos and thinking that this was a meeting of the local Porsche 911 club, what with four of them (three red) among our assortment. We still had a fine mix of American, British, Italian, Japanese, and other German cars, old and new.

Our ride this day took us north from the Sheraton in Mahwah, along Greenwood Lake, and eventually to New Windsor, NY, where we dined at the Ikaros Diner. The diner staff had a table waiting for us, and somehow, in spite of constant blabbering, we also managed to consume food and coffee.

The diner’s parking lot made for an excellent staging area for group photos. (Thanks to Bill W and Andy M for the panorama photo of us). We must be doing something right, because at the end of the event, most everyone wanted to know when we’re going to do this again. It must be the coffee.

Ken's RED 911
Ken’s RED 911

 

Peter's RED 911
Peter’s RED 911

 

Dave's RED 911
Dave’s RED 911

 

Ted's NON RED 911
Ted’s NON RED 911

 

Jeff's BMW Z3
Jeff’s BMW Z3

 

 

Enzo's Alfa Spider
Enzo’s Alfa Spider

 

Nick's Mustang
Nick’s Mustang

 

Bill's C1 Corvette
Bill’s C1 Corvette

 

Sal's E30 BMW 3-Series
Sal’s E30 BMW 3-Series

 

Tim's MG-B/C/V8-GT
Tim’s MG-B/C/V8-GT

 

Your author's Miata
Your author’s Miata

 

Red Porsche in front, red Porsche in back
Red Porsche in front, red Porsche in back

 

Porsche, Alfa, Porsche, Mustang
Porsche, Alfa, Porsche, Mustang in Miata mirror

 

"I turned left when you went straight"
“I turned left when you went straight”

 

 

The Z3 serves as a nice foreground car
The Z3 serves as a nice foreground

 

As does Richard's Jaguar F-Type
As does Richard’s Jaguar F-Type

 

"I gotta get over there, they're talking about me"
“I gotta get over there, they’re talking about me”

 

All of us with our machines
All of us with our machines

 

'Til next time
‘Til next time

 

All photographs copyright © 2016 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.