Sunday Morning Breakfast Runs – The Early Years, Pt. I

Our Sunday Morning Breakfast Runs, about which I’ve blogged so much, started well before I joined the fray. I believe I had been told that the initial trio who launched these events began back in 1999 or 2000.

Earlier this year, someone in our group who had joined around the same time as I did asked me, “when did all this start?” Great question, I responded to myself as much to anyone else, and decided to pore through my photos to see how far back I could trace my involvement.

The earliest photographic evidence of my participation takes me to early spring of 2006. Since the trees in the photos have yet to bloom, I would pin the timeframe as late March/early April. The photos were taken in Cold Spring NY, which was a frequent destination for many of the early runs. We parked our cars around a little cul-de-sac, with the Hudson River in the background, and this served as a wonderful photo op (that’s Burton standing on the bench, primed for some excellent shots). Note that there are SEVEN cars, a typical number for our group at that time.

My ’68 Mustang California Special (GT/CS) had been in my possession for only 2 ½ years. The year 2006 would be the year in between driving that car in the ’05 and ’07 New England 1000 rallies.

The next time I photographed a Breakfast Run was June of 2008, and since the pictures reveal that our destination was Granny’s Pancake House in Hamburg NJ, I know that this was one of the, if not THE first time that Larry and I “hosted” the run. Granny’s had been recommended to me by a colleague at Volvo, and it proved to be a tasty breakfast place.

The GT/CS at the start of the run

As we exited the restaurant, I asked each driver (and passenger, if there was one) to pose next to their automobiles. As is always the case, the eclectic mix of vehicles is a big part of the draw. Our NE1000 buddy Ron dared to show up in his 1937 Packard convertible. I can report that he doesn’t baby the car on the road, as I had to keep my foot into my 390 to keep up with him!

Again, there were seven cars, which made it easy to keep everyone together in a caravan. Little could we imagine the size to which our outfit would expand.

In a future post, we’ll continue to look back at some of our older Sunday Breakfast Runs.

Our June 2008 participants (NOT the dude standing up at the left)


Ken and son with Porsche 911


Peter with Porsche 911


Larry with Chevy Monte Carlo


Richard with Mustang GT/CS


Ron with Packard


Rich and son with Mustang


Bill with Corvette


Spotting the Packard over the Mustang’s hood


Summer of ’08: check out those high fuel prices!


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


A 1937 Packard Super Eight convertible coupe, with a 135 hp, 320 c.i. inline-8, cost $2,680 new. Or, one could purchase a 1937 Ford DeLuxe cabriolet, with an 85 hp, 221 c.i. V8, and pay $719 (27% of the Packard’s cost).


Sunday Morning Breakfast Drive, October 22, 2017

You know it’s late in the collector car driving season when the 8 a.m. arrivals at your starting point are still in the shadows, waiting for the morning’s yellow rays to rise above the concrete and steel horizon.

Minutes before departing, the sun finally made its way over to us

And so our final Sunday morning breakfast drive for 2017 began, but we knew the day’s weather would be in our favor. Those of us in the Northeast are coming off what may be the best week of weather we’ve had all year: sunny, dry, daytime temps in the mid-to-high 70s, with the thermometer dropping into the 40s and 50s at night. And all this in late October to boot.

Even though we saw each other last month, there’s still lots to yap about

For our October 22 drive, we had 14 travelers occupying 11 cars. While the turnout was a bit less than our last motorcade, many of our regulars showed up, drawn in part by the attraction of a favorite destination: The Silver Spoon Café in Cold Spring NY.

The route to Cold Spring is an easy one, and includes Seven Lakes Drive in Harriman State Park. It’s a shame that we didn’t give ourselves a chance to stop and admire the view. At such an early hour, the water, smooth as glass, acted like a mirror for the fall foliage. The scene would have made a lovely backdrop for our myriad group of sporting machines.

We arrived at our destination in under an hour, and the attentive staff at the Silver Spoon had a table for 14 waiting for us (calling ahead and being patient when they say “we don’t take reservations” can still provide your desired result).

The Silver Spoon staff hustled to serve 14 or 15 hungry drivers, and the sometimes erratic service was not entirely the fault of our intrepid waiter. Plates remained unclaimed as diners endeavored to remember what they ordered! Even with the delay, the food was excellent, washed down with coffee by the gallon.

While waiting for the food, we …. looked at cell phone photos

As is customary, as the meal ended, the crowd lingered in front of the restaurant, with no one in any great rush to depart. The warm October sunshine will do that to you. It sounds far away to say “see you on our first drive in 2018”, but it will be here soon enough. We’re also hoping to organize an off-season trip to a museum as we did last winter. For this scribe, it’s now time to put the babies away for the year. I’m pretty sure I still have some Sta-Bil in the garage.

Don’t let the jackets fool you – by late morning, it was 70 degrees


1967 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Jr.


1972 Chevrolet Nova


Porsche 911 #1


Porsche 911 #2


Porsche 911 #3


BMW Z3 roadster


1967 Buick Skylark convertible (earlier posts identifying this as a ’66 are incorrect! Thanks Ralph)


1966 Dodge Coronet


Ford Mustang GT/CS


1953 Jaguar XK-120


C4 Chevy Corvette


See you next year


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




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




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.



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



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



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



Peter's 911
Peter’s 911



Dave's 911
Dave’s 911


Ted's 911
Ted’s 911




Sal's E30
Sal’s E30


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




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.