Why Celebrity Car Meetup is Ruffling Feathers in Malibu
You can’t keep a Car Enthusiast down
Some Malibu residents are not too pleased with their celebrity neighbors right now – especially those who love cars – which, in this town, is casting a rather wide net.
The pandemic affected our daily lives in so many different ways, but for car fans, one change that hit particularly hard was the lack of car shows and cruise-ins. After all, what’s the point of owning a vintage gem or a tricked-out custom if no one ever gets to see it? So, when the Covid-19 lockdown went into effect in March of 2020, many would-be show attendees were understandably bummed out. With indoor gathering spaces suddenly out of the question, they have to get creative.
Most of those creative car buffs were probably well aware that they shared a passion with comedians like Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, who, before the pandemic hit, had already been gathering weekly at a strip mall in Malibu where celeb car enthusiasts – and anyone else who cared to drive-up and join-in -- stood around a parking lot kibbitzing about cars while drinking coffee and admiring their collective car progeny. (Celebs – they’re just like us…)
But when Seinfeld, who also hosts the Netflix series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, wants to talk cars, he meets up with pals that include former Seinfeld writer Spike Feresten and The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah, who have been regularly meeting for cars and coffee at the Malibu Village strip mall for years. In fact, according to Seinfeld, the wide-spread popularity of Sunday cars and coffee gatherings across Los Angeles can be traced back to their Malibu event. But there are many Malibu residents who seem to think that this informal car show is too much of a good thing.
After receiving complaints about noise, restricted parking, and reckless driving, the city of Malibu began barricading the Malibu Village parking lot on Sunday mornings, which they seemed to hope would solve the problem entirely – but the car enthusiasts are like mercury, as in the compound – the cars and coffee attendees just started showing up a little bit later. In a recent episode of his podcast, Spike’s Car Radio, Feresten poked fun at the controversy and complained that the barricades were a response to a non-existent problem. Wouldn’t local businesses benefit from the influx of customers on Sundays? And is it really fair to claim that dangerous weekend traffic on the PCH, one of the busiest highways in America, is directly related to an event that hosts about 300 vehicles on a good day?
So far, the outcome of this saga remains to be seen. But it appears unlikely that stalwart car fans like Seinfeld and Feresten will back out of a longstanding tradition, and even if the city of Malibu somehow forces them out, they can always just find someplace else. And luckily for them, the appeal of cars and coffee is the possibility of hopping in your car and doing it anywhere.
Afterall, this is LA. The Show must go on.