An in-depth car restoration or build can be daunting, frustrating and heavy on the pockets, so what sort of crazy fool would decide to take on a dilapidated old hotel and create an automotive mecca?
Introducing Caffeine and Machine.
Creating a place that all us enthusiasts can visit and enjoy not only our own cars but others, all whilst having a nice cuppa tea or coffee and perhaps talk to each other.
We feel privileged to be able to share with you a small, sneak preview of a work in progress project on epic proportions, this time, not a car but a full renovation of a place we will all treasure.
For a small piece of land, the UK has a big heart for all things automotive. There isn't a weekend that goes by that isn't littered with events. What we are lacking in this country is a venue, a place that the enthusiast can go when he or she has a spare few hours to park up their pride and joy with like-minded folk and talk without the use of social media or a handheld device.
Caffeine and Machine is for us all, there is no defined style, age limit or group it is for us all to enjoy, share stories and grow stronger as a community but this is no ordinary venue for just the average cars and coffee. Phil and his family had been searching worldwide for a flagship venue to begin the C&M movement and luckily for us they stumbled upon their unicorn in Stratford-upon-Avon.
So why should you be as excited as us about C&M?
It is rare in this day and age that someone as enthusiastic as Phil comes along and creates a unique retreat, created for like-minded petrol heads. Imagine driving your pride and joy to a place to have a cup of coffee and some fine grub whilst checking out carefully selected automotive art on the walls (this will be no TGI Friday’s affair) or popping in to have a browse around the shop, where you could pick up some automotive attire (including ours) but if you think that this is all that C&M has to offer then you would be wrong. They are developing a site where you can stay in bespoke designed rooms, hire indoor and outdoor exhibition space, car storage and have your tracking checked/improved. Yes, you heard that correctly, you will be able to have your tracking checked and improved by the very talented, Ben Broke-Smith all whilst you sit back and enjoy some quality produced food and catch up. Are you excited yet?
So who is the person behind this place? Phil McGovern, he has got a catalogue of successful projects under his belt (most of you would have heard of and seen daily) and whilst out in Dubai working on a project he started Caffeine and Machine. It was mainly focusing on all things air cooled, however, the event grew rapidly over the years and the decision was made to open it to everyone when they returned back to the UK. You could also say he has an impressive collection of metal. The Porsche 912 pictured is the 'daily', it takes Rufus the dog for walks, the kids to school, the occasional small supply run for the C&M build and its seen more continents than me!. We could do another article on Phil and his Pop’s awesome collection and perhaps we will but we were privileged to get up and close to the slightly fettled Jaguar XJ220.
The XJ220 has been an icon of mine ever since I got a model of one when I was 8/9 years old. They say never meet your heroes in fear of disappointment, but I'd rather know my heroes live up to my expectations and the XJ utterly surpassed it. Having an unexpected passenger ride made it THE BEST DAY EVER - As you can probably tell by the reaction shot that Scott managed to get.
Caffeine and Machine might be a big build but all the small details are what will make this place stand out as a petrol head's Mecca. All the tradesman on site have an automotive background and share Phil's passion for a high-level finish. So when we pulled up in Scott's E36 everyone downed tools to take a look. Even the guys supplying the loose material maintain and restore their old trucks.
We will be taking another visit this month to check out the rapid progress of the build and see what other surprises Phil and his family have.