Cars and Coffee is a monthly gathering that is held in major cities around the US. This free event is open to all makes and models of vehicles, and brings together people who share a passion for cars and coffee. Most of these posts are from Cars and Coffee in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Cadillac LSA-Swapped 1968 Buick Riviera

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of resto-mods, as I cover plenty of them every year at the SEMA Show. The combination of timeless styling and modern turn-key reliability is a formula that many people find appealing. But as is so often the case, people tend to overdo it.

I understand that if you’re going to upgrade the engine and build a car, you’re also going to do better brakes, suspension, and fix up the rest of the car. As a matter of personal opinion, I am conflicted when I see an old car with 20-inch billet wheels, fender flares, and massive disc brakes. Are you trying to build a muscle car or a modern race car? It looks a bit odd to me to see carbon fiber air dams and projector headlights on a 1960s car.

With this 1968 Buick Riviera, they really got it right.

I spotted this car at the monthly Cars and Coffee gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona. The original engine has been swapped with a supercharged 6.2L LSA V8 from the Cadillac CTS-V. With 556 horsepower, it certainly packs more power than the original engine.

And again, there is that turn-key reliability. Modern engines can run on ethanol-blended fuels with no problem (ethanol blended fuels are sold in Maricopa County). Modern engines don’t need to have the valves adjusted every 30,000 miles. You don’t need to let it warm up on a cold morning. You don’t need to worry about vapor lock on hot summer days. You just get in, turn the key, and cruise.

This car appears to be set up as something of a sleeper/cruiser. It doesn’t have a wild paint job, crazy wheels, or anything to indicate that it’s packing a serious wallop under the hood. From the outside, it just looks like a clean, restored classic car. Even the exhaust tips with stock-looking turndowns are present.

I’ve got to hand it to the owner on this Rivera for doing it right by not over-doing it. Well done.

Racecar Replicas Superlite Coupe

racecar-replicas-superlite-coupe-frontThere are a lot of different reasons why people get into cars as a hobby. For some people, cars are a way to re-live their youth or to fulfill the dreams they always wanted. To others, cars are merely an investment to be bought and sold. A car can be a status symbol for attracting attention and showing others that you’ve “made it.” Still others get into cars because they love driving. And finally, there are those who get into cars because they love building them. This is a car for that last type of person – the do-it-yourself wrench-turner.

This car is a Superlite Coupe from Racecar Replicas in Fraser, Michigan. Unlike a Ferrari or Lamborghini, this car is not built on a production line in Italy. It is sold as a component vehicle (also known as a kit car) that you build yourself. Some assembly is required!

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1981-1988 Lamborghini Jalpa 3.5

lamborghini-jalpa-frontAs far as Lamborghinis go, this one was a real oddball. Let’s just say that if Lamborghini were to release a “Greatest Hits” album, this car wouldn’t be on it.

Sold from 1981 to 1988, it competed against the Ferrari 308 and the Mondial – neither of which are remembered as shining examples of Maranello’s best work.
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1969 Lamborghini Islero S

1969-lamborghini-islero-frontBy their very nature, supercars are produced in limited numbers, which means that not everyone who wants one can have one. Within the world of supercars, there are models which are more common than others. If you have the money, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a Porsche 911, Lamborghini Gallardo, or a Ferrari 355, 360, or 430 for sale. Then there are cars which are so rare that you cannot buy one, even if you have the money. The Lamborghini Islero is one such car.

The Islero was only manufactured in 1968 and 1969, with just 225 cars produced. These are very low numbers – there are almost twice as many Ferrari Enzos in the world as there are of these – and when was the last time you saw an Enzo?
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1958 Ford Fairlane with 5.0L V8 Swap

1958-ford-fairlane-profileWe continue our series of engine swapped cars with this 1958 Ford Fairlane. This is a real classic cruiser from the era of whitewall tires and acres of chrome trim. I don’t know what the story was on the original motor, if it was underpowered or just not worth the cost to rebuild.

In either case, this car has been swapped to a 5.0L Ford small block from a Fox-body Mustang! It makes me wonder if this car was restored sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s. Based on this engine, I would guess the car was done before 2005 when the S197 platform made its debut. I particularly like the black painted intake manifold. Continue reading

Datsun 240Z with Chevy V8 Swap

datsun-240z-v8-profileYesterday’s post featured a Nissan 280ZX with a Chevrolet LS1 motor. If you take that same concept and turn back the clock, you would have this car: a Datsun 240Z with a small block Chevrolet engine.

I crossed paths with this car at a show in Scottsdale. Unfortunately I did not get to meet the owner, so I don’t have too many details about the vehicle.

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Datsun 280ZX with Chevy LS1 V8 Swap

datsun-280zx-ls1-swap-frontFor the second post in our series of engine swaps, I bring you this Datsun 280ZX with the rumble of a Chevrolet LS1 engine! Somebody really took their time and effort to make this an all-around fun car.

Besides the engine, this car has also been upgraded with Wilwood disc brakes, a nice stereo, custom gauges, and other comforts. The body looks sharp in red with chrome trim and a subtle body kit on the front and rear.

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