I miss Pasteiner’s. The Woodward Avenue store was a mecca for car enthusiasts looking for that one elusive die-cast model or obscure Italian sports car coffee-table book. It also hosted a wonderfully casual Cars & Coffee on Saturday mornings. Even when winter was bitch-slapping us with salt and arctic wind, odds are someone would pull up in an old 911, shiny Aston Martin, or one of the myriad flavors of muscle car. Sometimes you’d even spot a 60s Datsun wagon. But the cars themselves weren’t even the most interesting part.
Both the shop owner and the people shopping there were always ready to engage in conversation. Whether it was swapping wrenching stories, discussing the latest WRC or F1 race, or geeking out over that random Volvo, there was always car-talk bubbling away.
I haven’t really found any Cars & Coffee events to replace it since I moved back to the Chicagoland area (also, I lived like a five minute drive away from Pasteiner’s on 14 Mile Road). But when summer rolls around, there is something similar: Monday Night Car Shows.
I’ve been critical of these shows in the past, but I can’t deny that they’re still a great place for fans of internal combustion to gather.
There’s a certain whimsy about a Messerschmitt KR200. I imagine the ride height does more to add to the sensation of “flight” than the road speed.
Chrysler Imperial finds your lack of fins disturbing. As is the lack of swooping eagles announcing its presence.
Ferrari F355 Spider. Huh, someone told me those were pretty expensive once.
This Seven demonstrated that some stereotypes exist for a reason. Note the owner’s foresight.
As much as I find the insanity over air-cooled Porsches, well, insane, they really are objets d’art.
The Alfa Romeo GTA was the first car to make me properly HNNNGG. It still does.
This is an original 1912 Indian, one of only 9750 Indians produced that year. Its 1000cc (61 c.i.) engine may have only made 7 hp, but it’s nothing if not resilient.
It’s also patina-d to perfection.
I’m going to have to apologize to you all about the next few photos. They simply do not do the car justice, but I tried my very best.
The 1961 Alfa Romeo Gulietta Sprint Speciale. The closest thing possible to a road-going B.A.T. concept. Only 1366 were made, of which an estimated 100 still exist.
And my word, was it beautiful. Though I will admit to having that Francis Bacon quote about strangeness in beauty’s proportion playing in my head.
Sights like this are what inspire me to improve my photography skills. And I would gladly pay in body parts to be able to drive a car as exquisite as this.
Also, there is never a bad day to post a blue Alfa 2000 GT Veloce picture.
This bundle of snakes (safely housed in a De Tomaso Pantera) was ssssimply ssssculptural.
So was this Cadillac’s grille.
This Harley has an interesting history. It’s actually a one-off custom made for Harley’s Battle of the Kings competition.
While many of these bikes are built purely to look good on a stand, bathed in lights, this one was offered for sale. The owner was a blast to listen to; I dearly wish I had more notes on the bike’s history. Just goes to show, even a Harley can be a sportsbike with enough time and dedication.
Opel GT love!
...I refuse to do the obvious wood joke here.
E-Type and a Morgan: a bit of Britain in suburban USA.
I, like many people that day, was doing double-takes. It’s rare enough to see a JDM import (even in Chicago), let alone one I’d never even heard of before. Turns out, the Toyota Sera was basically a Paseo underneath, and though it was primarily sold to Japanese buyers, a small number were sold in other RHD countries.
The owner desperately needs to get a Radwood pass and let those doors fly.
This Auburn Speedster may have been a replica, but who really cares when it looks this good?
Call me a basic hipster, but I love this kind of styling.
But I also love to see cool Japanese cars. And I can’t let the Sera have the limelight all to itself, now can I?
I also have to give props to the engineering student who showed up in a car of his own design and construction. Though calling it a “car” may be a bit of stretch...
Still, this is how Colin Chapman started. Also, if anyone in the Chicagoland area knows how I can get in contact with the builder, please let me know. I’d love to get behind the wheel of this thing.
And finally, some more of my favorite details.