I didn't take time to count, but this might be the largest gathering of Porsches I've seen in one place since Luftgekühlt. EASY has been a staple of the Porsche community for literally decades, and now it's time for shop owner Jim Breazeale to hang up his hat. This area of Emeryville, CA has exploded in recent years, and so to have the building values, making the shop itself worth far more than any of the Porsche bits housed inside. The time has come for this shop to close its doors and end the tradition. Last Saturday was the final Cars & Coffee under the EASY umbrella, and everyone seemingly wanted in on the action. Hundreds of Porsches showed up for this event, and they parked up wherever they could find a spot. For an event that started years ago as a simple gathering of a few dozen cars, this is the ultimate culmination of Porsche enthusiasm.
I drove my 912E over the Donner pass from Reno on Friday to stay with another Porsche-owning friend and get an early start on the day at EASY. My alarm rang at 6AM, and I rolled off the couch, grabbed my keys, and headed for the door. The event ostensibly starts at 8AM, but every time I've showed up on time, the street is already full. I wanted to get a good spot, so I planned to arrive at least an hour early. By the time I showed up, the street was already packed full of cars.
For basically three full blocks, the streets were packed with double-parked Porsches. There was no discrimination, either. Aircooled, watercooled, front engine, mid-engine, no matter what, if you had a Porsche, you were in the club. It would have been nearly impossible to get down that street in any kind of expediency, as it was packed with Porsches and onlookers ambling around shaking hands and making friends. If you've been around these cars and this crowd before, it's difficult to walk more than three feet without being recognized by some old friend or another. That's the best part of an event like this, though, it's never been about the cars, really. It's always about the people. Sharing a coffee with friends made over decades.
Of course, not everything goes smoothly
I'd planned to leave the C&C event at around 10 AM with a large group headed up into the gorgeous driving roads of Marin toward the coast for lunch. Sadly, shortly after arriving to EASY, someone told me that my 912 had a flat tire. As it happens, I picked up a very long screw in the middle of my tire tread, and I was temporarily down for the count. Borrowing a jack and a 19mm breaker bar from Jim's son Richard, we got the wheel off the Porsche, patched up with a tire plug kit, and filled up with air in no time. I'd missed my date with some awesome California driving roads, but at least the 912 was fine for my four-hour drive back home.
I couldn't leave EASY without picking through a bit of their inventory for some parts I might need.
I had to rack my brain multiple times to come up with anything I really needed, but eventually found a pair of late 914 exhaust manifolds that I'll be repurposing to fit my 912E. I was also missing one of the two seat back mounting screws for my passenger-side sport seat, which of course they still had sitting on a shelf. EASY have shipped out two big trailer loads of good stuff to Rod and Gary Emory, one gone south, the other north to Parts Obsolete. They've also emptied three giant garbage dumpsters of stuff out of the building, and it looks like there are still a dozen trailer loads of stuff to salvage. For example, Jim was running closeout prices on 911 Targa rear glass; fifty bucks each!
Jim says he hopes to have the building empty by the end of the month, but that may not happen. If you're looking for some used parts for your Porsche, head down to EASY with a truck and offer to buy parts by their net tonnage. Surely you can save some parts from the dump that might help some poor soul get his 914 back on the road somewhere down the line.
As reported before, it is still alleged that while EASY is officially closing, the Cars & Coffee events will continue with the new building owners loving the idea. The king of NorCal Porsche events is dead, long live the king.
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