Words & Photo by Erik Ruggels
Symbolic Motors Cars and Coffee had become a San Diego staple for folks that proudly exclaimed #iLOVEeuros. Every few months or so hundreds of car fans would descend on the Symbolic Service Center in Sorrento Mesa to grab a fleeting glimpse of cars they’d only read about on blogs. Hell, depending on the vintage, they may have only read about them in car magazines back in high school. But only if they’re old petrol heads like us. We digress. Symbolic C&C filled a little bit of the massive gaping hole left by Irvine Cars and Coffee, the event that started it all.
O’Gara Coach picked up the modern side of Symbolic Motors, and Symbolic International spun off to handle the more classic stuff. On the surface the only effect this had on car fans is the thinning out of the La Jolla showroom to focus mostly on modern motors. Classic and vintage forms of rolling architecture made their way over to the Service Center in a new space better suited to showcase their breathtaking lines. Sweet, the separation of the two parts makes a lot of sense from a prospective customer standpoint, but us? We just want to see awesome stuff. We eagerly awaited word from anyone, especially Spencer Berke, of whether the event Symbolic started would continue. Seeing something as rare and ridiculous as the childhood poster fodder Bugatti EB110 and EB110SS in a showroom was rare, but driving along a reasonably quite road, the noise, the pops, the smell, there’s no comparison.
The show had to go on, and on it did. Word spread O’Gara would be hosting Caffeine and Gasoline this morning. We arrived to find much better donuts and coffee than before (seriously, so many options, like a dozen flavors!) and a food truck! And Spencer Berke who generously demonstrated O’Gara’s new Lamborghini Huracane Exhaust. Our verdict? Much better than stock and certainly on par with the others we have heard.
Cars began to fill the parking lot and it ended up being a veritable who’s who of Euro brands. Pretty much the entire Bentley and Rolls Royce lineup, a handful of Porsche’s (including a GT2!), Lamborghinis from the Gallardo onward, and tons of other cars with spades of character like the cleanest 900 hp Toyota Supra you ever did see.
While weather reports called for high 60’s and low 70’s the fog sure burned off real quick encouraging us to head in to the new Symbolic International display space. Where do we begin?! Porsche Carrera GTS, 906, or a Turbo from the 70’s or 90’s tickle your fancy? How about a Lamborghini Muria or Countach? A bright blue Bugatti EB110 or red Alfa Romeo Giuletta Sprint? Symbolic International has it all, even a Ferrari or two. All housed in a clean contemporary space with art adorning the walls reinforcing the rolling sculpture aspect of the incredible automobiles gracing the showroom floor.
No donuts and coffee inside, it was way to clean in there. Though the folks at Symbolic International were kind enough to set up a pretty trick gaming rig, we had a difficult time focusing on it with this darn EB110 in the way :).
We’ll definitely be back when the next O’Gara Caffeine and Gasoline is announced and look forward to watching it grow to the spectacle that was the last Symbolic Cars and Coffee. To be fair, that was the first outing for the Huayra in San Diego and a bit insane. On second thought, this is better, more relaxed, refined, and better food. Keep doing what you’re doing O’Gara, and thank you for having everyone out!