Cars and Coffee is a global phenomenon that has gripped the local car scene in recent years. Gone are the days of heading out at midnight to catch up with your friends in the local car park until the wee hours, replaced today with a leisurely lie in before tagging onto a convoy to wherever the Sunday morning cars and coffee event might be held.

The Thoroughbred Sportscar Club of Northern Ireland I believe kick started this trend here in Northern Ireland, with its regular event held at Down Royal Racecourse. Various other car clubs, Facebook groups of like-minded enthusiasts and veteran websites of car culture in this country such as RMS Motoring all host regular coffee meetups beard in the evening or on the weekend.

Last year, one of the provinces leading tyre suppliers, Modern Tyre Service, decided to utilise the space around its Duncrue depot for such an event, while also raising money for the Ukraine appeal.

On the back of this successful event in 2022, Modern Tyre Service announced that Sunday the 7th of May 2023 would be the date for everyone’s diary for this year’s cars and coffee.

Starting at 10:00 AM and running for just three hours, it attracted an impressively eclectic mix of vehicles. The latest exotica from Italy sat alongside some vintage British machinery that has somehow survived the test of time.

The Audi owners club made sure that The VAG seen was well represented, but for me it was Japan that stole the show thanks to a turquoise coloured wide-body GT86 followed by my personal favourite, the Mitsubishi Evolution estate.

Stephen Shaw from Modern Tyres commented, “This is year number two, last year was the first year and we raised £1,300 for the Ukrainian appeal. So, this year, our nominated charity for the year is Marie Curie. So, we’re trying to raise a few pounds today and we’ve got a nice selection of cars here for people to come down and have a look around.

“There’s a brave spectrum of stuff, with over 100 cars on show. So yeah, right from, you know your wee Astra which is 19 probably 83 in the corner over there and then you’ve got your McLaren’s, your Ferrari’s and Porsche. Big, big, big choice and a nut and bolt restoration RS Turbo in the workshop there, which is unreal.”

When asked if this is likely to become an annual event, Stephen stated, “I think so, yeah. We’ve probably outgrown the depot. It’s great to fill it though and it’s just a nice quantity, so yeah, it will be an annual event now.”

As someone who has never attended a cars and coffee meet before, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of cars in attendance. And as someone who isn’t too fond of the whole socialising thing, it was great to catch up with a couple of folks I’ve not seen in many years.

A total of £1,100 pounds was raised for Marie Curie on the day, and I’ll make the effort to attend next year. You should, too.


Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.