Popular local enthusiast-organized auto shows demonstrate our unrelenting passion for all things automotive, with participants gathering at least once monthly on lots scattered across America. Whether organized under the informal “cars and coffee” umbrella or presented as the “Caffeine and Octane Car Show” as it is in Georgia, these gatherings feature a wide variety of antique, classic, and modern vehicles. Caffeine and Octane itself has morphed beyond its regional influence, thanks to a reality television series based on the event, currently airing on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).
Caffeine and Octane Car Show
Launched in 2006 near Atlanta, Georgia, Caffeine and Octane has always operated under the twin “speed & style” mantra. All makes and models of vehicles are welcome to a show that meets on the first Sunday morning of each month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Caffeine and Octane (C&O) attracts enthusiasts from across the country to its location in the parking lot of the tony Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, located just six miles north of Atlanta. Visitors can expect about 2,000 vehicles on hand, with 15,000 fans checking out the expansive display.
With so many cars on display, the organizers manage both the main lot and a general/club lot. The Central Lot fills up quickly with the best selection and variety of desired models as determined by the coordinators. Adjacent to the main lot is a supplemental area for car clubs and others unable to showcase their ride on the Central Lot. Another 1,500 parking spots are available nearby, pushing the total number of vehicles on hand past 2,000 month after month, rain or shine, all year long. The show is free to entrants and fans alike.
Reaching a national audience
The location of C&O makes it a natural and desirable place to host a car show. Quickly, the event mushroomed into the largest meet of its kind in North America, attracting people from across the country.
That fact hasn’t been lost on the entertainment industry, which now airs a reality show based on the monthly C&O event. Beginning in 2016, the Velocity Channel started broadcasting highlights of the show. After one year, Caffeine and Octane was picked up by NBCSN and televised as part of the network’s blockbuster Overdrive motorsports segment on Thursday nights, one of six unique series and the only one based on a car show.
The cars are the stars
So what will you find on display at C&O? Practically everything imaginable, from auto restorer Mike McConville’s red 1991 Lamborghini Diablo to a concept 1959 Imperial Custom Speedster created by designer Murray Pfaff. Celebrities such as retired Atlanta Braves center fielder Andruw Jones may also appear. Jones even brought his one-of-a-kind six-wheeled Super Jeep to the show, with that interview broadcast on Season 2, Episode 2.
To mix things up, the show’s organizers regularly put out an appeal via their Facebook page to attract certain types of vehicles. Indeed, for the January 7, 2018, show, you’ll find about two dozen special Jeeps and Land Rover vehicles on hand. Those models were culled from a mountain of replies as owners sent in their photos and a description in an effort to have their ride featured, front and center. Previous shows have featured a Volkswagen Invasion, the Deltawing Race Car presented by British race car driver Katherine Legge, and various muscle cars and exotics.
Speaking of exotics, C&O spawned a “Caffeine and Exotics” show dedicated to high-end models. Usually meeting at Lenox Square in Atlanta, this event is held a few times a year and features Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Maseratis, Bentleys, McLarens, and other exotics. And every March the main show heads to the Jekyll Island Convention Center for a special three-day “Caffeine & Octane at the Beach Car Show,” featuring the world’s finest cars and bikes.
How to tune in
If you can’t get to Atlanta or simply want to keep tabs on Caffeine and Octane, you can follow the show on NBCSN. Filming for the second half of season two is underway, with the next show set to air in February. Check your local TV listings for dates and times.