The event continues to grow and attract car enthusiasts from throughout Southwest Orange County.
A car craze is alive and well in the Windermere area. Just ask Arnold Kay.
The Windermere area resident and car enthusiast hosted his latest exotic car event — dubbed Windermere Cars & Coffee after the car event trend based out of California — Sunday, Jan. 19, outside of Le Cafe De Paris off Dr. Phillips Boulevard.
The gathering was Kay’s largest yet — with more than 300 vehicles pulling into the plaza for curious residents and car lovers alike to enjoy.
The free event offers a mix of vehicles as unique and diverse as the people who drive them — from multi-million dollar sports cars to classic rides from the muscle car era.
Kay has loved cars ever since he was a child. He remembers trying to play with his father’s die-cast car collection during his earliest years.
“What’s above passion?” Kay said. “Obsession? Cars in the best possible way are almost an obsession to me. I love vehicles.”
Kay launched the Windermere event in April 2018 with a small gathering of around 15 to 20 cars in The Grove Orlando off Conroy Windermere Road. The event has been held every two months since then and has grown in increments of about 30 cars with each meet.
The event saw so much growth that it had to be moved to a larger space — Windermere Cars & Coffee had its first event in the Le Cafe De Paris plaza in January 2019. It’s been there ever since.
Dr. Phillips resident Michael Senich pulled into the plaza Sunday in his black 2010 Corvette ZR1, which he just bought four months ago.
“It’s really cool to see everybody just come together as a community and just really enjoy and respect everybody’s cars,” Senich said of the event. “It’s like a brotherhood — everybody just gets together and talks cars. It’s just a really fun event.”
Just a couple rows over in the parking lot, Windermere area residents Dave and Elaine Moucatel sit in purple fold-up chairs that match their 1967 Mercury Cougar.
The name of the color? Plum Crazy — a paint made by Chrysler.
Dave Moucatel said events such as these are great for families to see some rare and classic cars.
“I think the older cars are a plus because they’re going away eventually,” he said. “We go to a lot of car shows. As long as it doesn’t rain, we’re there.”
Just a few feet away, an orange 2019 Lamborghini Huracán Spyder with purple trim belonging to Dr. Phillips resident Natalie Citarelli is on display for everyone to see.
“It’s cool for kids — they get to dream big, and it’s nice to see the culture,” she said. “It also makes people network and talk and see that they have things in common.”
Citarelli said she’s the first to admit it — there aren’t many women driving their own sports at these kinds of events. She made it a point to break that trend and buy a car that fits her personality.
“I do a lot of speaking engagements on embracing women’s independence — to me this was an empowering thing for me to buy the car,” she said. “People assume automatically that only guys drive super cars.”
Sunday’s event gave locals plenty of time to make friends, connect and talk cars. It’s amazing to see, Kay said.
“It’s very fulfilling on a personal level and on an emotional level — emotional in the sense that this is a passion, an obsession,” Kay said. “A lot of people also bring their kids here. I have a son, and he’s obsessed with cars. … These kids see these cars on Top Gear or ‘The Grand Tour’ or in a magazine or on the internet — a lot of them probably didn’t think they’d see these $4 million to $5 million cars like the McLaren P1 or the LaFerrari in the flesh.
“It’s like seeing a unicorn,” Kay said.
Someday, he hopes to host a concourse-style car event in downtown Windermere.