9734 Dino Drive Elk Grove, CA 95624



Cappuccino Cruisers

Car Club Profile – Cappuccino Cruisers – 26 Years Young

Last year, the Cappuccino Cruisers celebrated 25 years of cars, events, and giving back to the community. Plans were well underway for a full season of events and fundraisers scheduled to start in late March or early April. Then the coronavirus pandemic placed a gigantic stop sign in the middle of the road.

The club, like so many others, has had to put its plans on hold due to social distancing requirements. Ray Marchese, the group’s multi-talented president/dj/marketing/fill-any-job-that-needs-doing guy, said that the group was formed in a Folsom coffee shop and originally included about a half dozen car enthusiasts. That number has grown over the years, as have meeting locations, events, and sponsors. One thing that’s remained static, though, is their passion for all pre-1979 vehicles.

Numerous car clubs exist, some are specialized and include only Fords or Mustangs or Mopars or Manhattans. There are many clubs for the ornately painted low-rider vehicles. And there is a movement afoot to encourage clubs to open shows to all vehicle years. There is a car club (or two or three) out there for just about any interest.  American Steel in Lodi requires cars to be pre-1977, made of steel, and American made.  If fins get you excited, there’s a club for those and one for Corvettes, for Cobras, and for Buicks. There’s a club or two for trucks, hot rods, Jaguars, and British cars. And plenty of clubs welcome all makes and models.

Car clubs are also known for their fundraising events to help local organizations and for their shows which usually include trophies, raffle tickets for donated prizes, music, food, and a lot of fun and camaraderie. In addition to these events, Cappuccino Cruisers also hosts regular meetings and cruise nights.

Many of the large events, like “Family Day at the Folsom Zoo” to benefit the Folsom Zoo and another large event usually held at Fry’s Electronics in Roseville to benefit the Placer SPCA, had to be cancelled, along with the longtime Shriner’s fundraiser. Marchese said that it’s unclear whether these will be rescheduled this year.

Monthly theme nights are always popular and include “Tribute America” to honor veterans, military, police, and fire men and women. In August, Rancheros, El Caminos, and trucks are celebrated, with convertibles, sports cars, and orphans rolling in September. October is a Trunk or Treat event for children of all ages. The wagons, woodies, panels, and sedan delivery vehicles night, usually held the last Wednesday of May, was cancelled.

With all of the cancellations and rescheduling, car enthusiasts can’t be deterred. The cars need washing, cleaning, engine maintenance, upgrades, and they need to be driven. Members of this club have come out to pay respect to graduates, celebrate birthdays, and otherwise strut their stuff in many creative ways.

The club’s motto of sorts is “What can we do about things?” This question, said Marchese, led to the formation of some interesting partnerships. The club, he explained, has raised funds to assist the Folsom Police Department’s mounted and canine units, has provided Folsom Zoo passes to parents. The best part, he said, is when they see the response. One dad thanked them for making him a super dad for the weekend by giving him zoo passes.

“If we were successful once,” Marchese said, they’ll continue with the program. Last year, Home Depot had a booth that offered children the chance to plant a plant and take it home. It was quite the hit, especially with a young girl who returned to plant after receiving the tickets to see the zoo.

“If you’re the right person, it reaches in and grabs your heart,” said Marchese.

A new program at the Folsom Library was funded through a donation the club made.

“You help other people out when you can.”

About getting back on schedule and holding in person car events in 2020, he says they’re optimistic, but admits that “with what’s going on, it’s probably going to make things tougher” since car shows and get-togethers aren’t generally social distancing activities and lose quite a bit in a Zoom box.

Story by Trina L. Drotar

Photos courtesy Cappuccino Cruisers