Make Vroom for the Very hot Rods

‘It attracts all ages, races — it just brings all people together’ –1966 Chrysler New Yorker owner Evan Kingsley

On a sunny summertime early morning, Evan Kingsley stands following to his mint problem, little one blue, 1966 Chrysler New Yorker in a lot in the vicinity of the Peekskill waterfront.

He happily can take the time to chat with onlookers about the car’s exclusive overall body style, meticulously restored upholstery, and classic dashboard particulars. All-around him, hundreds of other autos, from souped-up avenue racers to vintage classics and anything in among, are proudly on screen.

It’s all element of Westchester Cars & Coffee (WC&C), a Sunday morning meetup of car enthusiasts that attracts close to 300 individuals for each 7 days and fills up two large parking heaps together South Water Road, adjacent to the Peekskill Brewery and Homestyle Desserts Bakery. It is usually held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., in aspect so automotive obsessives can expend the rest of the day with their households.


“The factor I like the most about this is that it appeals to people today from all walks of everyday living,” claims Kingsley. “All ages, races, it just provides everybody together.”

On the other side of the lot, Corvette operator Basil Kazepis agrees. “We all have the exact sickness, and that’s autos.”

‘We all have the exact illness, and that’s cars and trucks.’ – Westchester Vehicles & Espresso Co-founder and Corvette owner Basil Kazepis

Kazepis established Automobiles & Coffee with a couple mates he had met on an on-line message board for Corvette fanatics. The team held their initial assembly in a vacant great deal up coming to a Yorktown Dunkin’ Donuts in August of 2012, participating in host to less than 10 cars.

Basil and his mate Dom, a founding member of the team who passed in 2019, shared quite a few of the obligations of arranging and selling the celebration.


“He and I labored hand in hand in acquiring it up and operating,” claims Kazepis. “He would do the mailing listing, I would do the shots, we would trade off.”

A single of people obligations was printing cards with QR codes primary to Cars and trucks & Coffee’s site and placing them on the windshields of any “cool” cars they spotted in the region. Before long term began to unfold, and the vacant great deal commenced to fill up.

“Rather speedily we obtained to 50 or 60 automobiles, which at the time we believed was unbelievable,” says Kazepis.

At the conclude of the 2019 time, the lot’s 800-car or truck capability was slash radically by the building of a Popeye’s proper in the center for generate-as a result of access. Kazepis understood it was time for a alter of surroundings.


Just after consulting with Peekskill developer and Scorching Rod Hotel operator Louie Lanza, Peekskill Brewery proprietor Keith Berardi, and Homestyle Bakery operator Laura Timmons, it was resolved that the Peekskill Waterfront would be the new household of Westchester Cars and trucks & Coffee.

A major component of Vehicles & Coffee’s relaunch was supposed not only to increase the visibility of community corporations, but also to expose readers to the Town of Peekskill by itself.

“We really like Peekskill,” claims Kazepis, a Cortlandt resident. “We really like the people, the vibe of Peekskill. I normally preferred to bring interest to Peekskill in a good way.”

Following a few prosperous meetups in early spring of 2020, Westchester Autos & Coffee went on an indefinite hiatus owing to Covid fears. The celebration became nomadic, having pop-up gatherings close to the place, but Kazepis always understood they’d close up back in Peekskill.


About 300 vehicle house owners fill Peekskill’s Water Street parking a lot Sunday mornings (Peekskill Brewery at top rated, Homestyle Desserts Bakery at still left)

Doing work intently with Peekskill Law enforcement Chief Don Halmy and Metropolis Supervisor Andrew Stewart, WC&C organized to make their return to H2o Road on July 4, 2021. It was welcome news to Homestyle Bakery’s Laura Timmons, whose organization experienced experienced all through the past yr.

“We’re capable to open previously, and do breakfast, which we have in no way completed prior to,” claims Timmons. “Everything usually will help, especially due to the fact of Covid where we have dropped wholesale organization mainly because of folks that have shut.”

Kazepis wants to be a superior neighbor to the area’s residents, as nicely. There are guidelines about dashing, intense driving, and sound that are commonly followed by the event’s individuals — despite the fact that any automotive sound tends to be effectively down below the common passing of a 92-decibel MetroNorth practice.


In the foreseeable future, Westchester Autos & Espresso options on executing more community outreach by holding raffles, partnering with area youth corporations, and web hosting Toys for Tots occasions. It a short while ago presented Caring for the Hungry and Homeless of Peekskill (CHHOP), which operates a nearby shelter, with a $500 donation.

For Kazepis, WC&C is a accurate labor of love. He spends his possess money on the celebration, and often should terminate ideas or cut holidays quick to ensure his attendance on Sunday mornings. But he would not have it any other way.

“Over the years I have created some of the best friends I’ve produced in my lifetime by Cars and trucks & Coffee,” he suggests. “It’s a wonderful neighborhood and good people.”


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Christian Larson, who life in Peekskill, is Editor-at-Massive of River Journal North, and host of its podcast RiverTalk. He is also an function planner. Go to him >