Having just attended the 19th iteration of what I will refer to as a “car culture phenomenon,” I assure you that The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, continues to grow and mature in directions even its founder Gordon McCall couldn’t foresee.
From an analytical point of view, this year’s success could be measured by a whopping 19 automobile manufacturers that chose to present new models at this year’s event. More than double the debuts of last year, one attendee I spoke with contributed this leap in growth to the Geneva Auto Show being cancelled this year. I beg to differ.
A crossroads of luxury lifestyle and the celebration of the automobile, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, continues to evolve far beyond beautiful faces, rolling jewelry, and gossip-hungry press. My father always thought a round of golf was the ultimate business mixer; four individuals wanting to escape life’s daily grind with their guards down about “talking shop.”
Whether one of the five culinary pavilions where strangers often share tables or waiting in line for caviar at the Road & Track refuge, it’s apparent that The Quail provides a platform for cross-pollination between a multitude of people “in the know.”
This year’s event celebrated three unique classes starting with the 50th Anniversary of the BMW “M” Division, founded in 1972. Predictably, “M” stands for motorsport, with the division’s first project being a racecar version of the 3.0 CSL model.
Later came the M1 in 1978, followed by the 1979 release of the M535i, a high-performance version of BMW’s popular 5 Series mid-size sedan.
Next was “70 Years of Jaguar and their Wins at Le Mans.” You may recall the 1950s was a golden era for British motorsport, with 5 of the 10 Le Mans 24 races won by Jaguar).
Lastly, with a spoonful of whimsical on top was “All Things MINI.” BMC manufactured the British pop-culture icon of the 1960s through 1971. Many regard the Mini as the British version of the VW Bug, and who could argue with over 5 million sold?
Of course, traditional classes are always celebrated centerfield at The Quail and include the staples of motorsports:
Pre-War Sports & Racing: Jaguar, MG, Alfa Romeo, etc.
Post-War Sports: Ferrari, Mercedes, Corvette, etc.
Sports and Racing Motorcycles: Vincent, Triumph, Honda, etc.
Porsche fans are ALWAYS satisfied at the Quail for several reasons. RUF Automobile from Germany displayed its new Bergmeister prototype, while Singer Vehicle Design’s display was packed, showcasing their “Turbo Study” inspired by the original 1975 930.
Guntherwerks of Southern California wowed everybody with both their Tornado and Exoskeleton commissions.
For those wanting to go a little faster, Hypercar manufacturer Pagani displayed an impressive collection of their ware, including 2 Huayra Rs, 3 Zonda Rs, 1 Zonda Revolución; 1 Imola, 1 Huayra BC Coupé, a Huayra BC Roadster, and the North American debut of the Huayra Tricolore.
Other notables included Czinger, who debuted the Longtail 21C V Max, and Gordan Murray Automotive, who unveiled the T.33 and T.50 supercar models.
While everyone has an opinion about how cars should be judged, I appreciate The Quail’s “modus operandi,” where entrants choose class winners in that class, and the Best of Show award is selected by all entrants.
This reduces stress for car owners as they are not forced to clean the bottom of their car with Q-tips worried about what the judges may find. Instead, their fee to enter includes two lawn chairs and lunch, thereby promoting enjoyment by all. This year’s winners included:
Rolex Circle of Champions “Best of Show”
1956 Jaguar D-Type
William Pope – Arizona
Spirit of The Quail
1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Bertone Sprint Coupe
Dick McClure – California
Hagerty Drivers Foundation & Preservation Award
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Stefano Natoli – California
1959 Citroën Squall Prototype “The French BAT”
Thomas Hale – Connecticut
Art Center College of Design
1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Mike Vietro – California
50th Anniversary of the BMW M Division
1980 BMW M1
Benjamin Clymer – New York
All Things MINI
1965 Austin Mini Cooper ‘S.’
Eric Breslow – Nevada
70 Years of Jaguar and their Wins at Le Mans
1950 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy
Mark Miller – California
Pre-War Sports & Racing Cars
1929 Rolls Royce
The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie – Hong Kong
Post-War Sports 1945-1960
1956 Maserati A6G Zagato
David Smith – Washington
Post-War Sports 1961-1975
1964 ATS 2500 GTS
Stephen Bell – Colorado
1964 Alfa Romeo TZ
David Eichenbaum – Florida
Evolution of the Supercar
1995 Bugatti EB110SS
Allegra collection – Carlos DeQuesada – Connecticut
The Great Ferraris
1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
Mike Regalia – California
Sports and Racing Motorcycles
1972 Ducati 750 Imola Racer
Moto Borgotaro – New York
1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster
Bruce Wanta – Washington
Car Park Concours de Quailegance
1967 Oilstainlab “Half11.”
Iliya and Nikita Bridan – Canada
While each Car Week event on the Monterey Peninsula has its unique character, the overall experience at this year’s Quail continues to be unbeatable. Where else does your ticket include caviar, oysters, fine wines, and champagne?
With its great food, beautiful people, and a very astute selection of automobiles, the experience is world-class. Founder Gordon McCall once told me, “Cars are fun,” so it’s no wonder he left his judging duties at Pebble to create this great institution we can all look forward to every August.