Kjell “Mr. Q” Qvale, a legendary powerhouse in the international motor industry, died the first weekend of November, in San Francisco at the age of 94. Qvale was the quintessential car guy, and a pioneer for more than 67 years in the introduction of European sports cars to the Western United States.
His passion for foreign vehicles inspired him to import MG, Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi and Maserati, along with virtually every other notable British manufacturer. He also ventured into manufacturing, producing his namesake sports car, the Qvale Mangusta. He commissioned racecars for the Indianapolis 500 and established San Francisco’s International Auto Show. Qvale was also one of the founders of the venerable Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, in 1950, and credited with the vision that contributed to the creation of the tricky “Corkscrew” turn at the Laguna Seca Raceway.