When visiting as many events as we do, it is inevitable to run into many of the same cars and people. Fortunately, there are events like The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering that provide a unique setting and atmosphere. The exclusive concours d'elegance was hosted for the ninth time by the Quail Lodge. Located in the Carmel Valley, this luxurious golf resort provides the ideal backdrop for an event of this calibre. What also sets 'The Quail' apart from similar events is the intimate atmosphere, which is the result of the availability of just 3,000 tickets. At $395, these few tickets are relatively expensive but the visitors are well looked after with a choice of the finest foods and drinks provided by the local restaurants. In addition to being treated to a lavish lunch, the 'lucky few' also have the opportunity to sample some of the latest sports cars from the likes of Bentley and Porsche. At its core, The Quail is nevertheless still very much a car show and the entrants literally take centre stage on the showfield. During this year's edition, the familiar classes were joined by special ones celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type, the Ferrari America and SuperAmerica, the Riverside circuit and the 50th anniversary of Phil Hill's F1 World Championship.
We were on the 18th fairway of the Quail Lodge golf course throughout the day and between enjoying the delicacies, we managed to get enough photographs to compile this exclusive 150-shot gallery
Completed in the fall of 1957, the Riverside International Raceway was one of America's first permanent road race courses. The high speed track had six distinct configurations, which made it suitable for all types of racing from NASCAR to Can-Am. As a result most of the great national and international drivers have starred at the Californian venue. Among the most popular events were the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix for sports cars and the International Race of the Champions (IROC), which saw drivers of various disciplines pitched against each other. Unfortunately Riverside hosted its final race in 1988 to make place for a shopping mall. All that is left today, in addition to the many fond memories from the fans and drivers, is the Riverside International Automotive Museum created by enthusiast Doug Magnon. For the celebrations of the Riverside International Raceway, he brought several of the museum's finest machinery. These included the very first Eagle Indy racer, which was driven to victory in the 1967 Rex Mays 300 at Riverside by Dan Gurney; one of the track's most successful racers. The dedicated Riverside class showcased the great variety of cars that raced at the raceway very well with entries ranging from a Formula 1 Scarab to 1980s sports racers and NASCARs.
Ferrari America and SuperAmerica
In the early 1950s, Ferrari launched the company's first production models, mainly to finance the racing efforts. Appropriately dubbed the 250 Europa and 340 America to indicate their intended markets the two virtually identical with exception of the larger engine used for the latter. The Europa name was dropped within a few years but the America and subsequent SuperAmerica name has remained part of Ferrari nomenclature ever since. It was most recently used for the drop-top variant of the 575 produced in 2005. Sixty years of the America and SuperAmerica was celebrated in great style at The Quail with well over a dozen examples including one of the earliest 340 Americas to the most recent 575 America. The America and SuperAmerica were always the most exclusive model in Ferrari's line up and as a result many were built to custom order and no two were exactly alike. Several also received completely custom coachwork like Robert M. Lee's 410 SuperAmerica with one-off Ghia coachwork or his 400 SuperAmerica, which was bodied by Scaglietti in the style of the 250 GT California.
The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering is open to great cars from all eras and accordingly there is also a special area on the lawn for more recent supercars. Additionally, high-end manufacturers like Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani all showed their latest creations at The Quail. Bugatti launched the porcelain appointed 'l'Or Blanc' version of the Grand Sport and also celebrated the end of the Veyron production with a rally which finished at the event. Making their American debut during the Monterey Classic Car Week, Pagani brought both the new Huayra and a Zonda R for the supercar class. Horacio Pagani himself was busy all day showing the many interested spectators around his latest creations, which will be the first Pagani to be officially available on the American market. Of a slightly earlier vintage was Lamborghini expert Joe Sackey's Countach S, which had originally been ordered by a Saudi Prince. This was one of just two fitted by the factory with the sizeable rear wing developed by Dallara for Walter Wolf. Finished in 'Blue Tahiti', the car has recently benefited from a ground-up restoration.
Among the many other highlights was one of the five Ferrari 250 GT Zagatos produced on the long wheelbase (LWB) chassis. It was raced early in its life and during one outing was damaged in an accident. During the subsequent repairs the car's nose was 'modernised'. Only during a very recent restoration commissioned by the current owner was the 250 GT's appearance returned to its original design. One of the more unusual machines on the field was James Glickenhaus' 'Baja Boot,' originally entered in the 1967 Baja 1000. Developed by GM and built by Hurst, the spectacular buggy features a 450 bhp V8 and was later raced by Steve McQueen in the 7-11 Race outside Las Vegas. Entered in the same class was an ex-Scuderia Filipinetti Ford GT40; one of just six endurance specification GT40s built in 1966. It was raced at Le Mans and Monza and was at The Quail for the first time since a complete restoration. Fans of the Jaguar E-Type were treated to a packed class that featured all road going varieties built between 1961 and 1975.
Another unusual element of The Quail, is that the entered cars are judged by the entrants themselves. At the end of the day, the class winners were called onto the stage to collect the award, a Rolex watch and a bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne. The final spot in the Rolex Circle of Champions was the for the 'Best of Show' winner. This honour was bestowed upon the unique ex-Gianni Agnelli Ferrari 375 SuperAmerica brought by Jack E. Thomas. The former Fiat chairman, referred to at times as the 'Uncrowned King of Italy', commissioned the striking machine from Pinin Farina in 1955. In 2002 it was meticulously restored and returned to its original green and dark red finish. Since then it has been successfully shown at events around the world.
It was a fitting finale to another great day at the Quail Lodge; the ninth Motorsports Gathering was once again one of the absolute highlights of the Monterey Classic Car Week. More proof can be found in our 150-shot gallery