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2014 The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering
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First organised in 2003, The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering has been one of the leading events on the Monterey Peninsula during the classic car week from the start. A major contributor to the success of the event is the unique formula offering a combination of fantastic cars and fine cuisine. At this year's 12th edition 'The Quail' celebrated the 100th anniversary of Maserati and fifty years of the Mustang with a special class for early competition versions, while it also featured several World and North American debuts. In addition to these the familiar classes like 'The Great Ferraris' and the 'Post-War Racing Cars' were also back. The visitors and entrants were treated to six different 'epicurean delights' from all corners in the world prepared by local chefs. These included southern delights from 'Bourbon Street' and fine Indian dining in the 'Tandoori Bazar'.
Our photographers were back at the Quail Lodge to capture all the highlights of the 2014 Motorsports Gathering. The result is the following concise report, illustrated by a 200-shot gallery.

World debuts
What once started as a private party on the 18th fairway of the Quail Lodge has quickly grown to be an event of international stature. This is underlined by the number of World and North American debuts at The Quail. Among these this year was the 'Ettore Bugatti' version of the Veyron, which was the sixth and final in the 'Bugatti Legends' series. All six versions were at Quail to mark the occasion. Sister company Lamborghini took the wraps off the all-new Super Trofeo version of the Huracan. Due to hit the track in 2015 in the company's one-make series, it features a stripped down, rear-wheel drive chassis, developed together with experts Dallara. Bentley meanwhile showcased the GT3 version of the Continental GT fielded in North America by Dyson Racing alongside the road-going GT3R. Ferrari marked sixty years of the manufacturer's official presence in North America with a display of three generations of Californias, including the latest California T. Porsche specialists Singer revealed a four-litre version of the classic twin-spark, air-cooled flat-six engine.

Maserati 100th Anniversary
A fixture at all events on the Monterey Peninsula in 2014 was the Maserati Centenary and The Quail was no exception. The special class focused on post-War cars only and included just a single competition car. This was Steven Read's lovely 300S, which was the very last one built and raced with some success in period by Stirling Moss and Pedro Rodriguez. It duly won best in class, as always chosen by the other entrants in the class. As part of the 'Reunion to The Quail Run' from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca additional competition Maseratis were due to arrive at Quail at lunchtime but unfortunately this year's run was cancelled due to very heavy traffic coming into the event. Among the road going Maseratis on display was a very early A6 1500 clothed by Pinin Farina with a lovely, understated coupe body. One of the first cars built by Maserati after the War, it helped the company establish itself as a manufacturer of production road cars. Also on hand was one of the original series of Quattroportes, powered by the thundering quad-cam V8 originally developed for racing.

Competition Mustangs
One of the icons of American motoring, the Mustang, is fifty years old this year. At The Quail this anniversary was celebrated with a twist; focusing on the competition cars. The star of the special class was the original Mustang I Roadster concept car, built in 1962 to convince people Ford was an exciting, forward thinking company. The mid-engined machine was raced briefly by Dan Gurney and since 1974 has been preserved in The Henry Ford museum. Although the subsequent Mustang production car was a completely different project, the now legendary name and badge were directly derived from this striking one-off. The key figure in turning the production Mustang into a racing car was Carroll Shelby, who created the GT350 version in 1965. Powered by high performance version of the small-block Ford V8, it was offered as a road-going model (for homologation purposes) and a the GT350 R competition version. At The Quail, the very first of each of these models starred, alongside the most original surviving GT350 R, which has covered less than 4,900 miles from new.

Further highlights
Spread out over the enlarged field were many more highlights, some more inconspicuous than others. Among them were gems like the very first Nash Healey, the 1949 Le Mans winning Ferrari 166 MM and the ex-Steve McQueen Jaguar XKSS. For good measure a second of these very rare Jaguars was also showcased for the first time after being re-painted in its original grey. Particularly hard to miss was the highly original Holbert Can-Am car, raced by Al Holbert in the early 1980s. Another important competition car on display was the MG K3 Magnette used in 1933 to score a class win at the Mille Miglia. Later in the year it was famously driven by Italian ace Tazio Nuvolari in the Ulster Tourist Trophy. A remarkable story was that of a NASCAR Chevrolet Impala SS, which spent 40 years in a barn. Retrieved in complete but derelict condition, it was restored in just 48 days with the work completed only a few days its first outing, at the 2010 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. At the end of the afternoon, the lovely Figoni & Falaschi bodied Talbot Lago T150C SS, brought by Tom & Gwen Price was announced as the well-deserved 'Best of Show'.

Final thoughts
During the 12th annual Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, the visitors and entrants were once again treated to an excellent selection of cars, while enjoying the gourmet food and wine on offer. Additionally, they were also entertained by 'Fireside Chats' with the likes of legendary racer Sir Jackie Stewart and Pink Floyd drummer and noted collector Nick Mason. With all of the senses thoroughly entertained, it is doubtful anybody left the 2014 Quail, a Motorsports Gathering unfulfilled.

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Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com