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2017 The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering
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Now in its fifteenth year, The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering has remained true to its original ideas and as such still stands out from all the other events held on the Monterey Peninsula. 'The Quail' still boasts an eclectic selection of cars with entrants responsible for the judging while visitors could enjoy fine food and drinks from the very diverse countries event host Peninsula Hotels has branches in. Since 2016, the event is also the de facto finale of the concours season with the announcement of the Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award for which best of show winners from around the world were eligible. Picked by an international panel of expert judges this year was the Maserati A6GCS/53 Pinin Farina Berlinetta from the Destriero Collection that won the 2016 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.
As always, our photographers were on the ever expanding show field to capture all the highlights with this 170-shot gallery as the result.

World debuts
In addition to the classic road and racing cars on display, quite a portion of the field is reserved for manufacturers to showcase their latest machinery, some of which make their world debut at 'The Quail.' One of the most exciting of these debuts was the Acura ARX-05 due to take to the track in 2018. Built to IMSA's new-for-2017 DPi regulations, the car will be fielded by Penske Racing and living legend Roger Penske himself was on hand to pull the tarp off the striking sports racer. Across the field, Japanese designer Ken Okuyama revealed his latest creation. Dubbed the Kode 0, it is based on the Lamborghini Aventador but with substantial design and aerodynamic modifications. It was finished in a distinct sliver with bright green accents. Ahead of the official debut in Frankfurt, Mercedes-AMG showcased the internals of the new Project One supercar. Other debuts included the one-off Fux Fuchsia Rolls-Royce Phantom and the first American appearance of the blisteringly fast Lamborghini Huracan Performante.

Ferrari at 70
Just like all other major events, 'The Quail' played its part in Ferrari's 70th anniversary celebrations with a larger than usual Ferrari class. This focused on the road-going machines produced by the Italian manufacturers from the earliest thinly disguised racing cars like the mighty 342 America through to the latest series produced models. Among the highlights in the vast class were no fewer than three 250 GT California Spyders, 250 GT SWB and the very rare 250 GT Interim. The long wheelbase California, a veteran of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and entered by Charles Wegner was chosen by the fellow entrants as the best in class. Ferraris were also found in other classes like the one for supercars, which featured iconic models like the 288 GTO and F40 as well as the very recent limited production 599 GTO and F12tdf. What 'The Quail' lacked somewhat was true competition Ferraris; the one exception was Steven Read's rare Group B version of the 308 GTB, which starred in the mid-engined marvels class.

Mid-engined marvels
It was this mid-engined marvels class that was the best class of them all. In addition to the Ferrari, it featured an even more famous Group B car in the form of the road-going Lancia 037. Less well known but equally impressive was the Prince R380 brought from Nissan's own collection in Japan. Powered by a two-litre, six-cylinder engine, it was raced with considerable success with a victory in the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix against international opposition as the highlight. Other rarities in this very diverse class were a RUF CTR2 and a Maserati Barchetta. Certainly also of note was the McLaren M6 GT brought by Mouse Motors. This was Bruce McLaren's personal M6 GT and as such the very first road legal car produced by the British manufacturer. It is the spiritual grandfather to the more recent F1 and the subsequent production models that are available today. Not surprisingly, the 'Best of Show' also came from this class in the form of Bruce Milner's ATS 2500 GTS. This was one of just two examples in the already very small production run that features an aluminium body and a more highly tuned engine with an eye on racing.

Final thoughts
'The Quail' rarely fails to impress and this year's edition was certainly not an exception. As a result, the very expensive tickets sell out well in advance. One change compared to previous years was the considerable increase in cars on display, which is not necessarily a bad thing but did make the field seem very crowded on one end. If you were among the lucky few, our 170-shot gallery will serve as a throwback to a wonderful and if you were not, the gallery will provide added incentive to get in line for tickets on time next year!

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