Pictorial: The Quail Motorsport Gathering 2019 hosts a raft of new car debuts
It might not be the main event of Monterey Car Week, but "The Quail" is a world class event of significant gravitas, and the 6,000 tickets to the automotive lifestyle event are the most coveted of the week.
Our feature article and pictorial on last years event is worth a look if you enjoy this year's coverage, as it elucidates just how special "The Quail" is, and how it presents cars in an entirely different atmosphere to traditional concours events. The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, does not compete with the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance, it enhances it.
As usual, the Quail welcomed a long list of motorsport greats, automotive industry leaders, and celebrities of every hue, providing a broad spread of gourmet international cuisine (though this year it seemed broader than usual) and a spectacular display of the rarest and most beautiful collectible motorcars in history.
It's ironic that the event which 17 years ago set out to become a celebration of automotive heritage, has achieved cult status for the extremely rich and famous. It has become so successful in attracting Ultra High Net Worth Petrolheads that the world's most prestigious automotive marques now treat it a marketing must to show their latest wares.
The curated atmosphere, food, wine, and heritage automobiles that built the audience, now have a sideshow that is one of the world's most expensive new car showrooms, as the likes of Acura, Aston Martin, Automobili Pininfarina, Bentley, Bugatti, Drako, Lamborghini, Lotus, Pagani Automobili, Singer Vehicle Design, Rolls-Royce, and SSC display the very latest in exclusive automobiles
Foremost this year at The Quail were the new model releases, with Bugatti's new 1,600-hp, US$8.8-million Centodieci the most prominent, with a number of supercars vying for the most spectacular.
The most surprising of the bunch was a new Silicon Valley supercar manufacturer that had flown almost entirely under the radar before the event. Drako Motors showed its first limited production electric supercar, the Drako GTE, a four-passenger ultra luxury supercar with a 1,200-hp quad motor architecture and a 206-mph (332-km/h) top speed.
Another debutant at The Quail was the first new automobile from British carmaker Lotus in a decade, and it was seemingly worth the wait. With 2,000 horsepower, the Lotus Evija is not just an electric car, but is set to become the world's most powerful production car.
Built around an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber monocoque, the Evija is also set to become the world's lightest production EV hypercar at 1,680 kg (3,703 lb), and that's without scrimping on the batteries, as the driving range of this projectile is targeted at 250 miles (400 km).
Audi showed its R8 LMS GT2 customer race car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month, so the Quail appearance was only a North American debut, but it turned heads just the same. The R8 LMS GT2 is a track-only, race-ready, 640-hp V10 based on the R8 Spyder with extreme aerodynamics.
De Tomaso announced it was back in business when it stunned everyone at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year by revealing its retro-sensual new P72 supercar. The new De Tomaso team wanted this to be a "modern day time machine" capable of transporting the driver back in time to a more analog age and the styling has achieved this. De Tomaso is planning to build just 72 P72s, and the cars will be built to meet LMP2 racing specifications at a price "around €750,000" (US$845,000).
The Saleen S7 is a seven-only limited edition with the same aero package used to win Le Mans, and a 1,500-hp twin-turbo seven-liter V8. Pricing starts at $1 million, which seems a bargain in the company it was keeping at the Quail, not to mention the Saleen's impeccable racetrack record.
Amongst the hypercars at the Quail are cars that are quite simply, unique. It said "1960 Runge RS010" on the plaque, but it was made in 2019, though it was styled and made just as a master craftsman would have designed and made it 60 years ago. It's the work of Runge cars, a modern day designer and builder of exquisite machinery.
When Touring's revered name was revived in 2009 its raison d'etre was, and remains, to re-introduce to the world the concept of the Fuoriserie – literally, "out of series" – for which the great Italian coachbuilders of the past were so famous. The Touring Sciàdipersia Cabriolet is the open-top version of the four-seater Sciàdipersia, a coach-built Fuoriserie designed and manufactured by Touring Superleggera in Milan in a very limited run. Only 15 examples between coupe and cabriolet will be built, exclusively on demand. The Sciàdipersia is based on a Maserati GranCabrio rolling chassis and the Maserati 4691 cc V8 engine produces 338 kW (460 HP) @ 7,000 rpm.
The Rimac C-Two was unveiled in Geneva in 2018, but its outrageous specifications have lost no wow factor and were continually flashed on the giant screen behind the company's poster car, the C-Two, which runs the same basic powertrain as Automobili Pininfarina's Battista. The C_Two is an all-electric beast capable of 258 mph (415 km/h) and (eventually) level four autonomous driving.
Bentley's Centenary was actually last month (July, 2019), but celebrations will extend across the entire year, and one of the highlights being shown around the world is the autonomous electric EXP 100 GT concept. It combines next-generation artificial intelligence with a 435-mile (700-km) electric range.
It's quite possible to come across supercars you might never have heard of while strolling The Quail. The Fenyr SuperSport is the latest HyperCar to be launched by W Motors, a limited edition with a production run of only 100 cars in addition to 10 "Fenyr SuperSport Launch Editions". The Fenyr runs a 3.8 twin-turbo flat six, producing 800 hp and 980 Nm (723 lb-ft) of torque, with a claimed 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 2.8 seconds and top speed of 400 km/h (249 mph).
Amongst all this splendor, it's still possible to see something that will stop you in your tracks. This 1949 Mercury ICON Derelict EV is one of the most unique automobiles you'll ever see. On the outside it sports a 70-year-old body with original paint, but on the inside it has a custom four-wheel-independent Art Morrison chassis, electric rack-and-pinion power steering, two 150-kW motors (that's a total of 400 hp and 640 Nm (472 lb-ft) of torque) and a full Tesla performance battery pack. The ultimate sleeper, it will top out at 120 mph (193 km/h).
The Award Winners
The Quail holds a concours too, though it is quite different to the Pebble Beach Concours that is the primary drawcard of the week, in that each car is judged by the owners of the other cars competing in the same class, and only one car in each class is awarded, and that award is simply "Best in Class."
Each year the car awarded "Best of Show" at The Quail gains a spot in the Peninsula Classics "Best of the Best Award" announced at Retromobile in Paris in February. Given The Quail and the "Best of the Best Award" are both Peninsula Classics events, it also means that the current de facto world championship concours car was on display.
There was a constant cavalcade of people getting their picture taken with David Sydorick's 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta by Touring, and for good reason. After winning Best-of-Show at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the Alfa won the Peninsula Classics Best-of-the-Best award in Paris in February (2019), then backed up to win at Villa D'Este in March (2019) and earn itself a second chance at the championship. It is already The world's most acclaimed concours car, and may not yet be finished with the silverware.
In 2019, "Best of Show" at The Quail was awarded to the above 1931 Stutz DV 32 Convertible Victoria by Le Baron, owned by Joseph & Margie Cassini of New Jersey. The Stutz beat out 250 quite spectacular competitors assembled on the fairways of Quail Lodge & Golf Club.
Spirit of The Quail
1957 Ferrari 335S | Owner: Cavallino Investments, Ohio
Octane Choice Award
1952 Nash Healey Le Mans Prototype Racer | Owner: Jose Fernandez, Connecticut
1931 Bentley 4-Litre | Owner: Terry & Darlene Larson, Arizona
100 Years of Bentley Motors
1928 Bentley 4.5-Litre VDP Tourer | Owner: David McGirr, Connecticut
25th Anniversary of the McLaren F1
1996 McLaren F1 LM | Owner: Frank Martin – Illinois
A Tribute to the Electric Car Movement
1949 Mercury Coupe | Owner: M.C. – California
1953 Jaguar XK120 FHC | Owner: Barry Fitzgerald – Australia
Sports and Racing Motorcycles
1948 Vincent Black Lightning | Owner: William E. Connor – Hong Kong
The Great Ferraris
1958 Ferrari 250GT Cabriolet Series I | Owner: Brendan Gallaher & Michel Stern, Wyoming
1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopica | Owner: Malcolm Welford – California
1955 Porsche 550 | Owner: Nicolas Clemence – California
Post-War Sports 1961-1975
1966 Cheetah Coupe | Owner: Mark & Veronica Boen, California
Post-War Sports 1945-1960
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SC Cabriolet | Owner: Marianne Plancke, Texas
Pre-War Sports & Racing Cars
1935 SSC Jaguar SS1 Coupe | Owner: Eduardo Zavala & Michelle Harris – Florida
Car Park Concours de Quailegance
1953 Aston Martin DB2 DHC | Owner: Jeffrey Long, Hawaii
The image gallery for this story contains many more images that capture the wonderful atmosphere of The Quail.