Not much can be said about The Quail automotive event that hasn’t been already. Held on Friday, August 14th at The Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel-By-The Sea. It was the must-attend event on that day. When one stays at a “car show” from 8:30am to 4pm as an attendee, you know it is something very special. This year, barely able to wrap my head around its awesomeness, I finally set out to experience a variety of cuisines and they were amazing. This year the show expanded across the street at the expense of very close parking to include additional displays, vendors and food tents.
Ferrari was prominently on display this year, whether it was the spectacular custom coachbuilt Ferraris that seemed underappreciated, a gaggle of F50s which is almost unheard of in the US or a couple of LaFerraris with stunning paintwork.
Other categories were the Long Tail Cars of Le Mans, Iconic Pre-1965 Porsches, Pre-War Sports & Racing, Post-War Sports, Supercars, and Sports & Racing Motorcycles. The manufacturer displays were amazing as always. BMW in the center with their colorful 3.0 CSL Hommage R, Bentley had their stunning 1/1 EXP 10 Speed 6, Lamborghini President Stephan Winkelmann presented the world debut of the Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce Roadster, Pagani had a large display with a bunch of cars cleverly spread out for lots of photo opportunities. Porsche had the 911 GT3 RS and the previous generation RS 4.0. Also, Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Koenigsegg, Lincoln, Maserati, Rolls Royce (that Wraith!) and others all had the latest or amazing on their stages. The stunning Speedback GT, a rebodied, reimagined Jaguar XKR by David Brown Automotive harkened back to the days of custom coachwork sports cars.
Speaking of custom, the Coachbuilt Ferraris were extra special. Based on the blazing fast F12 grand tourer, the elegance of the Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Luso matched the name beautifully. Another highlight was the visit by the Ford GT350s who were racing at nearby Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. And several of those GT350s were brand new if you catch my drift…
The food pavilions featuring the cuisines from Bangkok, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Hong Kong, New York and Paris were absolutely delicious, representing locations of the Peninsula Hotels. Spending the entire day from media preview to close meant sampling nearly everything. Unfortunately, this meant missing the nearby Bonhams Auction although the walk there was like attending an exotic car show in itself. In the other direction, the Porsche Zentrum building featured the Porsche Cayman GT4.
Always entertaining, the Fireside Chat with German Formula One Champion Jochen Mass delighted the crowd with accounts of his 114 Formula One World Championship Grand Prix races while interviewed by Alain de Cadenet.. British Sports Car Racing Champion Derek Bell and his son, Justin Bell, British racecar driver and renowned U.S.-based media personality traded stories from their combined decades-long careers on the main stage .
In the morning, The Honorable Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, joined by William E. Connor and Christian Philippsen, opened the day by detailing plans for a new international automotive award, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best. Starting in 2016, the new award will bring together the best of show winners from six of the top concourse events from around the globe to The Quail stage, to compete for the title of the most exceptional car in the world. Truly a destination event in itself.
This year, the Best of Show went to the 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale seen in the slideshow. Exclusive, and expensive, it is a unique and splendid experience that every enthusiast should include on their bucket list.