The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering Is Where You’ll Find McLaren F1s Mingling With Pre-War Bentleys
Photography by Trevor Dalton and Shayan Bokaie
Frankly. Monterey Car Week is stacked. The fear of missing out is very real, with multiple overlapping events each day and most evenings. For those leapfrogging from event to event, the anxiety of traffic, parking, and ultimately missing the special moments detracts from the entire point of Car Week: enjoying cars and hanging out with good people.
So I’m here to make this easier for everyone. Go to The Quail. Stay put. It ticks all the right boxes. Cars? Diverse. People? Great. Food? Unmatched. Atmosphere? Perfect.
Yes, the trophies given out at Pebble Beach may carry more cachet, but the cars displayed at The Quail touch more and more corners of the automotive culture each year, which in itself feels like a celebration of the people behind the machines as much as the cars themselves.
The event doesn’t take itself too seriously. Where Pebble Beach cars are parked in an orderly. manicured fashion on the golf green, our pal and event chair Philip Kadoorie parks his Tuthill-prepped Safari 911 inside of a sand trap. It’s fantastic stuff. By the restrooms, was the hilarious Car Bros “Enzo Prototype.” Why not?
There’s even awards for cars in parking lot, dubbed the Car Park Concours de Quailegance, won by a cosmetically unrestored, patina-perfect Aston Martin DB2 (which I actually rode in at the California Mille). So sure, you weren’t on the lawn but that doesn’t mean your car is outside of recognition or appreciation. This sense of humor and these types of low-key shenanigans are then contrasted with the serious business of new car unveilings. Bugatti showcased their Centodieci and Bentley shared the EXP 100 concept, both of which are juxtaposed against the scenery of EB110s and pre-war Bentleys.
McLaren also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the F1 with a colorful mix of street and racing variants. A ‘Papaya Orange’ LM spec, which won the F1 category, sat next to another lovely specimen finished in the famous metallic orange called “Yquem.” Find some shots of that group to drool over below.
The atmosphere kicks off right from the get-go. The sound of nearby champagne corks, helicopter shuttles, and laughter make for an excellent vibe. The social element pairs well with the properly curated global cuisine. The live music changes accordingly from food tent to food tent, giving your brain lots of flavors to experience. Car show or concour food is notoriously shit unless you’re being wined and dined in a hospitality suite. Not at The Quail. The food is part of the experience.
As an Alfisti, I particularly appreciated the little hill dedicated to this lovely Junior Zagato. A fantastic view of the Zagato-bodied Alfa had the Giugiaro-designed Mangusta and Gandini-designed Miura in the foreground with some vibrant colors to match. Visual stimulation and storytelling done right. Our pals at Singer Vehicle Design were also celebrating their 10th anniversary, with some of their earliest models on display next to the DLS, which is now sporting a new red interior.
Year after year, the curation is increasingly good and full of surprises. Parking concours-winning contenders in the same lineup as local cars and coffee treasures is thoroughly aligned with what Petrolicious represents: cars are a universal language. It’s hypercar meets Honda, prototype meets hot-rod, a little bit of everything that’s good. It’s all loved, it’s all celebrated. For attendees, it’s like Forza Motorsport and your Instagram feed threw a party in real life.