Spectacular, is all I can say. This year I had the privilege of attending “The Quail” – a gathering of fine automobiles and motorcycles at the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel, California. In its 4th year of operation, the show was limited to 100 prestigious vehicles and 3000 people. Unlike other events, vehicles were not separated into their respective time frames, but into distinct categories as follows: Historics to Quail Run (vehicles on the Quail tour), Laguna Seca, Post-War racing, Post-War sports, Pre-War Sports and Racing, the Great Ferraris, Sports and Racing Motorcycles, Targa Florio 100th Anniversary, Tribute to Zagato, and Super Cars.
A ticket price of $150.00 US not only allowed the ticket holder access to view the cars, but also to dine at any of the on-site restaurants including: Little Italy, Greek Delights, Flavors of Spain, and The California Farmer’s Market. Culinary skills were evident as all of the food I sampled was outstanding. Furthermore, drinks were also included, courtesy of: the Bernardus Winery, Asombroso Tequila, Mendocino Brewery, Moretti Beer and Louis Roederer Champagne – more than enough to quench even the fiercest of thirsts.
Since the focus of this event was to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Targa Florio: perhaps one of the oldest and most legendary automotive races ever, and to honor one of the most talented Italian automotive designers: Ugo Zagato, let me introduce a few examples of the invitees. Among others displayed in the Targa Florio area were two stunning autos: a black 1923 Mercedes-Benz 28/95 Targa Florio and a brilliant red and white 1972 Ferrari 250LM. Two eye-catching cars in the Zagato section were a handsome 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato in British racing green and a brand new 2006 Ferrari 575 GTZ Zagato coupe in gun-metal grey.
One of the most interesting features of The Quail was the amount of diversity on the field. Walking down the grass I ran into a gorgeous navy blue 1967 Shelby GT500. The winner of the 2006 Le Mans (GT2 class) was also present – a bright orange Panoz Esperante GTLM.
Across the way a red Ferrari Enzo sparkled, as it could be seen sitting quietly in the Super Cars section. However, despite the presence of million dollar dream cars, one that got a significant amount of attention was a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle in bright silver.
I know what you’re thinking – how could a beetle get invited to show? Well, it could if it had a 1350 horsepower General Electric turbine jet-engine like this one did. For exhibition only, the car was fired-up for everyone’s auditory and viewing pleasure. As the after burner kicked in, it let out a flame about four feet long and pierced the sky with shrieks upwards of 150 decibels! I still don’t understand those people standing in front of the car though – would you stand in front of a jet-powered car when it’s running?
Needless to say, this was a great event. When you get 3000 very well-fed, well-lubricated auto enthusiasts together, and a bunch of fantastic automobiles, there’s no doubt you’re going to have a great time. I certainly look forward to next year.