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A 2019 Motorsports Gathering at The Quail

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By Rob Eckaus
San Francisco Bureau

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The Quail is one of those car show events that sticks with you like a favorite movie in your head. As you replay the day in your mind, you remember each car and its location, each display, even the food you ate, the drinks consumed. Always held on a Friday at The Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, California, this 17th Annual event was on August 16th, 2019.

It was an outdoor garden party on a golf course with 6,000 automotive enthusiasts and intentionally fashion forward guests. But they aren’t just enthusiasts, they are industry leaders, motorsports legends, celebrities, and more. During my second lunch, I shook hands with Adam Carolla while he was looking for a seat. One year Wayne Carini and I walked into the show together. Usually I see Ed Welburn, retired head of GM Global Design and thank him for his contributions. We said hello to Mr. Olympia trainer and owner of Evogen nutrition, Hani Rambod, as well.

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This year the three special classes were 100 Years of Bentley Motors. The EXP 100 GT Concept car was simply stunning artwork, inside and out. The 25th Anniversary of McLaren F1 had four incredibly valuable entries which included a one-of-ten GTR Longtail.

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The debuts are always fun, some a first for North America, other times world debuts. Some during the early media access, hours, others during general admission. The Lotus Evija EV is stunning, the Bugatti Centodieci, the Bentley previously mentioned, the Acura Type S Concept were just a few.

There was also Pagani Huayra BC Roadster, the Lamborghini SVJ 63 and the Huracan Evo GT Celebration. The Drako GTE from Drako Motors, from the Barracuda Networks founder Dean Drako is a very attractive sedan. The ultra curvaceous DeTomaso P72, the Rimac based Pininfarina Battista, the Rolls Royce Cullinan in Fux Orange, a custom color for famous Rolls Royce collector Michael Fux.

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The Aston Martin Valhalla looked surprisingly subdued in silver, the SSC Tuatara was also featured along with its bare chassis. The Koenigsegg Jesko was also a real treat to see. There was also a display of vintage Volkswagen Vans and cars famous from TV shows and movies.

The Fireside Chats this year were with Mark Webber, winning Formula 1 driver and 2015 WEC champion moderated by Philip Kadoorie. Mark shared interesting insights about competition and friendship. The other was with Alex Hirschi, aka Supercar Blondie, moderated journalist Hannah Elliott who I also enjoy following on Twitter.

The six cuisines offered had amazing dishes and drinks. Be sure to get there early so you can have gourmet meals multiple times during the day. It’s sometimes a challenge to find a seat but whomever you share a table with is always friendly to talk to during the meal. Yes, it’s like a massive garden party.

It is important to recognize the supported charities which were the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, The Naval Post Graduate School Foundation, California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

The Best of Show award went to a 1931 Stutz DV 32 Convertible Victoria and the Spirit of The Quail award went to a gorgeous 1957 Ferrari 335S. The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award winner had it’s own display, a 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta.

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1931 Stutz DV 32 Convertible Victoria

A few minor areas of improvement are needed. With ride sharing being so popular, a shuttle service from the Baja Cantina location would be a good idea, since services like Uber and Lift are not allowed to drop-off at the event itself. The pet dog situation, despite not being allowed, is getting a little much just like any event these days.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is a $650 ticket to incredible cars, a beautiful setting with the hills of Carmel as a backdrop, that includes delicious food and drink, people watching like none other, and truly one of the greatest car events in the world. If you love cars, make a it a life goal to attend someday.