At this point, there are no excuses for missing Car Week in Monterey. Opinions seem unanimous: it’s the event of the year for lovers of automobiles both new and old. The week itself hosts dozens of events, each focused on celebrating facets of the automotive world. Whether your passions lie in vintage racing, modern supercars, high-dollar classics, or quite literally anything in between, Car Week has something for everyone, no doubt about it. One event, though, seems to stand above the rest. For nearly two decades, motorsport enthusiasts have gathered at the Quail Lodge for “The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering,” an event that celebrates history, design, the past, the future, and of course, the success of champions.
For some, the event begins just after dawn: the Media hours, where countless cars still lie under cover, while others soak in the morning dew. Detailers carefully make their way across the rolling greens of the Quail golf course, ensuring each and every car is ready for prime time when thousands of guests pour in at 10:00AM. When the festivities begin, it leaves no question as to why it is heralded as the premier event of the week.
First and foremost: it’s the cars. Machines from all walks have a place on the green. There’s something for everyone at The Quail, from post-war hand-hammered coachwork stallions to recent, current, and upcoming halo hypercars. While the different show classes aim to celebrate different segments of automotive history, the event has also become one of the most prominent places for marques to unveil and display their latest works of art. The star of this year’s event was Lotus’s Evija, the near-2000 horsepower all-electric hypercar that is said to perform as stunningly as it looks.
Rally cars, road racers, hill climbers, and even trucks too… there’s undoubtedly something to satiate anyone’s hunger, but if car’s don’t do the trick, the food certainly will. An essential part of the Quail experience is the cuisine. Chefs prepare specialties from locales from around the globe, and the aromas of some of the best food in Monterey as a whole permeate the golf course. As a southern boy, a personal favorite was BMW’s “South Carolina” pulled pork and corn bread… a bold dish to prepare for one of the weekend’s most upscale events.
For fans of supercars both new and old, it’s hard to comprehend the presence of machines the event attracts. One of the featured machines for 2019 was the McLaren F1 and its 25th anniversary. Four of these legendary machines were present, and they easily established why their nuances make them some of the most valuable cars on planet Earth. Along side them, icons like the Pagani Zonda, the Lamborghini Diablo, and Bugatti’s EB110, all play a part in setting the theme of the one-of-a-kind event.
So you’re wondering: how can you attend? For better or worse, the Quail is one of Monterey’s most exclusive events, with tickets sold only as part of a lottery system. The ability to buy one is based solely on luck, and for those lucky enough, be prepared: tickets for the Quail approach the four-digit mark. It’s not for the faint of heart. However, for anyone planning a trip to Monterey for the week dedicated to car fanatics, the Quail might just be your best dollar spent. Hopefully we’ll see you there.