My Car Quest

September 25, 2023

The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering – 2021

by Wallace Wyss –

I’d love to give a complete report, but alas, I could not get a media press credential and I certainly did not want to pay the $900 plus for a ticket. Even the food and wine is included I cannot eat or drink that much in just 3-4 hours.

So being an enterprising sort, of course I went anyway. Now ordinarily an 8 foot tall wall and numerous armed guards is, shall we say a tad off-putting. But since in point of fact I was trained in Escape & Evasion only a 100 miles down the road at a US Army camp, a mere chain link fence is no obstacle.

The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering - 2021

Showing just the right sense of humor–in the middle of this Sacred Ground of Furrin’ exotics Quail invited a group of Trans Am drivers to toddle through, exhausts gutturally rumbling, as American as apple pie.

But I didn’t stay long, so missed seeing the whole show. I can say The Quail is a fancy dress occasion, perhaps even more so than Pebble. And everyone is having a good time because they are all eating and drinking for “free”.

Many auto makers are showing their latest models or concept cars. A shocking number are little known firms that once just modified cars like Hennessy or a company once thought of as a kit car company like SSC now have cars that look as production as a Ferrari.

The Quail

The Quail Motorsports Gathering is pretty much a dream visit–gourmet food, the latest fashions, well restored exotics, new cars, plenty of places to sit, but is the most expensive venue at Monterey Car Week for spectators.

There were introductions of two new exotics at least–Lamborghini’s Countach LPI 800-4 (which I first thought was a customized old Countach), and the North American debut of the Bugatti Bolide. The Audi Skysphere concept I heard has some sort of expandable length but I missed the demonstration of its body reshaping.

Featured Themes for 2021 were:
Cars of Curiosity
50th Anniversary of the Alfa Romeo Montreal
Automotive Couture, French Cars Featuring the 50th Anniversary of the Citroën SM

The traditional classes were:
Pre-War Sports & Racing
Post-War Sports
Post-War Racing
The Evolution of the Supercar
The Great Ferraris

The Quail

Several premium automakers, like Lamborghini, displayed new cars on raised platforms, just as if they were at the Los Angeles Auto Show. I think this is a better venue–because anybody who can afford a $900 plus ticket might be a prospect.

In electrics I missed seeing another of those automotive wunderkinds (like Elon Musk) in this case Mate Rimac with his 1,914 hp Rimac Nevera. He brought the Venom F5—in Speed Devil Blue and Mojave Gold. One of the fancy car websites says that more important than the car he showed was his increased role with Porsche and partial ownership in Bugatti. So he won’t have to depend on his own brand name car if he’s building Bugattis…

There was judging (though not as studied as Pebble because the judging is done by the other owners of cars in the class (and some of the Category winners were Allan McCrary’s 1936 Cord 810 Cabriolet in Pre-War Sports & Racing Cars, Peter Klutt’s 1966 Ford GT40 Mark II for Post-War Racing Cars and Dr. Richard Workman’s 1937 Bugatti 57S Gangloff in the Custom Coachwork class.

The Quail

Acura’s NSX being displayed at The Quail among Italian and German exotics was a bit cheeky, but technologically it’s right up there with them, and now for its final year is a Limited Edition.

There were in excess of 200 impeccable automobiles, divided into 11 classes for judging. What gave me a laugh in their foreign-car heavy event was a parade of raw American made burly Trans Am race cars paraded through at midday –a whole class borrowed from nearby Laguna Seca–I wish I could have seen them on the road (they had a police escort, though, which no doubt discouraged them showing their stuff en route). It is things like this that enliven the usual concours–Pebble’s Tour is similar but The Quail’s racer car appearance took place right through the middle of the concours and showed those race drivers how the better half lives. Or should we say the better 1/10th of 1%?

The Quail

The Quail Fence–no concertina, hey, duck soup.

Motorcycles also received attention, with an elegant M1902 Indian Single Cylinder being awarded the Spirit of the Quail honor, while a relatively “new” bike–William “Chip” Connor’s 1969 Honda CB750 took the crown for Sports and Racing Motorcycles.

In sum I think, if you are taking a lady to Car Week, and she likes to show off her new wardrobe and hair style, this is the event she probably imagines. Tickets are hard to get–they’re purposely limited, more so this year because of Covid concerns.

I walked out with an excellent chicken dinner in hand, waving goodbye to the guards, but hope to deliver a fuller report next year, that is if they deign to put me on the media list or they lower that wall a tad…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss a fine artist, will be portraying some of the cars he saw at Monterey in oil on canvas. For samples and ordering info write




The Quail

Breaking “The Rule” by displaying both at The Quail and Pebble in the same year was Gunther Werks with a new open-air model, the Speedster, but that rule probably doesn’t apply to commercial entries.

Photos by Wallace Wyss.
The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering - 2021
Article Name
The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering - 2021
At The Quail, A Motor Sports Gathering there were in excess of 200 impeccable automobiles. What gave me a laugh in their foreign-car heavy event was a parade of raw American made burly Trans Am race cars paraded through at midday.


  1. The first photo (of the yellow Mustang) is taken over the hood of a blue Iso Grifo. Almost certainly my former Grifo that was spotted a few times during Monterey Car Week.

    • Yes that is Ivan’s Grifo #157. After assisting with the restoration I was happy to finally meet him in person, very nice man. He had his car shipped to Seattle and drove all the way down to show his car at both The Quail and Concorso Italiano. He did a fine job restoring it and won first in class at Concorso Italiano – well deserved!

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