Every event staged during Monterey week has a unique flavor. The Concorso Italiano was populated with new money and regular folks just plain enamored with la belle macchine. The Quail, on the other hand, is a bit more formal, a lot more exclusive and always full of surprises.
This year was no exception, as a string of about thirty Bugatti Grand Prix cars thundered in from the nearby Laguna Seca racetrack. The drivers noshed, checked out some of the cars on display, said hello to some old friends and were back underway in a puff of blue smoke. What they left behind was an array of cars that the only event formally known as The Quail - A Motorsports Gathering can pull together. Rare and legendary race cars - as well as sports cars from automakers that cut their teeth in racing ( think Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley, Jaguar, etc.) - are the norm.
Along with all the Series I Pinin Farina Cabs and 275 GTCs, Ferrari even had a couple of new models on hand for the crowd to check out. One was a stunning blue 458 Italia, another was was the drop-dead awesome 599 GTO. Porsche didn't bring its new 918 Spyder, unfortunately, but it did haul out the GT3 Hybrid. Bugatti had some blue carbon fiber thing on hand, and several other manufacturers rolled out their shiniest new models as well. The old cars are really the stars, though, because almost every one of them has a backstory that would keep you enthralled for hours.
For instance, Carroll Shelby was honored at The Quail this year, and there were about thirty Shelby Cobras, Mustangs and GT40s there that Ol' Shel' had personally laid hands on, like the very first Shelby GT350 Mustang ever made. The very first Cobra was there, too - serial number 2000 - one lower than the first production Cobra, which is a past best-of-show winner here.
That's the magic of The Quail. Along with all the "free" food and drink (tickets are $400 after all, if you can get one), the motoring icons and the cars that made them legends are right there in front of you, ready to be adored. It's a spectacular event, and those of you who couldn't be there can check out our massive gallery of images by clicking below.
Photos Copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL