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The entity of Monterey Car Week spawned to support the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which has established itself as the class of collector car events. But over the years, one of the events that formed in its wake is settling in to become one of the highlight events of Car Week - that is, if you can get in.
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is the ultimate luxury showcase, from the cars to the food. Exclusivity is in play well before the event even takes place, as ticket allotment is awarded through a lottery system, and even those given the chance to attend still face a steep price of admission. But once inside, the experience is unlike any other.
The primary draw is the selection of exclusive and collectible automobiles, but any visitor will likely rave about the food first. The Quail features culinary pavilions from around the world, serving signature dishes from The Peninsula Hotels’ worldwide locations. Each city represented offers a unique style and a glimpse of the diversity of culture all over the world.
The diversity then manifests itself through the show field, with featured classes and private entries decorating the fairway in a mesmerizing display of impressive machinery. Along with the annual groups, like Supercars and The Great Ferraris, the 2019 event featured celebrations of Bentley and the McLaren F1 to coax out some of the most desirable collector cars from their garages. The F1 class featured four distinct variations of the car, including the ultra-rare F1 LM, a GTR Longtail, and two road cars fitted with the High Downforce Kit among other unique upgrades. These displays mingled with corporate stands to showcase collector cars new and old, illustrating the lengthy stories of each manufacturer.

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Celebrating the rich history of motoring is a hallmark of Monterey Car Week as a whole, but the events aren’t shy to usher in the latest luxury and performance cars as well, and The Quail had some of the most notable debuts of the week. Celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2019, Bugatti unveiled the limited-run Centodieci, stylized with inspiration from the classic EB110 supercar, of which four were also on display nearby. Additionally, Lamborghini seized the show field’s attention with the debut of a pair of limited-edition specialties in the form of the Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster and the Huracán Evo GT Celebration, utilizing its Ad Personam program to create desirable collector cars with distinct aesthetic enhancements. Koenigsegg populated its stand with almost a dozen customer commissions, while Porsche and Maserati opted to showcase their new model lineups with exclusive option packages.
But the wild card is the rest of the snowfield, and even the parking lot. Those who have traveled to the Peninsula for the week to celebrate their cars are welcomed in the various classes at The Quail, and this year’s entrants were significant in their obscurity, rarity and overall significance. Included in the bunch was a Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT, a unique McLaren Senna, a Porsche Carrera GT, and dozens of pre-war, post-war and modern performance cars to be appreciated by spectators.

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The spectators themselves also enjoyed their own car show, packing the parking lots with your typical Car Week finds: Lamborghini, Bugatti, Koenigsegg and everything in between. So even if you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket, there’s still a car show wherever you look.
As Car Week continues to gain popularity and traffic every year, an exclusive, invite-only event seems to be the only way to preserve the integrity of what Monterey Car Week was about, and that’s celebrating everything automotive enthusiasts have come to appreciate. This authenticity is worth the price of admission alone.
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