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Carmel/Salinas, 16th of August

Today the Monterey Car Week went into the crunch mode with no less than three concours at the same time. The annual Quail Motorsport Gathering was held on the golf course of the Quail Lodge were the Quail Rally started earlier this week. One of the most exclusive events during the week with ticket prices of several hundred dollars was again sold out well in advance as this is more a garden party with some cars as the gathering has several catering areas where the visitor could enjoy superb food and wine looking at cars. But this does not mean that the cars are subsidiary as the field was again packed with spectacular classes. As in many events this year the featured marques were Aston Martin and Lamborghini, the former one celebrating its centenary, the later one its 50th anniversary (under the motto “100 years of innovation in half of the time”).

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Several Aston Martin ranging from a very early T-type of 1928 to the latest models included a nice selection of cars from the David Brown era including a DG4 GT Zagato and a “normal” DB4 GT.

Lamborghini on the other side ranged from the 350 GT to the new Veneno on the company´s own booth. The class was finally won by the Miura S of the host Sir Michael Kadoorie.

Beside the very popular Ferrari class and sports/race cars from the post war year’s special classes included the work of Pete Brock who worked for GM designing the concept of the Corvette Stingray, but he is best known for the famous Shelby Daytona Coupé, one of these finally won the Best of Show award.

A special display was also dedicated to the Mullin Automotive Museum including the Bugatti T54 and the Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport.

But the Quail was not the only event in the area as just a few miles to the coast the “Legends of the Autobahn” concours was dedicated to German cars. As this is the newest of the events on Friday one had to decide to go to this or to the Laguna Seca golf course that features the Concorso Italiano dedicated to Italian cars. Unlike the very exclusive Quail event this is rather a club meeting with hundreds of cars lined up sorted by make and type. Beside the endless rows of modern Ferrari and Lamborghini several classics are presented in larger numbers like the Ferrari 365 series or the Dino 246, other classes included the Alfa Romeo GT Junior, Duetto. Unfortunately the time is very limited during the day and one is almost overwhelmed by the amount of cars when heading back to the Quail for the winners ceremony.

Just before the presentation of the class awards and the BoS at the Quail known historic racer and presenter Alain de Cadenet had the pleasure to interview one of the most successful partnerships in Formula 1 with former Ferrari Team principle Jean Todt and 7 times world champion Michael Schumacher. As few Americans know much about Fomula 1 Michael Schumacher was even able to walk around very undisturbed as he was later seen on the streets of Monterey after the RM Auction.

This also leads to the final chapter of the day as RM held the first of two auction days in the Portola Plaza hotel in centre Monterey. Those who stayed till the end of the Quail might have missed some of the first lots as a massive traffic jam on Highway 1 towards Monterey delayed the arrival of many bidders.

Highlights of the first day were the sale of the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster at a hammer price of 6.8 Million Dollar making this the second highest price of the day following the 8.25 Million Dollar of the top lot, the Ferrari 375 MM. The only high estimated lot that was not sold on the block was the Jaguar D-Type but reportingly it was sold post auction.

Tomorrow will see the first of the races at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion with all the A-groups followed by the B-groups on Sunday. RM will have its second sales day and Gooding will join in with their first auction.

Report & Images … Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de