Quick Trip: “The Quail” Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, California

Odometer (Legend):  544,256


Odometer (ILX):  180,000


Happy weekend!  I spent a day rubbing shoulders with the automotive elite at an exclusive motorsports show called The Quail in Carmel, California on Friday.  Some 3,000 entry tickets were pre-sold at $600 apiece.  I was lucky to score one for free, thanks to prior involvement with the NSX Club of America and the fact that Acura is a major sponsor of the event.  It was a feast for the eyes, ears, and tastebuds.


From the moment I showed my credential and was given a site map / lanyard, I turned my gaze to the entrance of the event.  Immaculately manicured lawns were lined with brightly-colored supercars and exotics.  Event workers dressed head to toe in white apparel flanked the entryway.


This was not just your everyday “car show” in a Home Depot parking lot with people plopped down on camp chairs and shooting the breeze.  Instead, wait staff brought around wine, champagne, and caviar.  There were 5 or 6 different tent pavilions with free regional-themed food and live music.  And I don’t think any vehicle on display had a value of fewer than six figures.  Many were seven.


I made the rounds as I worked my way toward the large Acura display and was greeted by a couple of colleagues who were already there:  Chris Willson from Science of Speed, and May Lee, the VP of the NSX Club of America.  On display was an elevated white platform with the Acura Precision Concept in the middle, with the NSX GT3 racecar on the left and a ‘street’ NSX at right.  Around 11:00 a.m., seasoned racecar driver Dario Franchitti arrived for some interviews.  I shook his hand and we talked a little.  He’s no stranger to fast cars, having won 4 Indy races.  He’s ordered a “Nouvelle Blue Pearl” 2017 NSX which will be delivered to him later this year.


Right down the street, the Bonhams collector car auction was taking place all day.  My friends Scott and Sandy were selling their 1959 Mercury Park Lane – lot number 74 – and hoped for a good outcome.  I caught a shuttle ride over there to meet up with them.  The entire area was bustling with people, music, and activities – with auction bidding coming over the loudspeaker in a British accent.  “Nine hundred fifty, do I have nine hundred fifty?” he’d ask.  Seriously?  $950,000 – people spend that kind of money on cars.  The most expensive car sold this week in Monterey was a 1955 Jaguar D-Type that went for $19,800,000 at RM Sothebys Auction on Friday night.  Pocket change.


The quick in-and-out Monterey trip capped off with a car event that differed greatly from The Quail.  It was called Concours d’LeMons, and it was a tribute to “the oddball, the mundane, the truly awful of the automotive world.”  Scott, Sandy, and I cruised in their Mini Cooper over to check out the festivities in Seaside on Saturday morning.  The Concours is free and “you get what you pay for.”  This tongue-in-cheek poke at the hoity toity Pebble Beach and Quail crowds seems little a little more my style.  We saw an Amphicar, a couple of AMC Pacers, and of course a Yugo on the grounds.  My friend Jason Cammisa from Motor Trend was on-hand as one of the judges.


And with that, I was dropped at the curb of the cute but functional 4-gate Monterey airport and shed my fleece sweater, knowing that in about 2 hours I’d be back in the desert’s inferno and dealing with nearly twice the temperature.  Thanks for coming along for the adventure!  And, many thanks to the folks at Acura for making it possible for me to attend.  Here’s a very short video, along with some of the other photos I took.

Porsche-mania:  Cars for sale at Bonhams.


Breakfast is served


Ultra rare BMW “Z1” with only 34 kilometers on it.  This went for $90,000.


Ferrari something-or-other that’s worth more than any home I’ll ever own.


Love these lines.


Hey, finally a red car I can relate to.  This 1991 NSX with 85,000 miles looks showroom fresh and belongs to Acura headquarters.


A few celebrity sightings, including this one with Acura’s Chuck Schifsky.


RealTime’s Peter Cunningham, whose collection I visited in Milwaukee last month.


Science of Speed’s Chris Willson


Acura PR’s Gary Robinson


A few folks from Hagerty Insurance, including Jonathan Klinger who inspired this blog 5 years ago.


Like the colors of Skittles candy.


With my buddy Donny from Cadillac, leeching off the free food at the Rolls Royce booth.


Feasts for the eyes, too.


Acura CEO Jon Ikeda – a friend of mine since his days with the Acura Design Studio.


Scott and Sandy’s 1959 Mercury with 40,000 original miles, which went for $40,000.


Scott and Sandy themselves.  Thanks for the hospitality, guys!


As seen from the parking lot of the Concours d’LeMons.  Hey, wait?


The original owner of this 1987 Chevy Cavalier was especially proud of it.  And he’d driven it all the way from Michigan!


Before you go, check out the website of author Darius Nabors.  He and his friend Trevor set out 59 weeks ago to visit all 59 national parks in 59 weeks.  They’ve achieved their goal!  I learned about Darius while thumbing through the American Airlines magazine on my flight from Phoenix to Monterey on Thursday night.  Congratulations, Darius!


21 Responses to “Quick Trip: “The Quail” Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, California”

  1. Brad Heffran Says:

    All 59 states! Trump must have already annexed Mexico 😛

  2. That is an awesome temperature in Monterrey. My friend was just in San Francisco. 51 to 64 max in middle of August. So awesome. Today Miami had a temperature of 91 with humidity in the 60s. The heat index was 105 degrees. I checked Phoenix. We beat you guys. 😟

  3. Hi Tyson! Congrats Tyson that you got hit 180,000 miles on your ILX! 20,000 more miles to go until hit 200,000 miles. Wow it was so fast that you driving a lot! My Jetta is almost hit 51,000 miles soon. I hope you have a great day! 🙂

    • Thanks Josh! I know – it’s crazy how quickly the miles have racked up in the last four years on that car. We will have to start thinking of ideas for my 200k celebration. My week is going pretty well, staying very busy with work and other activities! Hope yours is great too.

  4. Midnight Mystery Says:

    You’re about to catch me!!! 182,869 – ’07 RDX!!!

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t read much, but I’ll go back tomorrow…

    I’m so surprised at how very fast the ILX is racking up the miles!!!

  5. That was a cool post! And I’m insanely jealous that you met Franchitti- one of my childhood heroes.

    And agreed- of all the events, Concours d’Lemons would feel the most at-home to me.

    • Thanks Tim! Yeah the hoity-toity stuff is fun for a day but by the end of it all, I just wanted to step down from the dream world and get back to my simple reality 🙂

  6. Truly a special, and an honor to attend such an event! I’m envious of all the fantastic cars and people you got to meet. And whats this 59 in 59 o_O (attempt at the eyeball emoji)

    • That emoji actually shows up perfectly on here, as an emoji, when viewing the post on my phone. Nicely done. Yes I enjoyed the Quail event, but I wish I’d been able to bring home a souvenir. Like that LaFerrari.

  7. It stuns me the miles that go on the ILX! Love the BMW Z1. Never seen one in real life, but different enough to be cool. Sounds like a great trip away!

    • I know – the Z1 caught me offguard! I thought it might be missing a door 🙂 fun to see a lot of rare automobiles at the events in Monterey. Are there similar collector car auctions out your way?

  8. Chris Green Says:

    It’s great seeing a glimpse of the Quail… looks amazing! We were so close yet so far in Monterey, and saw (and photographed) some of the same cars, especially at LeMons! Car week is awesome, huh? I hope to return next year and maybe you can, too! Oh, and congrats on the house! I loved seeing the ILX and Integra rubbing shoulders in the garage!

    • Thanks Chris!! I know – I wish I could’ve run into you at Car Week. My time was so short. Maybe someday in the future I’ll enter something at LeMons 🙂

      • Chris Green Says:

        I would love to enter something in LeMons too! If you got another Celebrity, that would be perfect!

  9. looks like you’re hanging with the big wigs now a days!

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