Monterey Car Week: The Quail and More

The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering

A garden-party for celebrities, debutantes, and eccentric recluses – and those are just the cars. The Quail is Monterey Car Week‘s most exclusive event. It requires VIP status or a blessing from Lady Luck to secure a ticket. For 16 years, the most valuable cars extant have graced the Quail Lodge lawn or passed under the gavel of the affiliated Bonhams auction. The Quail represents the highest echelon of automotive society. That is, a chic get-together for the marques and enthusiasts that shape car collecting. Sponsorship from exotic manufacturers like Bugatti and McLaren provides unprecedented access concept cars and upcoming models.

Legends of the Autobahn

Lease a blue BMW 3.0 CS
Image Source: BMWs at Legends of the Autobahn (

What began as a small showing of German grand tourers has exploded into one of the largest concours at Monterey Car Week. Over 400 Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes are registered for this year, poised to delight thousands of spectators. Legends of the Autobahn honors those German cars that the likes of Pebble Beach and the Porsche Werks Reunion often forget; the event is a venue for Deutchland’s tradition of powerful, well-mannered automobiles tailored for the unenforced speed zones of the Autobahn. There’s a place for everything from vintage motors like the Mercedes 600 and BMW 507 to modified Audis and M cars.

The Carmel Mission Classic

Lease a red Duesenberg from Pebble Beach
Image Source: Carmel Mission Classic (

The Carmel Mission Classic is a car show spread out over the grounds of an 18th century Basilica. Dozens of fine automobiles and vintage motorcycles enter the show annually, with a Ferrari Enzo and a 1958 Fiat Abarth Zagato to look forward to this year. The Classic is food for the soul, and a quiet retreat from the bustle of Monterey Car Week. The $55 entrance fee helps fund the restoration of the church and includes a tasting of local wines and the soft melodies of a harpist.

Exotics on Cannery Row

Lease a white Koenigsegg Regera
Image Source: Cannery Row Koenigseggs (

Fruitlessly searching for parking spaces is every city dweller’s nightmare, except in Monterey. In Monterey, the congestion is a little more attractive. Exotics on Cannery Row sees 300 hypercars and heavily modified exotics slide, side by side, into a couple ocean-front blocks. It’s undoubtedly the most horsepower per square inch on the Peninsula. The display attracts enough spectators to warrant a fleet of 10 Koenigseggs with Christian von Koenigsegg himself at the wheel of a new Regera. You may have to risk parking near the fire hydrant to get a look.

The Concours d’Lemons

Lease a supercar with Premier
Image Source: A Pristine Eastern-Bloc Trabant (

Far from the pressed slacks and sunhats, another type of automotive celebration molders, a light-hearted affair for misfits and mongrels. Celebrating rust, rot, and automotive misadventure, The Concours d’Lemons is the antithesis of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  In Hagerty’s terms, every car would be Condition #7: Dust and dirt are mandatory, and materials used are incorrect and poorly fitted. Odd contraptions, both original and wholly bespoke, compete for worst-in-show honors.

Don’t Miss a Minute of Monterey

There’s still time to plot a course for The Quail, or any of Monterey Car Week’s spectacular events. With dozens of displays, concours, and auctions packed into just a few days, planning ahead is essential. Check out our itinerary for the where and whens of all the goings-on in Monterey.

Lease a red Allard J2
Image Source: Pebble Beach Clock (