Every year, thousands of car enthusiasts – and scores more photographers, journalists, and automaker PR staff – take a break from reality. Automobiles from barely road-legal vintage race cars to insane one-off hypercars and everything in between flock to a small seaside town named Monterey in Northern California. This normally somewhat normal town of under 30,000 people becomes the absolute center of the motoring universe for a week. The prize hen of this event? The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering. It sets the standard for automotive events among industry professionals, collectors, and enthusiasts.
As with every year, this year comprised both classic and contemporary supercars. Many (often extremely high-end) automakers choose to unveil new vehicles here; this year is no exception. But just because the new is here doesn’t mean it’s out with the old. The classics are integral to the heritage and story of The Quail. The vaunted title of Rolex Circle of Champions Best of Show went to Anne Brockington Lee for her incredible 1956 Ferrari 410 Superamerica “Superfast 1.” A potent 4.9-liter V12 under the hood, accompanied by an elegant Pinin Farina-designed body kit, makes it truly one of a kind and worthy of its prize. The winner not only earned a prestigious trophy but also an engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 watch.
Congratulations to Ms. Brockington Lee. But while the classics may still hold precedence, you can’t ignore the new stuff. Of which, there was certainly no shortage. Here’s a sampling of what you might have missed at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering.
Singer DLS Turbo
The Singer DLS Turbo is built on a 964 Porsche 911 chassis, shown here in some whacky shade of bronze-gold. It’s designed to channel the 934/5 race cars from the 1970s. Typical of Singer vehicles, it features a 700-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six, manual gearbox, and a crazy widebody kit. It’s available in the “street” version pictured here and a more-aggressive race version that’s not pictured.
Koenigsegg Gemera and Jesko
Neither Koenigsegg model pictured is completely alien, with the Gemera debuting in 2020 and the Jesko first appearing in 2019. But, the Gemera was only recently finalized as having an available V8 powertrain that provides an absolutely ludicrous 2300 horsepower and 2028 pound-feet of torque. You can still get it with the physics and logic-defying three-cylinder engine that doesn’t use camshafts.
The Jesko is named after the founder Koenigsegg’s father and makes up to 1,600 horsepower on E85 fuel. A Light Speed Transmission (LST) allows instantaneous shifts, weighs 50 kg (110 pounds) less, and pushes the vehicle’s center of gravity lower and more central than a dual-clutch transmission. A modified, flywheel-less version of the LST is also in the Gemera.
Bugatti Mistral and Chiron Super Sport “Golden Era”
The Bugatti Mistral was unveiled during Monterey Car Week and is the last hurrah of the brand’s quad-turbo W16. It is essentially an aesthetically re-imagined Chiron, now sporting stylish TRON-esque tail lights and no roof. Pricing starts at $5 million; if you haven’t already reserved one, you’re too late. Only 99 will be produced.
The Chiron Super Sport “Golden Era” is a one-off Chiron with bespoke paint and sketches of Bugatti vehicles before it in the side door cards. Drivers get the more recent hypercars, and passengers get classics like the Type 35. It took more than 400 hours to get it right, and apparently, this model has been sold to one lucky owner.
Rimac Nevera Time Attack
The Rimac Nevera Time Attack is an even more focused of the craziest EV in existence. Rimac has built it with the intent to celebrate a year of breaking performance records (more than 20 in 2023). While much is shared with its “pedestrian” brother, the Time Attack variant gets a unique livery, color-matching interior stitching, a neat plaque that denotes it as “1 of 12,” and a secret message on the underside of the wing that reads “dedicated to those coming after us.” Surprise, they’re all sold.
Not to be outdone by the Ferrari Purosangue, Lamborghini has reached new heights. The Lamborghini Lanzador is the first-ever Lamborghini EV, debuting at Monterey Car Week and pioneering the “Ultra GT” segment. Lambo says it’ll have two electric motors making over 1341 horsepower (1 megawatt), sport all-wheel drive, and be on sale sometime closer to 2028. It’s wonderfully futuristic inside and out, and I can’t wait to learn more about this evocative concept.
Pininfarina B95 Roadster
Arguably the prettiest and almost certainly the most expensive vehicle on this list, the $7.5-million Pininfarina B95 Roadster debuted at the Quail, an almost 1900-horsepower EV roadster. This is only a few weeks after the debut of the new Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept, which was also in attendance. Only ten examples of the Pininfarina B95 Roadster will be produced, so hopefully, you’ve already reserved yours.
The Quail is one of the few places on Earth that make a Cayman GT4RS or 911 GT3 look pedestrian, but here we are. Plenty of other vehicles, like the Venom F5, are viewable in the gallery below. Of all the crazy automotive art that showed up, which were your favorites?