The Quail Life—Up Close at the 2011 Motorsports Gathering Page Four
Fast approaching The Awards, there was just enough clock time to make another circuit of the field’s perimeter and take in the gleaming new road examples from Bentley, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Maserati, Aston Martin, Cadillac, and Land Rover, then beat it back to a place beside the awards ramp to get clean shots of The Quail 2011’s class winners—decided not by the typical 100-point system but here by the class entrants themselves based on the criteria stated in The Quail’s dazzling 185-page event program/magazine. That criteria states: “Design features, the correctness of body shapes, finishes, upholstery and historical significance are all considered. Our wish is that our entries be regularly driven, and we expect all mechanical systems to be functional. We would like future generations to enjoy the cars as we have, and feel obligated to encourage their preservation as manufactured.”
Richard Charlesworth as Emcee, the ramp ceremony opened with its first award presented by FIVA [Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens founded in 1966 and based in Brussels, Belgium—“An international body to promote and guide the interests of the historic vehicle movement throughout the world.”] The winner was this 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica Series II, the trophy handed over by Paul Fleming of FIVA (right, in above photos) and Michael Collins of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C. It’s an original car that owner Chris LePorte has nurtured for 40 years.
(Gordon McCall later told me, “I like the idea of collaborating with a legitimate group such as FIVA to recognize original cars. There are so many craftsmen involved in bringing cars up to the 100-point standard, but quiet frankly there’s nothing neater than the look and smell and feel of an all-original car, or motorcycle for that matter.”)
Next up was the Road & Track Editors’ Choice Award for the car they would like to drive away, in this case based on a jury of Editor-In-Chief Matt DeLorenzo, Design Director Richard Baron and Editor-at-Large John Lamm. The Quail program reads, “Their choice is purely subjective, not based on historical facts, performance or aesthetics, but their collective personal opinions of their favorite car.” The recipient was … the 1950 Jaguar XK-120 Alloy Body once owned and raced by Phil Hill, now owned by Mark Miller. There were people here who actually saw Phil win driving this Lightweight Jaguar at the Inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races on November 5, 1950, over a course of pavement and dirt winding through the pine forest. Black was the car then, and here now; it bore Hill’s race number 2 just as 61 years ago after he brought it over from England as “personal luggage” aboard the RMS Queen Mary.
Beginning the winner-only first-in-classes, the Riverside International Raceway Award came next, the trophy going to the 1966 IndyCar All American Racers Gurney Eagle entered by Doug Magnon’s Riverside Raceway Automotive Museum. In its ninth year, The Quail has continued to award its “Quail Trophy” to these extraordinary cars, the sterling silver artwork crafted to represent speed and motion through the symbolic “Q” shape piece designed by Pat Areias and brought to life by local sculptor Billy Hinds. The two on-ramp presenters were Caryn Lavin and Todd Tice of The Club in Carmel.
“What a good-looking car this is!” said Charlesworth on-mike, announcing The 50th Anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type Award being presented to Ron Laurie’s 1961 E-Type OTC Roadster. This example was the first E-Type in California, delivered to British Motor Cars, Ltd, in San Francisco back in August of ’61.
Winner of The Great Ferraris Award was the 1956 Ferrari 250 Tour de France owned by Jon Masterson. (If by now you’ve missed reading serial numbers, they have been unobserved here on purpose—we all know how to find them elsewhere.) This striking TdF was originally owned by Tony Parravano in the mid-‘50s, and has been run in the Mille Miglia Storica by its current owner.
Said Charlesworth about this sports racing Ferrari, “A great win, a great car, especially for a great man.” Paying homage to the 50th Anniversary of Phil Hill’s Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship, this special tribute award was given to the 1959 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa Fantuzzi Spyder owned and driven here by Bruce McCaw, with Phil’s widow, Alma Hill, riding passenger. In 1959, Phil Hill won Riverside’s U.S. Grand Prix for Sports Cars and the Nassau Ferrari race driving this same TR59 entered back then by Eleanor von Neumann. Later restored by Pete Lovely and Butch Dennison, it was purchased by McCaw in the late 1990s.
Moving onto The Quail’s Pre-War Sports & Racing category—“A group representing exceptional performance and racing cars built before World War II”—the crowning pick was this graceful 1938 Talbot Lago T150C Teardrop Coupé owned by William E. (Chip) Connor at the RHD wheel and accompanied by his wife, Jacque. One of only 14 such examples were produced, and this is the first car to ever have won Best of Show at both the Louis Vuitton Classic in Paris and Pebble Beach here on the Monterey Peninsula.
Next, for milestone sporting cars that were designed to place the driving above creature comforts, the Post-War Sports Car class winner was this silver and green 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster owned by Bill & Linda Feldhorn; a car that underwent complete body-off restoration by Rudi Koniazel in February 2011.
The Quail’s Post-War Racing Cars class winning trophy was awarded this oft-seen on track and grass 1952 Glöckler-Porsche Weidenhausen Roadster owned by Herb & Rose Marie Wysard. “What a good-looking Porsche this is!” enthused the Emcee, “and from the Goodwood stickers on the side we know this car is still being campaigned, and that’s good to see. Don’t lock them away! Use them!” Driven in period at the Nurburgring, the car was later brought by Max Hoffman to America where it continued to be raced during the mid-‘50s, and far beyond.
The Quail event’s co-founder, Gordon McCall (foreground), known by all as an avid bike guy—both motor and pedal power—could not resist coming on stage to present the Sports & Racing Motorcycles win for this 1972 Italian MV Agusta 750 Sport 4C75 owned by the Gary Kohs. A motorcycle of great significance, this is one of only 215 built between 1969 and 1980.
The Quail’s Super Cars class award summoned this Darth Vader-like 2011 Pagani Zonda R exotic to the ramp where Richard Charlesworth announced, “The owner is not here, but that is Mr. Pagani himself who is taking the award.” Debuted at Geneva in 2007, the Modena-built Zonda R (named after the Andes-borne Zonda Winds that sweep high above Juan Manuel Fangio’s native Argentina) is powered by a 740 bhp Mercedes-Benz AMG M120 12-cylinder 6-liter engine.
The auspicious recipient of The Spirit of The Quail Award is chosen by The Quail Motorsports Council for the car that best represents “the true spirit of motoring for the automotive enthusiast.” The choice is subjective, but includes design, driving experience, performance for its era, engineering innovation, and timelessness. And the winner! … this silky 1952 Siata 208 CS V8 owned by David Smith. Raced in the 1953 Mille Miglia, the car was soon after reconfigured to its present spyder form. Smith bought this exquisite example in 2006.
While a delay for the next award was sorted by Gordon McCall and staff, bringing on the mariachis was a sure-fire crowd pleaser. The interim awards ramp performance by the local Dany Cobo Mariachi Ensemble prompted Charlesworth to declare it “Winner of the Best Mariachi Band of the Day”, bringing resounding approval by all.