The Quail 2019. Best in Show and other highlights

The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, held on the Friday of Monterey Car Week, is a wonderful event that offers visitors a mix of classic cars and modern supercars to admire while sipping champagne and enjoying exquisite delicacies.

Hosted by the Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club, part of the Peninsula Hotel Group, The Quail is often used by high-end car manufacturers as a platform for unveiling their latest creations. Despite the number of cars exhibited at this heavily sponsored event, The Quail is more like a refined social gathering of car enthusiasts than a true classic car show.

Best in Show

Chosen by the entrants, this year’s Best in Show at The Quail was a 1931 Stutz DV 32 Convertible Victoria by Le Baron, chassis number #DV-PC-1224, which belongs to collectors Joseph and Margie Cassini (USA). Originally exported to Argentina, the Stutz was sold in Buenos Aires to Luis Firpo, a famous boxer of the time and also the local Stutz dealer. After passing through the hands of several Argentinian owners, in 1974, the car was brought back to the USA by American car collector and specialist Sam Sherman, and immediately sold to collector Dr. Donald Vesley of Florida. Left untouched, the car was sold again, in 1977, to William Bools of Cincinnati (OH), who started restoring it himself. Sadly, he died before managing to finish the work. In 2008, the Cassinis purchased the car from his estate and subsequently put it through a comprehensive restoration.

A knockout victory: the 1931 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria was first purchased in Buenos Aires by famous boxer Luis Firpo. Its resounding victory at The Quail confirms its fighting spirit!

The most original Bentley 4 Litre

From early in the morning, people were lining up in numbers to get a chance to look at this amazing Bentley 4 Litre, whose owner, Terry Larson of Phoenix (AZ), was happy to spend the entire day chatting about his coveted car. Certainly, it is an incredible specimen with an amazing history. Despite its considerable age, it remains completely original down to the last detail, seat covers and tool kit included. This 1931 Bentley 4 Litre (chassis #VF 4019), registered on July 6th, 1931, is the only 4 litre two-door, four-seater sports tourer built by W.O. Bentley before it went into receivership on July 11th, 1931. Used as factory demonstrator, and photographed for the official Bentley catalog and for advertising purposes, it has always lived a pampered life. After being sold new to P.A.G. Philips, heir to a cigar fortune, it was largely maintained by the factory directly. Philips, who was an airplane pilot during WWII, drove his Bentley as often as he could and was always ready to loan it to friends and fellow pilots, including squadron leader Peter Balean.
Balean loved the car so much that, in 1960, when Philips (after 29 years of ownership) finally decided to let it go, he immediately bought it. Balean used the car regularly, always maintaining it carefully. He gave it an engine rebuild and, to preserve the originality of the leather, had a set of woolen front seat covers made. During the research he did prior to starting the rebuild, he even got to talk to W.O. Bentley in person (it helped that he had served with W.O.’s brother during the war!) The car was sold in Germany in 1989. In 2001 it found its way to the USA, and in 2018 it was sold to its current owner. At The Quail, it was assigned the coveted FIVA Trophy for the most preserved car, a richly deserved result that was greeted with a roar of applause.

The more a car is used and loved, the more original it remains: this 1931 Bentley two doors bears this out perfectly!

The Princess’s Periscopio

Every single Lamborghini Countach LP400 Periscopio – 160 were built in all – is special, but chassis #1120238, manufactured and sold in 1976 through Milan-based dealer Achilli Motors, has such a charming history that it deserves particular attention. It was ordered, in Purple Salchi (paint code 106 A 71) with white accents over white leather interiors, as a birthday present for Princess Dalal Al Saudi, a former member of the Saudi Royal family. In 1979, it was sold to its second owner, Mr. John Kolkka, who imported it into the USA from Riyadh. Sadly, he had it repainted in black, while keeping the interiors original. So far, this car has covered a mere 54,539 kilometers since new. It was brought along to The Quail by its third and current custodian, American collector Malcolm Welford. Still perfect in its immaculate black “coat”, it was a worthy winner of the Supercars class. Nevertheless, many people were urging Malcolm to have it resprayed in its original colors. We’ll have to wait and see whether he does…

The color dilemma: Originally finished in Purple Salchi at the wishes of Princess Dalal Al Saudi, this Countach LP Periscopio is equally splendid wearing the black paint chosen by its second owner. Some now think it should stay as it is, while others would like to see it returned to its original color scheme… What do you think?

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