After the canceling of this year's 'Legend of the Motorcycle' concours in Half Moon Bay, it looked as though California's premier vintage motorcycle event was not to be. That was until local resident, and motorsports promoter Gordon McCall and Gary Wasserman got together to reincarnate the event a little further to the south, in picturesque Carmel Valley.
The Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel Valley, California is no stranger to significant motorsports events. Gordon McCall's other venture, the prestigious "The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering" and "McCall's Motorworks Revival" at the Monterey Jet Center are held each year during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The Quail's Best of Show winner, a 1940 Crocker Big Tank
In its sixth year, The Quail motorsports event sells only 3,000 tickets to the well-healed, and features some of the rarest vintage race cars in the world paired with haute cuisine from Quail's 4-star restaurant, fine wine, hand-rolled cigars, and even a helicopter shuttle to the historic races at nearby Laguna Seca raceway.
1939 Lincoln Zephyr Sedan 'Delivery Deco Liner' with matching Harley Sportster in rear
In attendance were several motorcycle Hall of Fame members including Matt Lawwill, Bubba Shobertm and locals Wayne Rainey and Craig Vetter. Although attendance was low at this inaugural event, it will surly gain momentum with this kind of star power behind it. Even with a terrible economic headwind, the kickoff was on par with, and in some respects, surpassed the previous three events at Half Moon Bay.
1923 Ace Experimental Replica featured in the the 'Art of the Motorcycle' exhibit
The drier inland weather of Carmel Valley will be a big improvement over the cold, damp and windy coastal climate that owners had to contend with in years past. A barbecue lunch was included with the $65 admission price, as well as live entertainment, and numerous vendor tents lining the field.
2008 HDT Racing MD670 Turbo-Diesel LSR Racer
The gathering began with the Inaugural "Quail Motorcycle Tour" on Friday May 8th, and was limited to only twenty participants. Each motorcycle that successfully completed the tour, and was subsequently shown at the Saturday concours was awarded a prize from Cycle World magazine.
Bonhams & Butterfields auction in the Quail Lodge Resort
In keeping with the tradition of the Legend's show, Bonhams & Butterfields held a late afternoon auction with a substantial array of unusual motorcycles from an ex-Steve McQueen 1929 Harley-Davidson 45ci which sold for over $39,000, to an 1884 Copeland Steam Cycle, an 1900 Orient Light Roadster, and a 1923 Ace Experimental Replica which was featured in the 'Art of the Motorcycle' exhibit. Although the latter three did not meet their expected reserves, most of the inventory did sell at or near their estimated price ranges.
1940 Indian Four
1939 Crocker Big Tank owned by Jack 'Crocker Jack' Lilly, cofounder of the Boozefighters
1967 Triumph Bonneville TT Special
Fender ornament from a 1940 Indian Four
With perfect weather, and an ideal setting for such an event, everyone is hoping that this will be the new, permanent home for the Central Coast's premier vintage motorcycle event.
Photos from 2010 Event
View from the Quail Lodge, 2010
1913 Flying Merkel 500cc Racer
The Quail Motorcycle Event Links
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering - Official Site
Bonhams & Butterfields - 2009 'The Quail' Auction Results
All photos from the Quail Motorcycle Gathering at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley were taken using Nikon D3 and D2X camera bodies, with Nikon 300mm and 105mm f/2.8 VR telephoto lenses, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lenses, and Nikon 14mm f/2.8 wide angle lenses.