The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, 2011 Edition

While one wouldn’t call the Quail an unsung event, per se, the annual Carmel Valley show has cultivated an air of exclusivity that in some ways even surpasses the grand soiree at Pebble Beach. The machinery on display, by and large is limited to sports and racing models with a European bent. If you’re looking for prewar Packards or Studebakers, save it for the 18th green at Pebble Beach. If, on the other hand, one’s interests lean more toward Italian, British and German exotica, the Quail is the place to find it.

This year’s event celebrated the Ferrari America and Superamerica models, as well as Jaguar’s storied racing heritage, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the leaping-cat brand’s breathtaking E-Types. Best in show went to a Ferrari 375 America bodied by Pininfarina for Fiat tycoon Gianni Agnelli. While the association between Pininfarina and Ferrari seems as natural and enduring as pesto and pinoli, this 375 was actually the car that cemented the bond. Prior to that, most of Enzo’s children had been clothed by coachbuilder Vignale.

On the Jaguar front, a yowling, bumping parade of D-Types and E-Type racecars roared over from Laguna Seca under escort by the California Highway Patrol and a cluster of E-Types, including a gorgeous brown ‘63 roadster owned by David and Barbara Krueger made for some seriously drool-inducing moments for aficionados of tweed-and-tobacco motoring.

Luxury automakers were out in force, offering ride-and-drives of their latest and greatest, including an off-road course set up to show off the decidedly-on-road Range Rover Evoque’s abilities when the going gets unseemly. A veritable fleet of Bugatti Veyrons showed up — if you’re into Veyrons — including the bizarre Blanc d’Or, which we would love to see paired with a 10th Anniversary edition Nissan 280ZX. White Gold/Black Gold? Absolutely. The Quail next year? Why wouldn’t you, old chum? Why wouldn’t you?

Check out the gallery to see some of our favorites.