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Vintage and Rare Cars in California

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No matter one’s interest level in cars, there is something unmistakably magnetic about a rare vehicle. On August 16 in Carmel, California, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering—held in conjunction with Monterey Car Week (August 12–18; montereycarweek.com)—offers an exclusive atmosphere in which to see more than 200 of them.

“What makes the groupings of cars so captivating at the Quail is the sheer range of diversity present among our various classes,” says Gordon McCall, director of Motorsports. “We strive each year to bring a fresh mix of all tastes, further ensuring the notion that you really don't know what you are going to see here until you experience it firsthand.”

Sports cars, racing vehicles, supercars and even motorcycles make the cut. Two rare Ferraris—the 2009 Ferrari P 4/5 Competizione and the 2006 Ferrari P 4/5 by Pininfarina—will appear together for the first time. (The cars, owned by investment manager and Ferrari collector James Glickenhaus, were custom built.) Aston Martin gets a nod for its 100 years. A meticulously restored 1964 Porsche 911 warrants a look (just 62 of the first-year models exist intact today). And a retrospective of Automobile Lamborghini traces the trajectory of the storied manufacturer.

To get the full effect, McCall suggests a strategic approach to navigating the Quail Lodge & Golf Club grounds, where the gathering takes place: Make a lap of the proceedings, stop for food and local wines at the six culinary pavilions and take a second loop of the links in the opposite direction. A final awards ceremony crowns the best in show. But for those who aren’t content to simply view the autos of the hour, Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction (August 15–16; bonhams.com/quail) lets guests bid on cars like a Bugatti Type 35, with this year’s sales expected to reach nearly $3 million. Tickets, $550; 8205 Valley Greens Dr.; 831-620-8879; signatureevents.peninsula.com.

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