A 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster was awarded Rolex Circle of Champions “Best of Show” out of more than 200 entrants at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The vehicle owned by K. Heinz Keller from California was selected for its design, engineering, sophistication and presentation. Keller acquired the car in 1986 from a private owner in Colorado, and the vehicle underwent an eight-year ground-up restoration.
Rolex presented an Oyster Perpetual Datejust to the headline car. This year’s proud recipients, owner K. Heinz Keller and preserver Alfredo Garcia, said: “It’s amazing to win at one of the best places in the world. We’ve been through extensive preservation on this car and brought it back to life. Throughout this process, we’re trying our best to teach younger generations to continue to look after these cars – I promote that every day of my life.”
This year’s event was headlined by three featured classes. The first of these, “50th Anniversary of the Alfa Romeo Montreal,” paid tribute to one of the most unique sports coupés of the 1970s. The second featured class, “Automotive Couture, French Cars Featuring the 50th Anniversary of the Citroën SM,” celebrated a historic milestone with several examples of the SM and other stylish French vehicles such as a 1965 Matra Bonnet Djet VS. Additionally, “Cars of Curiosity” showcased unique vehicles including a 1957 Fiat 600 / Eden Roc and a 1978 Lamborghini Urraco P2000.
The event played host to several vehicle debuts and premieres from revered manufacturers and sponsors. Rimac Automobili, Lotus Cars, Pagani Automobili, Automobili Pininfarina, Gateway Bronco, Lamborghini, Hennessey, Acura, Bugatti and Bentley Motors each held press conferences to unveil new models and make significant announcements. Highlights included the U.S. premiere of the Lotus Emira, a new mid-engine premium sports car; the first public displays of the Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid, GT Speed and special Mulliner introductions including the coach-built Bacalar and continuation Blower Car Zeros; and the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4.
Automotive industry leaders, motorsports legends, celebrities and a wide variety of automotive enthusiasts, assembled on the scenic fairways of Quail Lodge & Golf Club for the show’s culminating awards ceremony. Guests also enjoyed an in-depth discussion with Formula World Champion Jenson Button during the Fireside Chat which took place on the event’s main stage.
Next year’s show is scheduled for August 19, 2022.
In addition to “Best of Show” and the top honors given in each of the 11 classes, the following special awards were announced:
Spirit of The Quail
1902 Indian Single Cylinder
Owner: Shawn W. Coady – Illinois
Hagerty Drivers Foundation & Preservation Award
1969 Ford Bronco “Big Oly”
Owner: Philip Sarofim – California
Octane Editor’s Choice Award
1957 Fiat 600 / Eden Roc
Owner: Anne Brockinton Lee / The Robert E. Lee Collection – Nevada
ArtCenter College of Design Award
2015 McLaren/Lanzante P1 HDK
Owner: Thomas O’Gara – California
Car Park Concours de Quailegance Award
1962 Land Rover S2A 109 Dormobile
Owner: Ali Javidan – California