The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
Key anniversaries for Lamborghini lends an Italian feel to the Californian country club
With the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini’s Espada and Islero recognised and Ferraris and Maseratis in abundance, this year’s concours at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on the Monterey Peninsula had a distinctly Italian theme – although surprisingly the exquisite, historied road cars upstaged the exworks racing machines.
1969 lamborghini islero s
‘There were only 98 S models made, and ours is the only one in this colour combination,’ explained Dr Perry Mansfield of his recently-restored Lamborghini Islero. ‘We recently spent three months getting the car back up to show standard.
‘We rebuilt the engine and transmission, which are extraordinarily strong now, and detailed the undercarriage and interior. We also had to create new tail light lenses from scratch, and I am very happy to have refitted the correct original type of tyres with the original tread pattern’.
The car was delivered new to Switzerland and was test-driven in several car magazines in 1970. It had a single owner until 1999 when it moved to the US. ‘I bought it in 2002 and have had it ever since,’ said Dr Mansfield. ‘I have owned other Lamborghinis but this is by far my favourite. The Islero is not very well known, despite being a really great car. It has a 3998cc 350bhp engine, it is a genuine four-seater with a wonderful trunk, and has a very well-balanced chassis.’
1952 siata gran sport V8
It’s the first time this unusual Siata has been shown at The Quail, although it’s lucky to have survived at all. An article in Hot Rod magazine in 1952 inspired the engine swap from the original Fiat 1400cc unit to a 3.8-litre Studebaker V8 in the early Fifties.
Owner Roger Hoffmann said, ‘The car was imported new into New York and owned by Henry Pearson from 1955 until 2014 when he died. He bought the car for his wife and it mainly got used for Sunday drives until 1960 when the rear axle snapped and it was laid up.
‘We are very fortunate that the car is still around because their Mercedes-benz 190SL, parked next to it in the garage, burned to the ground.
‘A broker found the car in 2014 and I bought it from him. I am a preservation guy, so the car is perfect for me. Most of it was in great shape so we left everything we possibly could alone when we revived it. For example, the three trailer lights at the rear, and the singed seat and steering wheel are just as they were when it was found.’
1971 Maserati ghibli
Restorer Erik Larsson finished working on this Maserati a few days before The Quail, then drove ‘for 40 hours straight’ to get it to the show on time.
‘This restoration was made more difficult by the car being sold three times while in our workshop as the values climbed. It was a very start-stop restoration – the car was owned by a Pebble Beach judge who brought it to us in the early 2000s, then it was sold to a guy from England and just when we had it all crated up in the shipping container ready to head to the UK he sold it again and we had to unpack it and go back to work.
‘We had to do everything on this car, the body was acid dipped, we fitted new floors and sills, and quite a few other rust repairs were required too. The whole drivetrain was rebuilt and we also had to rerun all the fluid lines.’