Each year the Monterey Bay area explodes with the sounds and sights of an army of classic cars. One signature event, The Quail, came home to roost this year with an unforgettable gathering of vintage beauty, including first Lamborghini ever built.

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The Quail Lodge itself is back open for business, though The Quail concours--dubbed a "motorsports gathering"--has run on even while the host hotel has been shuttered during the recession. The car conclave has only grown in exclusivity, even, since only 3,000 guests can attend, at almost $500 a ticket.

It's an intimate, compact, clubby atmosphere, one intended to stay that way, from the at-ease parking areas on a nearby golf green to the catering tents with more than a whiff of the ritziest Renaissance Festival you've ever attended.

A carefree face-timer could saunter by The Quail's roughly 150 cars in a compact half-hour walk, but that would miss the point. Like the wine that's just about everywhere, The Quail's supposed to be savored. The cars gleam, even as the sky mood-rings from Carmel marine gloom to sunny Valley optimism, or as the attention from some guests wanders from custom watches to helicopters to shared personal jets, all hawked alongside the visual splendor.

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This year, The Quail saluted marques from BMW to the Chevrolet Corvette, and honored the 50th anniversary of Lamborghini with a display of Ferruccio's first car ever built. The sampler below? It's just that. For the full five-course, avec digestifs, you'll have to buy in yourself.