The Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance is the headline event of Monterey Car Week but ‘the Week’ is so much more than that. In fact, the Concours is ‘just’ the finale of what is a week full to the brim with amazing vehicle displays and historic racing.
After McCall’s on Wednesday and RM Auctions on Thursday, Koenigsegg attended two of these wonderful events to complete our week in Monterey. The first of these was The Quail.
The Quail – A Motorsport Gathering
“The Quail” is one of the signature events of the week, giving visitors the chance to view both classic and contemporary vehicles in a beautiful setting on the lawns of the Quail Lodge and Golf Club (above).
The Koenigsegg stand was in a perfect spot: halfway through the show area and under the welcome shade of some beautiful, big trees. It was a hot, sunny day so a stop at our stand provided some welcome relief for many.
So what were we doing at The Quail? What were we doing at Monterey, in general?
America is not a new market for Koenigsegg, per-se. It is, however, a market in which there is limited awareness of Koenigsegg’s product. Your regular car guy may-or-may-not have heard of us and that’s mostly because we don’t have press cars to lend out to journalists. Therefore, there aren’t many reviews of our cars in magazines or online. It’s not that we don’t want to have press cars. We’d like that a lot. It’s just that our cars take seven months to build and when you make so few cars in a year, you need to put your customers first.
Your typical Koenigsegg fan in the US is someone who’s immersed in car culture. The typical baseline is someone who’s seen Jay Leno’s video about the Trevita. A deeper fan will remember something about Top Gear a few years ago. The next level involves someone who’s seen the /DRIVE series of Inside Koenigsegg videos and the supreme US fan will have searched out every other bit of information they can find and can quote stats on the cars better than we can.
For us, then, the chance to bring a car like the One:1 to events like Monterey is a valuable opportunity to increase our exposure in the USA and meet both fans and potential customers alike. And that’s exactly what we did.
We had four Koenigsegg employees at the show, including Christian, and we were all flat-out talking to visitors for the whole day at The Quail. The level of interest in what we’re doing with our cars – and especially the level of interest in the One:1 – was absolutely off the charts. All four of us spent every spare minute answering people’s questions about the car.
How do you pronounce the name? (Koe-nig-segg)
How much power does it have? (1360hp)
What does One:1 mean? (The power-to-weight ratio)
How much does it cost? ($2.8mil base price)
Who makes the engine in the car? (We do. It’s our own engine)
What’s the top speed (Somewhere above 440kph)
Can I sit in it? (No, sorry)
Can you show me how the doors work (Sure)
Are they really carbonfibre wheels? And what’s holding them together? (Yes, they are, and they have a hollow core)
How much do they weigh? (Just over 14lbs for a 20-inch wheel)
Does the wiper stay in that position? (Yes, until you press the button and then it moves from side to side. That was my personal favourite and I apologise to the gent who asked it (at Laguna Seca) if he thought I was rude but I couldn’t resist and it seemed like good humour to me. I’m not sure he saw it that way).
And so it went……. for nearly eight hours straight. That sounds like it was a labour but truthfully, it was a labour of love. All four of us were extremely tired by the end of the day but every minute of it was fun. Every person we spoke to was so appreciative for having an opportunity to see the One:1 and learn more about it, and about what we do.
OK, with the possible exception of the windscreen wiper guy.
But there are no exceptions when it comes to us enjoying every moment interacting with our brand’s many friends and fans. We had as much fun as you did, maybe more.
Jay Leno was at The Quail and we had the good fortune to have him visit and record a new video about the One:1 with Christian, live from the Koenigsegg stand. Jay greeted Christian with the same genuine warmth that’s present in his videos and it was amazing to watch this consummate professional go about his work. I imagine there’ll be another Koenigsegg video on Jay’s Youtube channel some time in the next month or so and we’ll share it as soon as it’s online.
Once we finished at The Quail, we had to deliver the car to Laguna Seca, where it would be on view at the Michelin stand for the following two days.
We had very little light left, but the good people at Laguna Seca let us take the One:1 to the track for a twilight photo session. We had professional snapper Julia La Palme on hand to take the good shots and you’ll see those in due course, but the photo below gives you a taste of the setting.
If you’ve only ever seen Laguna Seca on a video screen, you really need to go there in person. I don’t know if there’s eight wonders of the automotive world, but however many there are, surely two of them are in this picture: the corkscrew at Laguna Seca and the Koenigsegg One:1