A lifelong motoring enthusiast, John O’Quinn was regarded as one of the most prolific car collectors in the United States. From 2003 up until his tragic death in October 2009, he built one of the country’s most impressive collections featuring more than 1,000 automobiles. In addition to its incredible diversity, the O’Quinn Collection was best noted for featuring one of the world’s largest collections of Duesenbergs with 23 examples in total.
“John O’Quinn was a great guy and true car enthusiast. His untimely death was truly a loss for the collector car community and he will always be remembered for his incredible passion for the hobby and love of cars,” said Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder, RM Auctions.
“We are honored to have been entrusted with the task of selling part of the magnificent O’Quinn Collection at our upcoming Florida auctions and look forward to sharing his remarkable passion and collecting legacy with other enthusiasts,” added Myers.
Building on RM’s reputation as specialists for the auction of estate and private collections, the company will offer some 55 examples from the renowned O’Quinn Collection at its Automobiles of Amelia Island event, March 13th, including two highly prized Model J Duesenbergs. Approximately 150 additional examples from the collection have been consigned to RM’s Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale sale, March 26th – 28th, many of which will be offered without reserve. The selection features a diverse range of automobiles from American and European classics to sports cars and concept cars.
Headlining the offering consigned to RM’s Amelia Island event is a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline with Murphy coachwork (J287). Known as the “Whittell Mistress Car” and boasting fascinating provenance, this example was a one-off creation for legendary playboy George Whittell, Jr., one of America’s most colorful millionaires. Purchased by Whittell, the car was delivered new to Jessie McDonald of Los Angeles, California in January 1931. From a design standpoint, it was considered years ahead of its time. Its compact, close coupled body featured a well integrated trunk, and stunning center-opening doors that wrapped into the roof. Its most revolutionary feature was however it’s all aluminum construction; built entirely without structural woodwork, it derived its strength from the clever use of cast aluminum supports combined with fabricated aluminum reinforcements. With a continuous history from new, the car spent time within the famed Harrah Automobile Collection before eventually making its way into the O’Quinn Collection in 2006. The Amelia Island sale will also feature another of O’Quinn’s beloved Duesenbergs – a majestic, beautifully restored 1932 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe with coachwork by Murphy (J340).
Additional highlights from the collection consigned to RM’s Amelia Island event include:
— One-off 1933 Cadillac V16 Convertible Phaeton with Fleetwood coachwork
— Restored 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” Coupe, finished in graphite gray with dark red leather and matching luggage
— Rare 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria, one of only three such examples bodied by Waterhouse
— One-off 1954 Buick Landau Show Car, built for the GM Motorama Circuit
— Stately 1938 Cadillac V16 Presidential Parade Convertible, the second of only two produced and used by the Eisenhower, Roosevelt and Truman administrations
— Pair of fully-documented Shelby GT 500 Convertibles
Amongst highlights from the collection slated for RM’s Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale event, March 26th – 28th are a 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible; a 1947 Ford Sportsman Convertible; and a restored 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang.
Held in partnership with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, RM’s 12th annual Automobiles of Amelia Island event will return to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island on March 13th, 2010. A preview of the auction line-up will be held from 9am – 6pm on March 11th and 12th, followed by all the auction action on March 13th from 11am.
The annual Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale auction will be held March 26th through 28th at the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Interested bidders can preview the cars on offer from 9am on March 25th. The auction will kick off on March 26th from 3pm and continued through the weekend from 10am each day.
For full event details and bidder registration, please visit www.rmauctions.com or call 519 352 4575.
[Source: RM Auctions; photo: ACME / RM Auctions]