Since the sudden death of “super-collector” and famous lawyer John O’Quinn on Oct. 29, 2009, speculation has been rampant about the fate of his car collection.
Now it appears that a large number of high-end cars from his collection will be dispersed through several sales by RM Auctions
RM confirmed that 55 cars have been consigned for its Autombiles of Amelia Island event March 13, and about 150 cars from the collection will cross the block at the Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale event March 26-28.
“John O’Quinn was a great guy and true car enthusiast,” said RM Chairman and Founder Rob Myers. “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.”
Darla Lexington, frequently described as O’Quinn’s soul mate, confirmed to Old Cars Weekly that a number of cars from the collection have already been sold, and 240 more have been consigned with RM.
“John loved the cars and planned on building the world’s greatest car museum,” Lexington said. “His untimely death in the midst of the great recessions created a number of unforeseen issues for the estate, which the sale will help alleviate.”
O’Quinn, the son of an auto mechanic, was a trial lawyer who amassed one of the world’s greatest car fleets while Forbes magazine once described him as “the lawyer from hell” for his success in litigation against the big tobacco companies.
Hobbyists were stunned at the number and quality of cars O’Quinn amassed, and the speed with which he did so. The collection was begun in 2003 by O’Quinn and Lexington, and quickly numbered close to 800 vehicles. Recently, O’Quinn had begun culling some of the cars and replacing them with some of the best examples money could buy.
This Bohman & Schwartz-bodied supercharged Duesenberg
Model J convertible coupe was acquired by O’Quinn shortly
before his death.
These two Classics from O’Quinn’s extremely impressive car
collection were present at his memorial service in November.
As of the end of 2009, the collection consisted of approximately 670 cars, including 24 Duesenbergs and 11 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts, with virtually every other genre of collector car represented.
“John made an incredible impact on the collector car business,” said Ken Daugherty, an early consultant to O’Quinn’s car collection. “I can’t recall another collector, with the possible exception of Bill Harrah, who made this type of impact, and certainly not in such a short amount of time. The loss of O’Quinn’s proposed car museum is incalculable to Houston.”
OCW contacted the office of David Bartine of Towerey and Associates, the firm charged with administering this portion of O’Quinn’s estate. Calls were not returned by deadline.
There has been speculation that the number and quality of O’Quinn cars coming to market could cause a drop in overall collector car pricing of as much as 25 percent.
Car collectors in Houston are saddened that hope of the “world’s greatest car museum” seems to be fading fast.
BELOW IS A LIST OF CARS KNOWN TO BE IN THE JOHN O’QUINN COLLECTION
MORE RESOURCES FOR CAR COLLECTORS FROM OLDCARSWEEKLY.COM