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.
1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline (photo: ACME / RM Auctions)
Some 55 examples from the collection will be featured at the Amelia Island event, March 13, including two highly prized Model J Duesenbergs. A 1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline with Murphy coachwork (J287), is known as the “Whittell Mistress Car” and boasts a fascinating provenance. It 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, however, was its 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 O’Quinn’s 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:
- A striking, one-off 1933 Cadillac V16 Convertible Phaeton with Fleetwood coachwork
- A beautifully restored, 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” Coupe, finished in graphite gray with dark red leather and matching luggage
- A very rare 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria, one of only three such examples bodied by Waterhouse
- A one-off 1954 Buick Landau Show Car, built for the GM Motorama Circuit
- A stately 1938 Cadillac V16 Presidential Parade Convertible, the second of only two produced and used by the Eisenhower, Roosevelt and Truman administrations
- A pair of fully-documented Shelby GT 500 Convertibles
Held in partnership with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, RM’s 12th annual Automobiles of Amelia Island event will return to the luxurious 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 ET on March 11th and 12th, followed by all the auction action on March 13th from 11am ET
Approximately 150 additional examples from the collection have been consigned to the 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. Highlights include a beautifully restored 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible; a 1947 Ford Sportsman Convertible; and a restored 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang.
The annual Collector Cars of Fort Lauderdale auction will be held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard. Interested bidders can preview the cars on offer from 9 a.m. ET on March 25th. The auction will kick off on March 26 from 3 p.m. ET and continue through the weekend from 10 a.m. ET each day.
For those unable to attend in person, both events will stream live on the Internet at www.rmauctions.com.
For full event details and bidder registration, please visit www.rmauctions.com or call 519-352-4575.
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