The late John O’Quinn was one of the world’s most prolific classic collectors, whose dream was to build a museum for his collection of classics, which spanned more than 800 vehicles.
John and his partner, Darla Lexington bought no less than 16 classics at the first collectors auction in 2003. With his share of billion dollar lawsuits rolling in, John was able buy any vehicle that took his fancy, his collection growing to 860 vehicles.
Successfully bidding at some of the world’s greatest classic auctions appealed to John’s competitive spirit, He bought all manner of cars that took his fancy, the original eclectic collecting adapting more focus when Darla became the collection’s president, organising world class restorations and presenting the cars at concours.
John wanted to build a great museum in his hometown of Houston, Texas, where the collection, including 27 Duesenbergs would be on show.
John’s dream tragically ended when he was killed in a road accident. Surprisingly, considering his legal background, or unsurprisingly in view his zest for life, John had not provided for the museum’s future, and the collection has been gradually sold off.
Bonham’s is to sell two of its legendary vehicles. The first is now universally known as ‘The Corgi,’ the 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine with coachwork by Barker that was used by Mettoy to produce its famous model. The car could top £2m at auction.
The second vehicle from the collection is the renowned 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe that belonged to Ettore Bugatti with bodywork designed by his son, Jean. This car is estimated to bring at least £1m.
A Bonhams spokesman told CCfS: “We are honoured to be selling this two cars which were part of one of the world’s most prestigious collections.”
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