Renowned plaintiff’s lawyer who forced makers of breasts implants, pharmaceuticals and cigarettes to forfeit billion of dollars in awards in personal injury cases, Mr. John Maurice O’Quinn was more of a bare-knuckles litigator who portrayed himself as a crusader against corporate malfeasance. This 6-foot, 4-inch tall, one of Houston’s best trial-attorneys, who made Dow Corning go bankrupt and was called the lawyer from hell, had the wallet to match, lavishly spending on his lifestyle, philanthropic causes, Democratic campaigns, and to collect up to 800 rare and historically significant vehicles. Notably, Quinn’s car collection is believed to be one of the world’s largest, and when he died in a car accident, his dream to house all the 800 cars in a museum, providing a timeline of the 20th century, expired with him. And, now three years after his death in October, 2009, 200 of his cars, including 2 of his most valuable Duesenbergs, and the world’s oldest Ford ‘Model A’ with chassis no.30, will be auctioned by RM Auctions, to help pay financial obligations of his estate.
Reportedly, cars will be sold to pay a legal settlement, as his estate agreed to pay $46.5 million to settle a 1999 lawsuit by thousands of former clients who alleged that O’Quinn improperly took money from their settlements in breast-implant litigations. Notably, O’Quinn had been fighting the cases, but after his death, the estate’s executor agreed to settle.
Now, some of the rare and vintage cars that has come on the auction blocks includes:
1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau
Estimated Price: $300,000-$500,000
Documented as the oldest surviving car sold by the Ford Motor Company, this 1903 Ford ‘Model A’ Rear Entry Tonneau will be auctioned on 11 October, 2012. Powered by 8 horse-power 100-cu.in. flat two-cylinder engine, this dark red four-seater Ford was actually sold for $850 during that time.
1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan
With chassis no. 5345, this 1920 Premier Model 6-D seven-passenger touring boasts a pioneering aluminum engine and novel Cutler-Hammer electro-magnetic shift.
Estimated Price: $150,000-$200,000
Powered by a 445.5-cubic inch engine which delivers 160 brake hp, this 1933 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan with vehicle-no. 643-21, boasting elegant Dietrich design was designed by Cornelius Van Ranst. This collector-class original vehicle comes in freshened condition, and offers low mileage.
1937 Packard Twelve Seven-Passenger Limousine
Estimated Price: $75,000-$125,000
With known history from new, this 1937 Packard Twelve seven-passenger Limousine with vehicle no. 1039-309 features L-head V-12 engine, 3-speed manual transmission, jump seats, bud vases and full metal covers.
1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo
Estimated Price: $50,000-$75,000
This rare post-World War I Renault comes with tidy restoration, and features 2,815 cc inline L-head four-cylinder engine and four-speed manual transmission. With engine no. 1154, this 1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo represents an uncommon opportunity to acquire a very fine example.
1920 Premier Model 6-D Seven-Passenger Touring
Estimated Price: $30,000-$50,000
With chassis no. 5345, this 1920 Premier Model 6-D seven-passenger touring boasts a pioneering aluminum engine and novel Cutler-Hammer electro-magnetic shift. Known as one of the early cars made in Indianapolis, this vehicle was purchased by O’Quinn in the mid-2000s.
1900 Milwaukee Steam Runabout
Estimated Price: $20,000-$40,000
Described to be the rare survivor of the marque, this 1900 Milwaukee steam runabout boasts twin-cylinder vertical slide valve steam engine delivering a total of 6hp. With known history, this car is an ideal vehicle for an enthusiast learning steam lore from an experienced owner.