An amazing shoot for a local billionaire's estate

Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
567
Location
Texas
Yes, that's billionaire with a "B"!

I was contacted by an auction company that is in charge of liquidating a portion of the cars. They wanted me to photograph a few of the cars for their publication, and had a very short time frame. I went out last week to shoot and was completely blown away. I had no idea what I was walking in to, thinking it was just a small collection. This notable Houstonian had amassed a collection of over 650 cars worth a staggering $100 million dollars. He had famous movie star's cars (Madonna, Steve McQueen, Marlene Dietrich - the list goes on and on), notable cars from movies, racing, history and more. It was amazing that there was a gem like this in Houston, and I'd never heard of it.

The caretakers at the warehouse told me that I was actually looking at only 1/3 of the previous inventory, and that I was photographing the "leftovers"...as he said, "All the Enzo's, McLaren's, F50's, F40's and Bugatti's all left about 9 months ago"

While this was an amazing opportunity, it is very sad that the estate has decided to liquidate all these cars. The previous owner had wanted to strike a deal with the city of Houston to make a museum featuring all these cars so that the public could enjoy them for years to come. It is especially disheartening because it is doubtful that there will EVER be a collection of this quality and size ever amassed in the United States again. What a golden opportunity missed.

1909 Cartercar Model H Touring. I'd never heard of this brand until now. It goes down as the oldest car I've ever driven! Well, driven as in steered while it was being pulled by a golf cart.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


1985 Aston Martin Lagonda. What an ugly car! This think reminded me of a stealth fighter, as it reflected ALL the light I put on it which made it very hard to photograph.

The interior was straight 80's, with a dash layout like an old Macintosh computer and CRT (that's right, CRT) displays. How, um, futuristic.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


1957 Ford Fairlane 500. Immaculate inside and out. Love the color scheme.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II. This car won awards at SEMA among many others. This thing was ridiculous in person. Bagged suspension, paint that was so glossy it looked like it was a foot deep. Such a beautiful car.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


1961 Nash Metropolitan. Called it the "Creampuff", haha. The doors felt like two sheets of steel welded together with nothing in between because, well, that's pretty much what it was. Gotta love safety standards of the '60's.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


1916 Oldsmobile Model 44 Roadster. Bill Harrah's old car.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-F42p6rS/0/XL/model 44 interior 3-XL.jpg

1931 Ford Model A Victoria. I loved the paint scheme on this car. The photos just don't do it justice.

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-PpFXvtk/0/L/model a 3-4-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-rR8Sn8x/0/L/model a side-L.jpg

1965 Mercury Park Lane. For some reason, I loved this car. The green dash was awesome.

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-5NF6Wpq/0/L/park lane 3-4-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-ZdRwWKF/0/L/park lane interior-L.jpg

1927 Rolls Royce Phantom I Towncar. Very regal looking car

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-6jcV57V/0/L/rolls royce 3-4-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-ZLs7QK6/0/L/rolls royce emblem-L.jpg

A beautiful 1955 T-Bird that was in immaculate shape.

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-gfPbcwv/0/L/thunderbird 3-4-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-wjVctSt/0/L/thunderbird rear 3-4-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-KZ9QHJ8/0/L/thunderbird engine-L.jpg

http://civitello.smugmug.com/Cars/oquinn/i-s6hKKCn/0/L/thunderbird front emblem-L.jpg

Two quick cell phone shots of the Pope John Paul II's 1975 Ford Escort GL, and FDR's 1941 Presidential Packard Limousine.

http://i55.tinypic.com/29olao4.jpg

http://i51.tinypic.com/ftzz1v.jpg

Here are two quick videos I took on my phone so that you can get an idea of how large this place was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM9RuZpOmRc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHXXdQnLCsA

You can view the rest of the photos here.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
3,968
Location
truro cornwall uk
What a fab set of photo's the lincoln made me laugh out loud, try driving that in the UK today, I had a nash metropolitan when I was young it was made primarily for the US market and having grown up in the motor trade (I had 32 cars before I was 24) this was the most dangerous car I have ever driven.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
567
Location
Texas
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
What a fab set of photo's the lincoln made me laugh out loud, try driving that in the UK today, I had a nash metropolitan when I was young it was made primarily for the US market and having grown up in the motor trade (I had 32 cars before I was 24) this was the most dangerous car I have ever driven.
haha no kidding! looked like a little tin can on wheels!

thanks for the comments, everyone
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,076
Location
Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
Thanks for sharing. We've got a collection that's very similar here in Tacoma. The late Harold LeMay started collecting years ago ... made his money running the garbage business in the county!! Luckily, the powers-to-be ARE putting together a museum for a portion of the collection.

Your shots are excellent!!

Cheers!!

Ken
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
377
Location
Arizona
I've heard of this collection. But that was many years ago. From what I recall, the owner not only bought every car he liked, but in every variation of color as well. The story I saw featured a row of late 1980s Ferrari Testarossas in a rainbow of colors. It was amazing. I always wondered what became of the collection...so this is sad news to me.

Oh and for what it is worth, 650 cars in a single museum would have been the absolute LARGEST car museum in the world. By contrast, the Mercedes Museum in Germany ONLY has 160 cars.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
5,725
Location
Annapolis
Oh and for what it is worth, 650 cars in a single museum would have been the absolute LARGEST car museum in the world. By contrast, the Mercedes Museum in Germany ONLY has 160 cars.
I'm on the fence with this one. Cars are meant to be driven and used, at least on a closed course if they don't meet today's standards for road worthiness. As much as I like to look at these wonderful pieces of mechanical history, I prefer to see someone driving down the road enjoying it instead of sitting in a museum. I guess they will last longer in a museum. Even Jay Leno drives his collection.

BTW> great collection of shots. It must have been very exciting to be around all those cars?
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,472
Location
Toronto Canada
Mind boggling being around so many unique vehicles. The videos are terrific - really show you the size of the place.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom