I bought a car at auction, and hope my cancer treatments let me get to enjoy it

1930 Marquette Phaeton was birthday present for this retired police officer

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The 1930 Marquette was a 1-year vehicle. This one has Phaeton coachwork | RM Sotheby's photos

In July 2019, my cancer returned after six years, which also caused me to retire from my law enforcement career of some 36 years. I then started a treatment plan and in October, on my birthday, I couldn’t even eat any cake my wife, Kate, had gotten.

So I sat in the corner and just was looking through my iPhone and saw the RM Sotheby’s Hersey, Pennsylvania, auction.

Kate and Paul Turowski | Turowski family photo

I never before participated nor had any past auto experience. But I noticed a 1930 Marquette Phaeton and placed the winning bid and bought the car.

It was a 90-year-old car but its lines and beauty just made me happy inside, and thus it became my birthday cake.

According to RM Sotheby’s auction catalog, the Marquette was Buick’s “companion” make (like Oakland and Pontiac), but was a 1-year-only model. The Marquette was smaller and less expensive than the Buick Series 40 and had an L-head 6-cylinder engine of 213cid and 67 horsepower. 

This Marquette was a sedan when it left the assembly plant but was converted to a Phaeton body. This restored example was purchased by the Merrick Auto Museum in 2012 and is one of the few Marquettes surviving.

After I bought the car, Reliable delivered it to a nearby storage facility. The car has been in storage since, though I had the chance to wax it once due to still continuing my cancer treatments. But it makes me happy just to look at its beauty even if just to look at it.

Kate visits the car in storage | Turowski family photo

I’m more than thankful to have made it part of my life and hope I survive, this is my fourth cancer over the past 30 years. I hope to add more such autos to start my own collection.

For this I am very thankful, and it all gives me the courage and hope to push forward. Thanks for giving me something to strive for.

— Paul Turowski, Quincy MA

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Should you ever decide to sell the Marquette let me know, I’ve never heard of one much less ever owned one, so, I’d be interested in buying this one.

  2. I hope you are able to drive that beautiful vehicle in the future. I own a 1989 Corvette and I know the euphoria you will feel when you get to do so…it makes me feel like a teen again! Get well and I will pray for your recovery!!!

  3. hope your next treatment is your last needed God bless and will keep you in my prayers , and yes you have a beautiful vintage auto enjoy it

  4. Hi Paul
    What a terrific story
    I hope and pray you get to enjoy that beautiful car you purchased
    God bless
    Paul in Ontario Canada

  5. I am also in Law Enforcement and I sincerely wish that you have a speedy recovery and that you get to drive that beauty throughout the summer days. If you are ever in NY after this virus issue, please be sure to send a shout this way !

  6. Thankyou Paul for sharing your story,and your photos of the car,you,and your lovely wife.I hope you beat this bout with cancer as you said,you beat before and you will do it again! Best wishes and Good Luck!!

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