HomeThe MarketTaj Ma Garaj auction presents bonanza of rare Porsche, VW cars and...

Taj Ma Garaj auction presents bonanza of rare Porsche, VW cars and collectibles


RM Sotheby’s has released the complete catalog for the much-anticipated auction of 30 Porsche and Volkswagen cars and 356 lots of memorabilia from the estate of John Dixon, whose eclectic collection will be offered entirely without reserve prices on September 28 at the collection site in Dayton, Ohio.

Dixon called his trove of rare and interesting vehicles The Taj Ma Garaj, which he opened to the public as a gathering and event site well-known to enthusiasts throughout the area.  He was also known for his creativity and sense of humor.

The Beetle with the wrought-iron body

Some of the quirkier offerings at the sale include the 1953 Porsche 356 custom stretch limousine, valued at $150,000 to $250,000; a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle with a body hand-crafted out of wrought iron; a 1958 Porsche 365 custom sedan delivery; and a rare VW-powered 1971 Mangosta Sport Buggy.

The highest-valued car offered at the sale, a highly sought-after 1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera GT Speedster by Reutter equipped with its original, matching-numbers 4-cam engine, has an estimated value of $1.5 million to $2 million. Although at no-reserve, it could sell for way under that.  Or over.

A Porsche 356 customized into a sedan delivery

Another early model that should draw lots of interest is a 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet by Gläser, restored to “concours quality” and one of two or three surviving in the U.S., according to the catalog.  Its estimated value is $375,000 to $425,000.

Other highlights include a matching-numbers 1967 Porsche 911 S coupe, that is “unquestionably among the finest, most-original examples of the model in existence,” the auction says; an extensively optioned, one-of-a-kind 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe finished in paint-to-sample Pearl White Metallic; and “an exceedingly original” 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport with just 47 kilometers (29 miles) showing on its odometer.  The 924 is valued at $250,000 to $350,000.

RM Sotheby’s also points out several other special Porsches.

The Porsche 912 is a well-preserved original

“Of the many rarities found within the Taj Ma Garaj Collection, the 1969 Porsche 912 coupe by Karmann stands out as possibly the finest and most-original low-mileage example available,” the auction company says in a news release. “This three-owner, five-speed 912 represents the final year of production for the model, as well as the one-year-only long-wheelbase series.

“Meticulously cared-for and well-documented throughout its life, it wears its original Tangerine paint over Black leatherette and is complete with its Porsche accessory catalogue-specified Karo rain-mounted ski rack and Sport Leidemann wood skis and poles, making it a serious contender for preservation-class honors.”

Value for the 912 is estimated at $125,000 to $175,000.

The 911 Carrera RS would be a project worth completing

Other rarities include a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, painted in Grand Prix White with blue graphics, a partially restored project (some assembly required), with a matching-numbers engine and ready for completion.  Estimated value, $400,000 to $450,000.

Also, a 2007 911 GT3 RS special ordered new by John Dixon, who only drove it 1,130 miles.  The high-performance model, which comes with full documentation, is valued at $225,000 to $275,000.

“It is as close to a new, just-off-the-assembly-line Porsche as one could imagine, ready to provide its next owner with both visual enjoyment and visceral excitement,” the news release says.

The Jungle Bug

Some of the VW lots, aside from the wrought-iron bug and Mangosta buggy, are also intriguing, such as the 1967 “high-roof” panel van, the unique 1956 “outlaw” rat rod by Franz Muir and the tiger-striped 1972 “Jungle Bug.”

The auction of collectors’ items should provide some rare opportunities for Porsche and VW fans, with literature, parts, tools, radios, memorabilia, engines and “an assortment of arcade ephemera,” according to the release.  The number of lots, 356, reflects the model number of early Porsches.

Porsche 911 driver side display cutaway

“Among particularly interesting and rare lots are a Porsche helicopter engine, a Rothmans Porsche 944 Challenge billboard, an Arova-Porsche 212 Skibob, both a Porsche 356 passenger side and a Porsche 911 driver side display cutaway, and a Porsche 356 Carrera Four-Cam engine block, No. 90869, valued at $20,000 to $25,000,” the release says.

For more information about the Taj Ma Garaj sale and the complete auction catalog, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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