RM Sotheby's Taj Ma Garaj sale: The ultimate car guy man cave.

So you live in the Midwest. You have a passion for Porsche and Volkswagens. But you only have a good 8 months out of the year to enjoy them. What's a car guy to do? Well, if you're John Dixon, you build the ultimate car guy man cave in Dayton, Ohio.

I had known about Mr. Dixon's famed Taj Ma Garaj since I was college back in the early 2000's. I had seen pictures, magazine features on his incredible collection of cars and the stories, but never had the opportunity to visit. Sadly, Mr. Dixon passed away in 2013. His family continued offering tours of the collection and renting the facility out for private events.

RM Sotheby's recently announced that they were going to be presenting not just the 30+ vehicles but also 356 plus lots of memorabilia and fixtures collected by Mr. Dixon. A handful of cars had been released at some prior RM auctions, however the bulk of the collection was saved specifically for this sale. I was excited for the opportunity to participate in this sale, not only covering it, but also as a buyer. There many cars I would have loved to come home with that were out of my budget, but the memorabilia was what I was particularly after for my own VW/Porsche man cave. To say that the whole VW/Porsche collector community knew about the event would be an understatement. I was able to meet up with friends that I had never had the opportunity to meet in person before, having only talked online.

By far the highlight of the sale was a 1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera GT Speedster. Not only was this car an award winning concours quality restoration,but it also included it's original numbers matching four cam motor, and several rare accessories including the factory hardtop. The final sale price was an astonishing $1,380,000. making it the number one sale of the auction. Sold separately was a matching Junior 356 Speedster painted in the same colors to match which sold for $15,600.

One of my personal favorites was a silver 1967 Porsche 911S. A well optioned and special ordered car. It was purchased new by a shop foreman for ARAMCO oil in Saudi Arabia. Finished in silver metallic with a black full leather interior. The owner opted for German Factory Delivery and a host of other options including factory tinted glass all around and factory luggage. After being used for a few years, the car was shipped back to the U.S. and then used sparingly at the owners home in California before being sold on to another owner prior to Mr. Dixon who fine tuned this example. . Showing under 30,000 original miles and boxes of documentation. This 911S is believed to be mostly if not all original paint and is considered to be one of the best documented 911S' in existence. All that history hammered for $335,000.

Mr. Dixon ordered his own special Porsches for his collection. Another favorite was a 1997 911 Turbo Coupe. Showing just over 2,500 original miles. Mr. Dixon ordered this Turbo in paint to sample pearl white metallic (a nearly $11,000 option alone) with matching painted Turbo Twist wheels. Inside a cashmere leather interior decked out with lots of Porsche Exclusive trimmings. Leather sunvisors, leather turn signal and wiper stalks, and dark wood trim are just a few of the additional 30 interior trimmings. This 1 of 1 Turbo went to its new home for $368,000 dollars.

Moving to the other side of the air-cooled coin were a selection of classic Volkswagens. Again some of the best, low mileage examples that were truly one of a kind. The first stand out that sold for an extremely fair price was a Ruby Red 1967 Beetle sedan. Showing just 6,135 original miles and still sporting its original California black plates and documentation from the selling dealer in San Jose. It's not uncommon to find later model Beetles from 1977 and 1979 (both final milestone years for the Beetle), But to find a 1967, which is considered by many to be the best year of the Beetle, is practically unheard of with this low mileage. This one went to a new home for just a shade over $23,000.

Another rarity to see in the U.S. was a VW Type 2 panel van with the factory high roof. With a full restoration completed in 2004 which included the addition of a full roof rack adding another few inches of height to an already tall van. Finished in classic VW Dove Blue with white trim and very spartan interior. The van had very few miles added by Mr. Dixon. Final selling price was $50,400. Considering the prices that many split window Type 2s have been reaching, I would say this is very well bought.

Custom vehicles also had a spot in the Taj Ma Garaj. There were three incredible creations that were totally fit to John Dixon's infectious personality. The first being a 1970 wrought iron VW Beetle "Wedding Car". There are several of these unique Beetles around the world which originated in Mexico for the 1968 Olympics. Built by one of the masters of the craft and long displayed in California. Completely one of a kind as each were different. It sold for a record setting $78,400.

Another creation built for Mr. Dixon's first daughter's wedding was a stunning custom 1953 356 Limousine. Built from several 356s to make the unique body, the main car was a French market 1953 that was carefully sculpted by Don Boeke in his Dayton, Ohio shop. Featuring suicide rear doors, a bar, and a rear fabric sunroof. Originally planned for 356 power, a tuned and built 912 four cylinder powers this incredible machine which sold for $207,000. This was an incredible buy since you could not build a car to this quality for that much today.

Lastly, was a 1958 Porsche 356 A Sedan Delivery named the Taj Kreuzer. Built by Bennet's Rod Shop of Dayton. This one of a kind utility vehicle came to symbolize the Taj Ma Garaj. Beautifully finished in black with hand painted  and hand applied gold leaf of the Taj Ma Garaj logo. Wile a custom build, this looked like something that could have easily rolled out of Porsche's factory. Showing only 51 miles on the build and powered by a 1600 616/1 that was not installed at the time of the auction. This one found a new home for an incredible buy at $86,000. Again, it would be hard to replicate at that kind of money.

Memorabilia was also a key part of the collection at Taj Ma Garaj and there were pieces representing both the Porsche and VW brands ranging from dealership signs to custom created art pieces to racing memorabilia. Many given the Taj Ma Garaj twist like a 911 and 356 split down the side and mounted to the wall with detailed scenes.

Mr. Dixon had collected what I might call one of the most complete collections of Porsche factory posters I have ever seen. For the most part they were grouped together and averaged around $1,200-1,600 which is a pretty decent price since they were already professionally framed. One stand out set was focused on the 1973 Carrera RS and Carrera RSR. The set of six posters sold for an astonishing $7,800! And my particular favorite that I was also a bidder on was a set of three 1974 IROC series posters which I hadn't seen that ended at $1,200.

One piece that astounded me was Lot #28, a 102 inch diameter Volkswagen globe. signs like this hung at nearly every VW dealership in various sizes. One this size would have likely been mounted to a pole on the lot. Final hammer price. $16,800and that's not a misprint. I have a slightly smaller version of the same sign that I was given by my former boss who gave me my start in the auto industry almost 25 years ago. It's one of my most treasured pieces of VW memorabilia in my collection.

In all it was a fantastic auction and I was glad that I was able to see the Taj Ma Garaj in person. I would have liked to have met John Dixon. From the stories I heard at the auction and from what I've read. I think he and I would have gotten along famously.