Last summer, I had the lovely opportunity to visit the renowned Taj Ma Garaj. A relatively nondescript warehouse style building in the Dayton metro area that wouldn't stick out much, but once inside, your perspective is forever changed. Visiting with a fellow local enthusiast, we had a short but very pleasant conversation with Mr. Dixon as he showed us around his little Porsche museum.
John was as knowledgeable as he was personable, able to recite facts about every piece in his collection, from the delivery mileage (12 miles) Carrera GT to his Pre-A Cabriolet. The facility, his words, and his smile all demonstrated to me just how passionate he was about all of this, about the collection, about the hobby, and about the community. John let hundreds of Porsche and Volkswagen enthusiasts visit his collection each year, and was constantly adding new, exciting, and eclectic pieces to his collection. When I was there last year, John had found a BMW motorcycle that had been assembled with a 356 Carrera four cam engine at some point in the 60s, and he was quite proud of it.
Mr. Dixon succumbed to his cancer after a short battle, passing away on Sunday, August 31st. He is said to have been upbeat and positive, despite the diagnosis, and didn't let it break his spirit. He was a husband to Vickie, a father to Linda, Ashley, and Hilary, and a grandfather to six. An avid sports fan, a car enthusiast, a caring family man, a philanthropist, and an avid community member, John will be missed by many.
What Will Happen to the Collection?
No mention has been made as to what will become of the collection, but given the joy that it has supplied over the years, we would be happiest if it were to be maintained intact in John's absence. Much of John's efforts have been in support of the local children's hospital, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars with his annual "Speedfest" gatherings, and we certainly hope this will continue as well, in his honor. The John Dixon Legacy fund has been started to continue John's work in helping the children of Dayton, and donations can be made at any Wright-Patt Credit Union.
For those that got the opportunity to meet John, consider yourselves lucky, as he was simply a smiling face in a world where those are few and far between. Our condolences and best regards go out to his family and friends, and those who will continue his legacy.
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Special thanks to Andrew G for the heads-up!