RM Sotheby’s, Taj Ma Garaj, Dayton, Ohio, September 28, 2019

Well, we’re a little late with this auction report.

It got backed up with a succession of sales with more cars, but doesn’t deserve to be overlooked.

Taj Ma Garaj was John Dixon’s passion, reflecting both his love of all things Porsche and also his inimitable if not unique desire to express his vision of things that Porsche and Volkswagen never built.

There are many wonderful Porsches and pristine old VWs in here, along with fantastic visions of what-might-have-been.

Most of the cars reported here were observed on-site by Megan Boyd, but a few (the off the beaten path John Dixon visions) are described from the catalog and RM’s exceptional website photography.

This is not a Jerry Seinfeld Porsche collection: it’s more “individual” with customs in some magnitude that reflect the vision of John Dixon, the man who guided their creation.

In other words it is, like the collection’s whimsical name “Taj Ma Garaj”, fun.

Cars Sold/ Offered Sale % Sold < Low Est Sold > High Est Average Sale Median Sale Total $
32/32 100% 59.4% 12.5% $156,877 $86,800



The Taj Ma Garaj cars were observed on-site by Megan Boyd. Some of the photos are by Darin Schnabel and courtesy RM Sotheby’s. The reports that follow are sorted by lot number.

Lot # 358 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing Convertible; S/N 1832346750; Engine # AM000233; Yellow/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Estimate $25,000 – $35,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $26,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $29,120. – Chrome reversed wheels, baby Moon hubcaps, reinforced front bumper with grille guard and wood slat floors. – Sold new in Houston to an oilman, Frank W. Michaux, and lightly used with only 4,556 miles from new. Very good paint and very good interior with only a few small minor marks from limited use. The wood duckboards are discolored from age. The dash vinyl is slightly faded, as is the steering wheel. The visors are faded and saggy. Good chrome with only some minor pitting on the door handles. Great original example with an interesting history. Lightly used and remarkably well-preserved, especially considering most 181 Things led less than pampered lives. – The Type 181, called the Kurierwagen in Germany, the Safari in Mexico, the Pescaccia in Italy and the Trekker in Britain, only came to the States for a few years in the ’70s as the Thing. Like most VWs, they were inexpensive cars for many years, and Things lend themselves to driving off the beaten path and in all kinds of weather. A lot have been restored by now, but very few are in such well-preserved original condition as this 181. It would be exceedingly difficult to find another unrestored one this good, which is why it brought top dollar.

Lot # 360 1983 Porsche 911 SC 3.0 Cabriolet; S/N WP0EA0916DS171442; Engine # 64D5145; Black/Tan leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $50,000 – $75,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $47,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $52,640. – Black painted Fuchs wheels, Blaupunkt Monterey cassette stereo, limited slip, cruise control, power windows, air conditioning, remote mirrors, removable rollbar, books, manuals, tool kit, wind deflector, Porsche CofA. – Represented as a three-owner car with just 9,230 actual miles. Very good repaint. The interior is exceptional considering its age. Very clean cloth top. A relatively rare SC Cabriolet, and likely one of the best, lowest-mileage examples around. – 1983 was the last year for the 911 SC and the first year for a Porsche cabriolet since the 356, but SC Cabs aren’t particularly collectible in the world of 911s. This is a reasonable result for this car, although given its remarkably low odometer reading a higher price wouldn’t have been surprising.

Lot # 361 1969 Porsche 912 Coupe, Body by Karmann; S/N 129020475; Engine # 4093575; Tangerine/Black leatherette; Estimate $125,000 – $175,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $90,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $100,800. – Original Blaupunkt Hamburg AM-FM radio, roof-mounted ski rack with skis, chrome wheels, fog lights, headrests, extensive documentation from new. – Represented as a three-owner car with just 12,900 original miles and full numbers-matching. Very good, possibly original paint. Excellent original interior with nearly no signs of wear. Very good brightwork with only minor flaws on the accessory ski rack. Well-equipped and well kept. Few 912s got pampered like a 911, but this one has enjoyed a very comfortable life. – Remarkably original or not, this is an extremely expensive price for a 912 of any kind. That said, it isn’t quite a world record, as Gooding sold a fully restored ’67 model in 2017 for $114,400. That car also had a roof rack, so maybe that’s the secret.

Lot # 362 1970 Porsche 914/6 Targa; S/N 9140430872; Engine # 6404519; Light Ivory, Black vinyl roof/Black; Estimate $100,000 – $120,000; Cosmetic restoration, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $120,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $134,400. – Mahle alloy wheels (including the spare), roof-mounted ski rack and Porsche-labeled “Mt. Everest” skis, original jack and tool kit, Blaupunkt radio, tinted glass, service records, Kardex copy and Porsche CofA documented. – Represented as the original engine and 7,712 miles from new. Very good repaint. Some minor drying of seals and rubber. The interior is in great condition. Good brightwork with only minor flaws. A solid cosmetic restoration that added the alloy wheels and ski rack, both neat touches. – This is a good car and 914/6s are very rare, but not so rare that a discerning buyer couldn’t find a stronger example than this. The price paid is best-in-the-world money but that’s not the car it bought. Maybe it was the Porsche-labeled skis?

Lot # 364 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 1332526053; Engine # AK088249; Texas Yellow/Black vinyl; Estimate $20,000 – $30,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $19,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $21,280. – Empi GT wheels, Michelin XAS tires, wood-tone dash, Sapphire AM radio, Love Bug mats, VW Museum CofA, manuals, production card documented. – Good paint and excellent interior with no signs of wear. Tired brightwork with some discoloration on the windshield frame, scratches on the front bumper and minor pitting on the bumper over riders front and rear. The 16,500 miles showing are represented as actual, the engine is represented as matching numbers and this is a phenomenally well-kept ’70s Beetle in the attractive two-year-only color of Texas Yellow. – A lot of money for a hardtop Super Beetle, but good luck finding another one like this, and in a room with six-figure 911s and a million-dollar 356 Carrera, 21-grand for such a well-preserved and original Beetle isn’t a huge worry.

Lot # 366 1953 Porsche 356 Bent window Limousine Custom; S/N 50146; Engine # 4094339; Grand Prix White/Tan leatherette, cloth inserts; Estimate $150,000 – $250,000; Not viewed, notes from the catalog 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $185,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $207,200. – 912 engine, folding sunroof, trafficators, suicide rear doors, chrome wheels, hubcaps, whitewalls, skirts, luggage rack, air suspension, division window, flowered ashtrays, seat belts, opening rear quarter windows, big stereo, opera lights. – Totally outrageous, but seriously charming, an exercise in what might have been had Porsche been crazy enough to build such a conveyance. Rendered in exquisite detail and lavished with period accessories. – Arrive at the opera in this magnificent creation and the Rolls-Royces and Maybachs would shrink back in embarrassment. It is ludicrous, but also wonderful, and no one can argue with the value the Taj Ma Garaj bidders put on it. It is one of a kind, in both concept and value.

Lot # 369 1970 Volkswagen Beetle “Casa Linda Lace” 2-Dr. Sedan, Body by Rafael Esparza-Prieto; S/N 1102312225; White/Black vinyl; Estimate $40,000 – $60,000; Not viewed, notes from the catalog 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $70,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $78,400. – 8-spoke white painted alloy wheels, Blaupunkt radio, vinyl-wrapped steering wheel. – Built on a VW floor pan and internal structure, the exterior is an extravagant white painted wrought iron assembly that precisely duplicates the Beetle’s exterior. See-through in many places, it was commissioned by Jose Barajas for his Montecito, California restaurant. It is like an apparition: there but ephemeral. Reportedly fully functional and amazingly creative. – It’s unsure any analysis of “market” applies to this art work, or even to its “Rot Iron” license plate. It is what it is, and the Taj Ma Garaj bidders loved it. The attention to detail and the Beetle’s shape is amazing.

Lot # 370 1952 Porsche 356 Bent Window Cabriolet, Body by Glaser; S/N 12355; Engine # 21238; Burgundy/Black; Gray cloth top; Estimate $375,000 – $425,000; Concours restoration, 1 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $267,500 plus commission of 11.87%; Final Price $299,250. – 1,300/44 DIN hp, wheel covers, whitewalls, Telefunken radio, dual bumper-mounted horns, overriders, headlight eyebrows, Kardex copy and Porsche CofA documented. – Flawless paint. Excellent interior with no signs of wear. Snug, proper-fitting gray cloth top. Tidy factory correct engine bay. A concours restoration of an early, rare Glaser-bodied 356 with zero sign of use since completion even though it was finished back in 2011. The engine case has been replaced and restamped. – With all the attention this sale attracted from Porsche fans this rarity seems to have escaped relatively unnoticed and sold for a materially modest price that would not have been deemed expensive had it brought another 10 or even 20 percent.

Lot # 371 2007 Porsche 911/997 GT3 RS Coupe; S/N WP0AC29997S792527; Orange, Black graphics/Black leather, Alcantara inserts; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $165,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $184,800. – Air conditioning delete, Black alloy wheels, Red calipers, power windows, CD stereo, nav system, cruise control, documented from new. – One-owner car with 1,130 miles and in factory-fresh condition. – According to RM, this car had an as-delivered price of $126,000 back in 2007, which translates to about $157,500 in today’s dollars. Some limited-production high-performance Porsches tend to get collectible even while other performance cars languish as used exotics. The 997 GT3 RS is one of them and it is a good value at this price.

Lot # 372 1997 Porsche 911/993 Turbo Coupe; S/N WP0AC2996VS375198; Engine # 61V00713; Pearl White Metallic/Cashmere leather; Estimate $225,000 – $275,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $330,000 plus commission of 11.52%; Final Price $368,000. – 3,600/400hp, 6-speed, twin turbos, intercooler, all-wheel drive, Champion modular wheels (original Turbo Twist wheels included), Root Wood trimmed dashboard and door panels, fog lights, CD stereo, power seats, air conditioning, on-board computer, Litronic headlights, Red calipers, original paper, window sticker, Porsche CofA, manuals. – One-owner 993 Turbo with special order paint and interior features. Just 2,569 miles and looks showroom fresh. A special car with a lavish, luxurious, special order interior. – Special order features, especially tasteful ones, can add up to a big premium on 911s and this is a perfect example. The gorgeous paint color and the neat wood treatment on the interior might be features specified to one buyer’s tastes, but they appealed to just about everyone at the auction and this is easily 100 grand more than a standard issue 993 Turbo in this condition would expect to bring, even taking the low miles into account.

Lot # 373 1971 Mangosta Sport Beach Buggy; S/N 3245179; Engine # AE202205; Root Beer Metallic Brown/Brown vinyl; Estimate $50,000 – $75,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $95,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $106,400. – Cragar wheels, padded rollbar, mud plug rear tires, Love Bug floor mats, aircraft-style seat belts – VW-powered, but with no details available. Cracks in the paint on the rear pan and some scratching on the brightwork. Some of the metal pieces in the interior are corroded. One of only a handful of Mangostas built in California during the 1970s, and this one was reportedly used as a company demonstrator. It sat for years before being discovered in 2003 and has since been cleaned up but not restored. – The best Meyers Manx in the world can’t expect to sell for over $75,000 but the Taj Ma Garaj bidders put that standard definitively to rest with this result. Exclusive and (by beach buggy standards) luxurious it will make a statement at any gathering of VWs but this is a high price for such exclusivity.

Lot # 374 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo 930 Flat Nose Coupe; S/N WP0JB0936JS050662; Engine # 68101146; Guards Red/Champagne leather; Estimate $175,000 – $225,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $172,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $193,200. – Red center Fuchs wheels, factory slant nose, sunroof, heated power seats, Blaupunkt Reno radio, tinted glass, air conditioning, power windows, original space-saver spare, jack, tools, owner’s manual, Porsche CofA documented. – Very good original paint. The whale tail shows some signs of fatigue but is overall presentable. Very good interior with only minor wear on the driver’s seat. A fully documented factory slant nose that remains unrestored and is represented to have just 13,738 miles. – Not everybody likes the look of the slant nose on a road-going 911, but enough people do like it that it can command a 30 percent premium over a standard 930. That, more than this car’s low but not exceptionally low mileage, explains this nearly top-of-the-market result.

Lot # 375 1958 Porsche 356A Sedan Delivery “Kreuzer”; S/N 104507; Black/Red leatherette, wicker; Estimate $100,000 – $150,000; Not viewed, notes from the catalog 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $77,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $86,800. – Centerlock chrome wheels, whitewalls, side hinged rear door with single engine cooling grille, wicker passenger’s seat, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, sunroof, interior fan, cigarette dispenser, rear window “Please Pass” light, driver’s wind wing. – Meticulously created by Bob Bennett to a design by Byron Kauffman. Imaginative and definitively one-of-a-kind. Excellent paint, chrome, interior and details. A stock 356A from the doors forward, what comes behind is an original concept in the best sense of the term. – Otto Zipper should have had this parts-runner in the Fifties. The result here is surprisingly modest for its creativity and execution even if it caters to its impracticality.

Lot # 376 1967 Porsche 911 S Coupe; S/N 305860S; Engine # 960355; Silver Metallic/Black leather; Estimate $350,000 – $450,000; Unrestored original, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $300,000 plus commission of 11.67%; Final Price $335,000. – Fuchs wheels, roof rack, Becker Grand Prix radio, dual Talbot fender mirrors, fog lights, red plaid fitted luggage, headrests, tinted glass, rear window wiper, obsessively documented from new. – Delivered at the Porsche factory to Robert Graham, an employee of Aramco in the Middle East. Fully documented original car represented with just 28,980 actual miles. Fantastic original paint and lightly stretched upholstery. Excellent brightwork. A fantastic car that is way too good for restoration at this point and comes with as many records and documents as one could want. – A first-year 911 S is special enough, but one as original and clean as this is a unicorn and the bidders recognized what an unrepeatable opportunity this sale was. Anything over 300 grand would be very expensive for even an immaculately restored car, but for this one the price paid seems about right.

Lot # 377 1967 Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter High-Roof Van; S/N 217004334; Dove Blue/Grey vinyl; Estimate $60,000 – $80,000; Older restoration, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $45,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $50,400. – Grey hub caps, roof rack, ladder, bumper overriders – Rare high-roof model restored a little over 15 years ago. Good paint with some minor surface scratching from cleaning. Very good interior. Good brightwork. Unusual and still presentable. – This is a pretty amazing survivor, a working utilitarian vehicle that would normally have been driven until its wheels fell off or the body panels dissolved back into the earth. It also is so tall it is unwieldy (it takes up so much room in a car hauler that Reliable would charge extra to ship it) but it’s a show-stopper at a VW gathering and would be a singular observation post at car races, not to mention a treat as the support vehicle for a Formula Vee racer. With conventional Microbusses routinely bringing more than the result here it stands as a good buy for a serious VW Type 2 enthusiast.

Lot # 378 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport Coupe; S/N WP0ZZZ93ZBS710038; Engine # 4710022; Red/Black cloth; Estimate $250,000 – $350,000; Not viewed, notes from the catalog 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $320,000 plus commission of 11.56%; Final Price $357,000. – 2,093cc/275hp intercooled turbo four, 5-speed, lightened and de-contented, Bilstein coil-over suspension, 930 Turbo brakes, limited slip, alloy roll cage, tool kit, spare wheel, jack, maintenance records. – Stored from new, never raced, two owners, 47km on the clock. Porsche CofA documented but it does not reflect the observed numbers. A time capsule. – An outlier in Porsche history, a front-engined 4-cylinder water cooled car with 911 performance, but much more rare than any 911. The new owner of this car will have make a difficult decision whether to continue to preserve it as a time capsule or to freshen it up and experience its scintillating performance. At this price preservation seems to the logical choice, but its performance will be hard to resist.

Lot # 379 1957 Porsche 356A Carrera GT Speedster, Body by Reutter; S/N 83622; Engine # 90858; Silver Metallic, Silver Metallic hardtop/Black leatherette; Black cloth top; Estimate $1,500,000 – $2,000,000; Older restoration, 1- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,250,000 plus commission of 10.40%; Final Price $1,380,000. – 4-cam Type 547/1 engine, hardtop, steel wheels, gold brightwork, woodrim steering wheel, tool kit and “touring kit”, rollbar (not installed), original driver’s manual and Carrera supplement, Kardex copy and Porsche CofA documented – Excellent paint with zero signs of wear. Excellent interior with only minor scratches on the steering wheel. Tidy and correct engine compartment. Represented as one of 12 in this configuration with its original engine and transmission. Restored many years ago, but to the standards it deserves and it is still in phenomenal condition. – A remarkably uneventful history is the hallmark of this ’57 GT Speedster, apparently never seriously raced, wrecked or misused. It has had some of the 356’s more vulnerable body parts replaced, but much of the exterior panels are original. The engine has been, as with most 356A GTs, separated but now has been found and installed after being rebuilt by Bill Doyle. The condition is exemplary if not “fresh” and the price is appropriate.

Lot # 380 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Coupe; S/N 9114400143; Engine # 6340884; Grand Prix White, Black graphics/Black leatherette; Estimate $175,000 – $225,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $150,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $168,000. – Fuchs wheels, Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio, tinted glass, ducktail spoiler, tools, manuals, service records, Porsche CoA documented. – Excellent paint, glass and interior with no flaws. A time capsule with 16,966 reported original and entirely believable miles showing. – One of 528 Carrera coupes for the U.S. market, this car is distinguished by its oh-so-’70s hood decals but what really sets it apart is its level of preservation. A more powerful European-spec model would be worth more, but this is top dollar for an American MFI Carrera and the car deserves it.

Lot # 381 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup Coupe; S/N WP0AA0958JN165069; Engine # 47J00399; Guards Red, “Rothmans”/Black vinyl; Estimate $75,000 – $100,000; Unrestored original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $87,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $98,000. – Magnesium phone dial wheels, roll cage, racing suspension, racing clutch, transmission oil cooler, 928 S4 brakes, fiberglass hood, Recaro driver’s seat, stainless exhaust (original included), Porsche CoA documented. – A spare car from the 944 Cup Series that was never raced but sold to a private customer who used it one the street occasionally. Maintained from new, repainted and still nearly looks new, with 14,903 believable km (9,260 miles) on the odometer. Represented as fully numbers-matching and impossible to fault in any reasonable way. – Porsche built only a few dozen 944 Turbo Cup cars for support races in North America, Europe and South Africa, so they’re rare as well as quick. RM sold another example that looks nearly identical at first glance last year for $49,500, but it was an as-raced car with higher mileage. Nearly twice that price for this car seems expensive, but considering the rarity and performance it buys in the world of vintage factory-built Porsche race cars, it still is a sound value for the money.

Lot # 382 1967 Porsche 911 Coupe; S/N 305324; Engine # 909166; Light Ivory/Black leatherette; Estimate $150,000 – $200,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $97,500 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $109,200. – RHD. Woodrim steering wheel, headrest seats, Blaupunkt New York radio, dealer-installed Delanair air conditioning, chrome wheels, fog lights, owner’s manual, warranty book, spare, jack, tool kit, Kardex copy and Porsche CofA documented – Very good paint and interior. Good brightwork other than light pitting on the window frames and front vents. A very rare right-hand drive early 911 that has received paint work but is otherwise original and remarkably well-preserved with a claimed 3,937 actual miles. – This is a whopping big price for a righthand drive 911 in the lefthand drive United States but it is amply supported by the nearly nonexistent miles and excellent preservation. It is expensive, but it deserves to be.

Lot # 385 1967 Volkswagen Beetle Deluxe 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 117022036; Engine # H0211242; Ruby Red/Beige leatherette; Estimate $30,000 – $50,000; Visually maintained, largely original, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $21,000 plus commission of 12.00%; Final Price $23,520. – Hub caps, narrow whitewalls, bumper overriders, Sapphire radio, driver seat headrest. – Represented as a two-owner car with just “believed to be” 6,135 miles from new. Very good partially original paint. Excellent original interior. The only minor flaw is minimal corrosion on the vent window hardware. Phenomenally well-preserved, especially considering that it’s just a Beetle. – Not one-of-a-kind but certainly very rare with this condition and mileage, this car could have commanded more without being expensive, especially considering the other hefty premiums paid for originality in this auction.

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