Jim Dillard – The Ultimate Collector
Jim and Sharon Dillard are friendly, warm, wonderful people and are the epitome of Southern Hospitality.
I had the wonderful privilege of spending a day with Jim looking at a tiny part of his world-class collection.
I arranged to meet Jim at Redline Performance Motorsport in Virginia. As I rode in, the driveway was already full of some of Ducati’s finest toys and I struggled to decide where to look first–the incredible early Scrambler, the Desmosedici, Troy Bayliss’s flat track race bike, the Superleggera or one of many vintage classics. This is definitely one of the finest, and most interesting, motorcycle collections in the world.
Jim’s collection of motorcycles contains somewhere between 350-400–he can’t give an exact number, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know each and every one like one of his kids. He can tell you the heritage of each one, the previous owners and racers, the details of each restoration and recounts memories of riding them.
As a four-year-old, Jim would spend time helping his dad in the garage as he restored and fixed all things mechanical. Jim’s father was an avid bike collector, an incredible engineer and the source of Jim’s love of all things mechanical.
These precious moments were to form the beginning of a life-long love affair with motorcycles for Jim.
Whoever would have imagined that this inquisitive four-year-old would go on to be one the most significant collector of Ducatis on the planet? Watching the smile on Jim’s face as he fires up some of his amazing Ducatis is a testament to the seeds that were born all those years ago.
The close friendship between Jim and Sharon, and Vicki Smith and Rich Lambretchs, seems to be a match made in Ducati heaven. Jim’s desire to expand his collection, and maintain the Ducati heritage, matched with Rich’s rare master craftsman skills means that the future of all things Ducati is in great hands.
Jim hinted at the possibility of a Dillard Museum in the future. I, for one, would be the first in line to see his incredible collection in one location.