Retford OAP raises over £165,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice with sporty Jags

A pensioner has raised over £165,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice by handwriting sponsors' names on his collection of sporty XK Jaguars and displaying them at shows.

By Ben McVay
Monday, 12th October 2020, 7:00 am

Stuart Dixon, 74, has put up the whopping amount over the last three years - sadly raising only £12,000 after multiple events were cancelled this year during the pandemic.

The speed-mad OAP - a retired businessman in love with the classic British car from a boy - tours public events every year - starting in October.

In exchange for a £10 donation the public have their names displayed on the iconic cars - raising much-needed funds for the charity which is 90 per cent self-funded.

Stuart Dixon hands over a cheque to Mel Rose, community fundraiser for Bluebell Wood, in 2018

However he said this year he had been ‘stuck in the house’ since February - meaning he only attended a handful of shows and raised only a fraction of his normal total.

Father-of-one Stuart bought his first XK - an XKR convertible - in 2013 as he was nearing retirement - followed by an XKRS in rare French racing blue.

After a friend suggested he start taking the cars to shows he started buying more - ending up with nine of the grand tourers.

They include 5-litre and 4.2-litre supercharged models - all modified with beautiful racing paint jobs.

Stuart's current sticker car - 5-litre V8, 385 BHP, 155 mph limited. With public stickers in red, white and blue making flags on each side of the car and company stickers down the centre

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He said: “A few years ago someone said to me ‘why don’t you start showing them for charity, but I only had two then.

“People loved them so much they started sending me liveries of other cars so as soon as I could afford it I bought another one.

“When I’d got five I promised my wife I wouldn’t buy any more but I did.”

5-litre V8 Supercharged, 503 BHP, 175 mph limited - Grantley Body Conversion

Stuart, a self-made man who built a successful machinery-hire business after starting out as a driver, described how his Jaguar love affair began as a young boy.

He said: “I remember a local farmer giving me a lift in his Jaguar when my bike had a puncture and I loved it - I’d always wanted one.”

After selling his business and retiring grandfather-of-two Stuart threw himself into fundraising - choosing to focus on Bluebell Wood.

He said: “I looked at all the charities I’d supported over the years - who are all brilliant and I still support in other ways - but it had to be Bluebell Wood.

5-litre supercharged, 542 BHP, 186 mph limited - French racing blue

“It’s an amazing local charity which makes such a huge difference to so many local families.”

Stuart started by charging people to sit in his Jaguars at car shows however following an epiphany he decided to change tack.

He said: “I woke up at 4am one morning asking myself if people would write their names on my cars for money.

“But I don’t just go to car shows - I go to country shows, restaurant openings, you name it.”

Stuart, who admits being disappointed at raising only £12,000 this year - compared to over £70,000 in 2018 - had hoped to take his total to £250,000 before Covid-19 struck.

4.2 V8, 300 BHP, 155 mph limited

Kind-hearted Stuart hopes to continue his fundraising mission when events begin opening up again - to have your name or business displayed click HERE.

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