Jim Rogers, Philanthroper and Lover of Cars


Jim Rogers asked John Katsilometes at a social affair recently about a 1967 El Camino that John’s Uncle James once owned. John replied that he had sold it seven months ago at 413,000 miles. The car was white. James worked for Mr. Rogers at one point in time. He frequently drove Mr. Rogers around in that car.

Rogers was a wealthy man. He had an estate in Indian Hills. He passed away last Saturday night. He founded the Intermountain West Communications. He served as chancellor of the state Board of Regents for a time. He donated part of his salary back to the university system. He was an advocate of the educational system. He donated millions of dollars to universities.

James Katsilometes was Rogers one time mechanic and property manager at his Indian Hills estate. Rogers had 200 automobiles in his collection. The car collection was his passion. At seven, he said he knew every make, model and year of every car on the road. When he was fourteen, his father bought him his first car. It was a 1940 Ford two door sedan. That started his Sunbelt collection. Included in the collection are a 1926 REO bus, a 1931 Cadillac 452A V-16 convertible, a 1951 Mercury Convertible, a 1953 Buick Skylark, a 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta, a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and  a 1972 Rolls Royce Corniche convertible. The reader may not recognize many of these cars but this particular group is a select group of vintage vehicles that are exclusive and very difficult to find. The Sunbelt Museum continues to operate close to Channel 3 studios which Rogers owns.

Last January he made a surprise offer to sell fourteen of the automobiles.

It’s guessed that the collection is worth between $5-6 million.

When asked which car he would like to just take for a spin, he answered that he would choose the 1940 Ford but would like to take a ride in the 1967 El Camino again.

1982 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible
1982 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)