New York, NY — John Campion, an energy technology entrepreneur also known for his rare collection of world championship race cars, died Oct. 2 at the age of 57. He had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2018.
Among his carefully curated collection — featured in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Vintage Motorsport — are seven Lancia models that had each raced in the World Rally Championship. They were displayed at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours. Campion’s complete collection also includes Ferraris, Alfa Romeos and Porsches.
Campion immigrated to the United States from Cork, Ireland in 1984 and quickly found work as a roadie for the world’s biggest rock bands, culminating in a position as an electrician on Michael Jackson’s 1987-1989 World Tour. During his run with Jackson, he developed a portable power generation unit that would soon be the cornerstone of the first company he founded, Showpower, Inc.
Sparked by the success and ultimate sale of Showpower to General Electric, Campion went on to serve in a number of leadership positions with energy companies, including GE and Alstrom Power Rentals. He acquired Alstom in 2004 and transformed it into APR Energy, a global company specializing in the rapid deployment of cost-efficient, reliable electricity.
After his retirement as CEO of APR Energy in May 2019, Campion created CJJ Motorsports Racing to provide support to Irish racers. The entity is also the primary sponsor for Formula Female, led by Nicci Daly, and its Go Girls Karting Initiative, which introduces 1,000 young women to karting in Ireland each year.
He was also involved with the University of North Florida’s Osprey SAE Student Race Team.