From 1971 into 2013, Brumos Racing was one of the most competitive sports car racing teams on the planet. Following the sale of Brumos Porsche (along with the other six branded dealerships) in December 2015, the Brumos name has largely vanished from sight, except for the occasional throwback racing livery honoring the team’s accomplishments. That changes in 2020, when the Brumos Collection in Jacksonville, Florida, opens its doors, giving the public a formerly rare chance to view a stunning array of racing and road cars.
For years, a tour of the Brumos Collection was something to be coveted, and not available to the general public. Assembled by Dan Davis, owner of Brumos Motorcars (and Brumos Racing) from 1990 -2015, the list of cars within included cars raced by Peter Gregg (who owned Brumos from 1965 to his death in 1980), Hurley Haywood, and others, along with an assortment of interesting road cars and vintage race cars from Indy Car, USAC and NASCAR. Though cliché, there really is something for everyone to appreciate.
This 1972 Porsche 917/10 was the first Brumos racing car to carry the now-familiar white, red and blue livery.
The Brumos Collection will be housed in a building designed to resemble another Jacksonville automotive landmark, the Ford assembly plant that opened on the St. Johns River in 1924. Like the Ford plant, the Brumos Collection building will feature a brick and concrete façade, along with floor-to-ceiling windows and triangular skylights, designed to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Unlike the Ford plant, which relied upon windows and skylights for ventilation as well, the Brumos Collection will be climate-controlled to preserve the historic vehicles and artifacts within.
With 35,000 square feet of display space, there’s room enough to display a large number of Brumos Collection vehicles, along with memorabilia. A separate space will house an archive room dedicated to automotive and racing history, while a conference room overlooking the display area will be used for classes and special events. On site workshops include an engine room, machine shop and all-wheel drive chassis dyno, indicating that restoration and preservation work will be carried out on site and likely visible to the public.
This Porsche 914/6 helped deliver Brumos’s first IMSA GT Championship, in 1971.
As with other contemporary museums, The Brumos Collection will rely on a mix of old (printed signage, available docent-led tours) and new (digital kiosks, with photos and videos of the cars in action) to relay information about the displays to visitors. Per The Brumos Collection website, “This new facility is designed to create an immersive and interactive experience for visitors. Our hope is to continue the Brumos legacy by sharing the innovation, technology and historical context behind some of the world’s finest automobiles.”
Brumos racing cars to be displayed include a 1970 Porsche 911 S, driven by Haywood and Gregg to an IMSA GT Championship in 1972, and significant for two reasons: It was the first Porsche 911 to win an IMSA GT Championship, and it was the last of the tangerine-liveried Porsches raced by Brumos before switching to the now famous white, red and blue scheme. The 1971 Porsche 914/6 (also in tangerine paint) that earned Brumos its first IMSA GT Championship, in 1971, will be featured, along with a Can-An Porsche 917/10, raced by Gregg in the ‘72 season and Haywood in ‘73. Gregg’s last race car, a 1979 Porsche 935 in which he took the 1979 IMSA Championship, will be among the displays, and is possibly the final remaining unmodified Porsche 935.
One of the road-going cars in The Brumos Collection is this 1930 Cord L29.
The racing cars of Harry Miller are represented, too, with a ’23 Miller 122 Grand Prix race car and a ’23 Miller 122 Indy race car included, along with a supercharged front-drive Miller engine from the period. Other USAC or Indy cars include a ’47 Stevens, a ’58 Lesovsky dirt track Champ car, a ’58 Watson Sprint Car, a ’63 Meskowski dirt track Champ Car and a ’63 Watson Indy roadster. A 1963 Forcar Formula Vee may be among the least powerful racing cars on display, but it honors the memory of Bob Snodgrass, the former CEO of Brumos Motorcars, vice-chairman of the Grand American Road Racing Association and avid vintage racer, who died in 2007 at age 64.
Road-going vehicles in the collection include a sporty 1910 Peugeot Voiturette V2Y2, a Murphy-bodied 1930 Cord L29 Town Car, a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S coupe, Gregg’s personal 1973 Porsche 911S – with the semi-automatic “Sportomatic” transmission, and a Brumos edition 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.
1923 Miller 122 Grand Prix racing car.
If all goes as planned, the vehicles will be moved from their present location to the new Brumos Collection building this fall, with a grand opening slated for January 2020. For additional details, visit TheBrumosCollection.com, or The Brumos Collection Facebook page.