Florida’s Brumos Collection to reopen with must-see newcomers

Brumos Collection - Racing display
The Brumos Racing display. Aaron Robinson

Florida’s impressive Brumos Collection automotive museum opened to much fanfare last January—just in time to close because of the pandemic. Now, after operating for only two months in 2020 before closure, the Jacksonville-area facility will reopen to the public on Thursday, January 21.

Brumos has been sponsoring winning Porsche race cars since 1960, and the new 30,000-square-foot museum is not only home to many of the cars that competed under the Brumos banner, but also a significant collection of pre-war racers from the earliest days of motorsport.

Brumos Collection - 1914 Peugeot L45
The 1914 Peugeot L45 raced at Indy in 1916 with the first twin-cam, 16-valve engine. Cameron Neveu

“Given the resounding excitement and attention generated from our grand opening a year ago, we’ve been eagerly looking forward to the day when we could reopen our doors to those who are truly passionate about automotive technology, innovation and historical significance,” said Brumos Collection Executive Director Brandon Starks. “With this reopening, we want to emphasize to our guests that we are taking all reasonable precautions to assure their safety and ensure that their visits will be endlessly enjoyable.”

The museum will implement extensive health and safety measures for both guests and staff.  Necessary safety precautions include face coverings, sanitizing stations located throughout the facility, strict social distancing guidelines, and the use of a Brumos Collection-branded stylus for each guest at all touch-screen vehicle information kiosks.

Brumos Collection - Interior walk-around room
The museum offers its guests plenty of walk-around room. Aaron Robinson

The January 21 reopening will be highlighted by the addition of two 1920s cars, a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 and a 1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series 8 Sportif. More than three dozen historically acclaimed race and collector cars are on the display floor.

Having recently been profiled in the Brumos Collection video series “Inside The 59,” the 1925 Bugatti Type 35 race car was owned by Manhattan socialite and Standard Oil heir Wallis Bird. It was raced once—12 years after it was built—in the 1937 Automobile Racing Club of American Grand Prix.

The unrestored 1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series 8 Sportif had the patina of tradition even when new. Know during the Roaring ’20s as “The best-built car in America,” Locomobile developed a name for itself during the fabled “Nickel & Chrome Era.” Storied automaker Locomobile believed in handcrafted, overbuilt automobiles even as others adopted moving assembly, lightweight parts, and yearly model changes. Its original owner drove this fine automobile for three decades.

Brumos Collection - 1963 Meskowski Champ
The 1963 Meskowski Champ driven by A.J. Foyt is part of the Brumos Collection’s extensive catalog of circle-track racers. Cameron Neveu

The Brunos Collection’s roots date to 1951, when Hubert Brundage decided to enhance the business of his Florida hardware store by selling new Volkswagens that he parked by the front door. A weekend racer, he soon began distributing Porsches as well and expanded into Brundage Motors, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Whenever the company received a wire, the standard telex shorthand would reduce the company’s name to “Brumos,” and the rest is racing history.

The Brumos Collection is housed in a purpose-built facility whose meticulous design pays homage to the 165,000 square-foot Ford plant that Henry Ford built in Jacksonville in 1924. The original factory was considered for the museum, but it was dilapidated beyond repair, leading to the construction of the new facility.

The museum will soon be open Thursday through Saturday each week, with the first admissions at 10 a.m. and the last at 4 p.m. ET. More information is available at the Brumos Collection website.

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