Amelia Island founder Bill Warner doesn’t have to look far to find amazing cars

Brumos-from-on-high CROPPED
Aaron Robinson

We’re gearing up for this week’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, which is exciting and bittersweet at the same time. As luck would have it, Amelia Island was Hagerty’s final boots-on-the-ground event before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country last March, and 14 months later it’s our first event of 2021. Let’s just say we’re glad to be back.

Heading into the Florida auctions, ride-alongs, get-togethers, and main event on Sunday, we enjoyed watching the latest Inside the 59 video from the Brumos Collection, “A conversation with Bill Warner.” Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours, has both a personal and professional connection to the new Brumos museum in Jacksonville.

“There are only a handful of museums—less than four—in the whole country that are of this quality,” Warner says in the video. “… Every major show has great collections in their backyard (that) they draw from. The most important thing about the concours is we do certain themes, and you need a source for those cars … (and) the Brumos Collection has a phenomenal collect of cars. It’s extremely important to have such a significant inventory of wonderful cars within miles of where we’re putting on the show.”

Warner says he has a personal relationship to the Brumos name that goes back decades. He remembers when Hubert Brundage sold imports through Brundage Motors in Jacksonville. In 1962, when Brundage started a stand-alone Porsche dealership, he used the VW dealership’s Telex code to name the business: Brumos is short for BRUndage MOtorS. Warner was a budding photographer, having started taking racing images as a teenager in 1959.

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

When the Brumos Collection opened its new building in 2020, which was modeled after Albert Kahn’s Ford Model T and Model A manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, it needed plenty of photos for its walls. Forty percent of those on display are from Warner’s archives.

“The display is very heartwarming for me because it means everything that I did 50 years ago has some meaning today,” Warner says. “They’ll be here long after I’m gone, and that’s kind of nice to know you’re leaving something behind that’s positive (for people) to enjoy.”

Check back here for more Amelia Island coverage this week as the auctions and concours kick off.

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