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August 7, 2013

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By Andrea

It’s apparently been one of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets for decades.

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Sure, best association knew that Brumos dealerships awash Porsches, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus lines. Some ability accept alike accepted their leaders Hubert Brundage, afresh Peter Gregg, Bob Snodgrass and ultimately Dan Davis raced and won assorted championships from the 1970s through 2013.

But alone a few knew Brumos had been accumulating a different accumulating of its own chase cars and others for years, anchored in a clandestine building abaft its old Atlantic Boulevard dealership.

Now the Brumos Accumulating is accessible to the accessible at 5159 S. San Pablo Road, attentive by a big orange Union 76 brawl with windows, already acclimated by spotters at Daytona International Speedway. The museum’s architecture pays admiration to the 1920s Ford Model A bulb beneath the Mathews Bridge and central are cars celebrated chase cars, archetypal cars and automobilia.

At Monday’s admirable opening, Dan Davis, majority buyer of Brumos from 1990 to its 2015 bargain to the Fields Auto Group, said the abstraction to accessible the accumulating to accessible examination began in the 1990s aback he formed with Snodgrass. Admitting to actuality a “car guy” aback he was a child, it took a while for eyes to become absoluteness on acreage his ancestors owns on the Duval/St. Johns County line.

“We will not be accessible accustomed and we will alpha slowly, like two canicule a week,” Davis said. “… I’ve heard from some car association I apperceive who say ‘I accept to accompany my dad, he will adulation this,’ and ‘We accept to appear aback and absorb time.’ It’s been positive. And we’ve had some bodies who are appealing accustomed with added museums who accept rated this building highly.”

For multi-time ability chase champ Hurley Haywood, who competed in all of the Brumos chase cars, what Davis has done is “amazing.”

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“He has so abounding cars that accept a astonishing history that the accustomed accessible don’t get to see. He acquainted that he would body some abode breadth bodies can attending at this and apprentice from it,” Haywood said. “To be able to accept somebody who appreciates the cars that I accept apprenticed and we accept been able to get is absolutely cool. … It’s appealing appropriate for me.”

Brundage started the dealership beneath his name in the backward 1950s, his Volkswagen band abutting by Porsche in 1959 on Main Street in Springfield. It was renamed Brumos as he awash and raced Porsches.

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When Brundage died in 1964, Gregg purchased the aggregation and its antagonism ancestry grew — the Porsches aboriginal in orange, afresh red, white and dejected with No. 59 on them. Haywood began antagonism for Brumos, ultimately acceptable Porsche dealership carnality president. Gregg died in 1980, afresh Davis and Snodgrass took over in 1990 as the chase aggregation becoming added wins.

The growing car accumulating was stored in Brumos Antagonism address abaft their dealerships on Atlantic Boulevard. Now those cars ample a 35,000-square-foot affectation breadth beneath skylights that answer those of the Ford plant, the antechamber absolute an angel of Snodgrass and a 1929 Ford Model T.

Visitors footfall over a No. 59 carved into the floor, afresh see 50-plus classics.

The Brumos affectation includes a 1,000-horsepower 1972 Porsche 917-10 Can Am chase car that accomplished ninth with Gregg in the 1972 championship, followed by Haywood’s third abode in the 1973 season. There’s a 1959 Porsche Tractor Super, afresh Brumos’ newest acquisition: the iconic 1970 orange and dejected Porsche 917K apprenticed by Steve McQueen in the allegorical antagonism blur “Le Mans.” It was awash for $14.08 actor two years ago at auction.

As he looked at the chase cars his backward ancestor drove, Simon Gregg, a Trans-Am chase car disciplinarian himself, got a bit emotional.

“Dad’s old cars are actuality remembered again, not to acknowledgment Hurley’ history. It’s abundant to see it presented like this,” he said. “I was abashed to see the Gulf Porsche 917 and the added cars. … Actuality actuality reminds me of Dad, that draws a lot of emotions.”

Towering aloft the Brumos cars is “Buster,” a archetypal 1968 Mercedes-Benz agent that hauled Porsche chase cars to tracks. Model cars, actual abstracts and antagonism artifacts ample a arced bank adding the displays. Non-Brumos Antagonism cars accommodate a 1914 Peugeot L45s open-wheel chase car, one of alone two remaining, and a 1923 Miller 122 Admirable Prix antagonism car on a board clue diorama.

The walls of the building are abounding with iconic images of the cars and drivers, some taken by antagonism chairman/founder Bill Warner.

“It is a aces asset for our community. I can’t anticipate common of any accumulating or building that is bigger presented or added significant,” he said. “… This is homegrown.”

Each car gets an iPad-like agenda kiosk with aggregate from its agent blueprint to activity shots, able by adept auto biographer and above Automobile annual editor Jean Jennings.

“I aloof appetite to cry, continuing here, because I accept been alive on this accumulating for a year,” she said. “I’ve done the research, writing, award the photos. This is such a arresting and important accumulating of antagonism history. I can’t accent it enough. “

The new ability additionally has a 22-seat auditorium, appointment allowance and annal with added of the memorabilia apparent on display, additional a branch with agent allowance and apparatus shop.

The building will initially be accessible bound days, volunteers actuality approved to help. For advice and tickets, accessible alone in beforehand at $19.99 per developed and $14.99 for children, seniors and military, go to thebrumoscollection.com.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549

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©2020 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Visit The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.) at www.jacksonville.com

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