Continuing our tour, just before you turn to go to the second section of the collection, a smaller, nondescript door along the back wall leads to the shop area. It is just as pristine as you might imagine, bathed in light and resplendent in white. Its walls contain body panels from Brumos racers, all proudly displaying their hard-earned battle scars. A pair of transporters stand at the ready to move cars to shows and races nationwide. On the lift in front of you is the bare chassis from the collection’s Bugatti Type 35 with a single piece of bodywork attached as it awaits the next step in what is sure to be a thorough, highly crafted and sympathetic restoration.
As you turn the corner to walk through the second section of the museum, you are confronted by rows of legendary Porsche race and road cars. This isn’t surprising based on the long, successful relationship between the Porsche factory and Brumos, but what is, is the selection of the first Porsche in line, a 1959 Porsche Super Diesel Tractor. Designed by Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche in the ‘30s, it was to be the “People’s Tractor” in much the same way as the Volkswagen was the “People’s Car”. Early prototypes were built, but actual production didn’t begin in earnest until 1950, when a series of manufacturers outside Porsche built them under license. Available in four models with power coming from one, two, three, or four-cylinder air-cooled diesel engines producing 11-55 HP. By the time production ended in 1963, approximately 125,000 Porsche Diesel tractors had been produced. Despite the existence of a U.S. distributor, the Porsche-Diesel tractor proved uncompetitive on pricing, resulting in scant North American sales. Today, they have become more popular with numerous examples being restored and imported. Now it seems that any serious Porsche show or collection is incomplete without an example of one of these agrarian treasures.