As you walk up the second section of the museum, along a wall dividing the two sections, is a large “Porsche” logo (in case there was any doubt in your mind as to what you were viewing). Underneath it and stretching through three display cases is the Brumos trophy case. The awards span the length of Brumos’ racing legacy and cover small SCCA races to renowned international endurance contests. Vintage racing is included with show trophies from concours, PCA events and Rennsport gatherings. As you endeavor to take them all in, you come to the realization that “trophy polisher” at Brumos may be the closest thing to permanent employment there is!
As with the first section, we will mention just a few of the notable Porsches shown beginning with the oldest, a 1953 Porsche 356 pre-A bent-window coupe. Bent window comes from the curved, one-piece windshield that replaced the even earlier two-piece split windshield. Porsche’s assault on the sports car world began with humble beginnings. The 356 combined several Volkswagen and Volkswagen-based components with a low, lightweight body. Blessed with excellent handling and surprising performance, the resulting car became a favorite of car enthusiasts, eventually finding their way onto racetracks worldwide. Success came as the cars became giant killers in all forms of sports car competition. A class victory at Le Mans and a world record setting effort at Montlhéry helped solidify Porsche’s place in the automotive world.
From Porsche’s origins, the collection jumps ahead in Porsche evolution to the 1970 Porsche 917K. A purpose-built racecar, it was cleverly designed to fit into an FIA loophole which allowed a car with 25 examples built to qualify as a sports car with eligibility in the World Championship of Makes. Equipped with a flat-12 nestled into a space frame under minimal bodywork, the cars were brutish to say the least. Early development was hardly encouraging as the car proved difficult to drive and unreliable. Enter John Wyer and results began to emerge. In 1970, a 917 would go on to win Porsche’s first overall victory after years of class victories in the hands of Hans Herrmann and Richard Atwood. The 917 in the Brumos Collection was never raced, but rather tested extensively by Porsche before it was sold to Swiss racer Jo Siffert. In his ownership, the car was leased to Steve McQueen for use in his epic racing movie “Le Mans”. The car became the race winner in the movie and was driven in the film by McQueen himself. Following Siffert’s passing, the car went to Brian Redman and eventually to a French collector, before being acquaired by the collection. Its presence is helping solidify the position of high regard the museum has already garnered in the few short months it has been open.