Jacksonville played a role in the VW saga thanks to local import car industry legend Hubert Brundage. “Mr. B” was the southeastern distributor for Volkswagen and a Jacksonville VW dealer. Brundage is also the “Bru” in Brumos Porsche Car Corp, which he established more than 60 years ago. On the 70th anniversary of Volkswagen’s commercial debut in America, The Amelia will honor Mr. B’s legacy.
Brundage’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think outside the box led him to Turin, Italy where he would advise the lauded Italian car designer, Pietro Frua, in the creation of what he considered the next step in the “Bug’s” commercial life.
Brundage’s Frua-bodied VW arrived in Jacksonville from Italy looking very un-Bug-like. It wore thin and refined A, B and C pillars plus a tall greenhouse and a cabin that could accommodate American-sized humans. It also had a trunk proportioned to hold their gear.
“Mr. B’s Frua-bodied ‘Bug’ was a departure from other VW custom coachwork as he wanted to show VW what was possible with the VW design. Most VW custom coachwork offerings were created to sell individual cars. Mr. B had bigger ideas,” said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, who worked for a Jacksonville VW dealer part-time after high school classes.
Here is where you come in: The Amelia needs your help locating Brundage’s Frua-bodied VW. Leads can be sent to Chris Brewer, director of communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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