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Brumos Ultimate Artists Book Auction Supports Piston Scholarships

Early last week, The Piston Foundation launched a new charity auction in support of the “Sponsor a Piston Scholar” campaign. The featured item is the Ultimate Artists Edition of Sean Cridland’s “Brumos: An American Racing Icon”; a three-volume book set documenting the Jacksonville, Florida Porsche racing team’s extensive 120-year history. 12 unique author-signed editions exist and of them, only two are “authors proof” prints. This book is both, making it a highly-coveted item and the perfect piece for an auction. Now, the results are in and to the highest bidder goes this collector’s archive of Porsche history.

By Christopher Perkowski

April 28, 2023

A Trove of Brumos Racing History

With 1,600 pages and over 2,900 images, this book set is the definitive chronicle on all things Brumos. Volume one takes readers back to the beginning, exploring the development of the racing team from 1900-1969. Volume two is about the 1970s, covering racing icons like the late Peter Gregg, Hurley Haywood, and Jack Atkinson. The third book spans the post-Peter Gregg era, from the 1980s all the way to 2020. Lastly, the supplement book features an extensive overview of the drivers, crew and cars of Brumos.

Sean Cridland puts into perspective just how much history these four books contain. “For those people who haven’t yet seen the Brumos book, it encompasses 120 years of history, not just of the Brumos dealership and race team itself, but when you look at the history of Brumos, it stretches back all the way to the early 1900s. Luminaries such as Glenn Curtiss, the aviation pioneer, Andy Granatelli, Roger Penske, I mean, personality after personality important to American automotive and aviation history are featured throughout this story. And it’s one that I think most people, even those within the Brumos circle, weren’t familiar with.”

Haywood agrees with Cridland’s sentiment. “I’ve been with Brumos for almost over 50 years, and there’s stuff in there I never knew about. The book itself is really an amazing piece of work. When you start on the first book and go through [to] the third, you really gain knowledge of the history of the automotive world. And when you wrap that in an artistic communication with the book, it’s really something special.”

Cridland’s book certainly proves its value in its own right. But what makes the Ultimate Artists Edition so unique is right there in the title: the artists. A different artist designs each slip jacket so that no two versions are alike. This particular set was designed by internationally renowned motorsports artist Thiago Romero, who is well-known for his abstract expressionist techniques.

The Making of Brumos: Ultimate Artists Edition

Cridland’s idea for this special edition was to celebrate the artists and their unique visual takes on the Brumos legacy. “In talking with some different artists back in 2018, the idea came up that something hand-done could be very valuable for collectors,” he says. “Of course, we had already planned to do a collector series like we did with Hurley’s book, which back in 2018, made quite a vast sum in a charitable auction at Amelia [Concours]. And so I thought, ‘well, let’s do the same thing, but let’s take it up a level and have hand-paintings, and instead of doing one, let’s do 12’. Along the way, I met several interested and enthusiastic artists, including Thiago, who volunteered and were eager to do the project.”

“I’ve been with Brumos for almost over 50 years, and there’s stuff in there I never knew about. The book itself is really an amazing piece of work.”

~ Hurley Haywood

Thus, each of the 12 artists each created their own version of the Ultimate Artists Edition’s outer cover. According to Cridland, every moment he spent collaborating with others to create the book was worth it. “Putting together the book itself was a marvelous team effort that brought together several automotive experts from across the spectrum, historians, family members from the Brumos family, extended family, and the expression of the layout through Richard Barron, who did such a beautiful job of the book. But then in this final stage, the community of artists that came together to do this project has really made me smile.”

Love Letter to a Brumos Icon

When Cridland brought Romero on to design a slip jacket, several other artists had already completed their art for the book sets. This influenced how Romero chose to approach his own cover art.

“[As] one of the last artists chosen, I didn’t want to repeat what other people already did”. After some back-and-forth with Cridland, Romero finally chose Brumos racer Peter Gregg as his main focus. One side of the cover would feature Gregg’s famous Porsche 935 and the other his red, white, and blue helmet. “At that point, nobody [had done] a helmet,” Romero explains. “Helmets used to be my specialty.”

The final work Romero created is a true sight to behold. It’s no exaggeration to say his dynamic impressionist style breathes life into the depiction of these iconic Peter Gregg artifacts. The vibrant shades of paint blend in a way to make it feel as if Gregg’s car were blazing down the track for that pulse-pounding photo finish.

The tribute surely would have made Gregg proud, as it does for Haywood. “Peter only had one decade where he was actually racing. That was during the seventies. [But] what he accomplished in that 10 year span is really incredible. Today, when you mention [him], even to young drivers, they all know the name. They know Peter Gregg, and they know what Peter stood for. He stood for excellence and preparation.”

A Win for “Sponsor a Piston Scholar”

With such brilliant artistic expression, it’s no wonder why this book set takes center stage in its own auction. Cridland was generous enough to donate this masterpiece to the Piston Foundation earlier in the year. Ever since, plans for a charity auction have been brewing. “As I put together this program, I searched around the country for worthy organizations that needed something of a boost,” says Cridland. “I looked at this opportunity as one that benefits the Piston Foundation and their programs for up-and-coming restoration mechanics and engineers, but also as a means to promote the book itself.”

In regards to the scholarship program, Haywood describes how essential new technicians are to maintaining the history of classic cars. “The Piston Foundation is giving people with the inclination [an opportunity] to become automotive mechanics and engineers, which I think is great because when you look at the complexity of not only the older cars but also the new cars, you’re going to have to have a whole group of people that have the ability to take care of them.”

When the Brumos book auction ended on the morning of May 1st, bidder @chief_charlie emerged the victor with a winning bid of $4,700. Combined with the buyers fee, the final proceeds exceed $5,000, enough to fund one scholarship. This auction’s winner not only has a beautiful work of art to add to their collection, but has also left a lasting impact in the life of an automotive trades student. Cridland and Romero were thrilled to see the response and support shown for the charity campaign and their work on the book. “I’m happy [and] honored,” Romero says. “It’s such a blessing and a privilege to be a part of a project like [this].”

Come Support the Cause

The auction may be over, but there’s still plenty of time to make a contribution to skilled trade education and the lives of aspiring technicians. Individuals may donate directly to the “Sponsor a Piston Scholar” campaign at

Images courtesy of Visions of Power and The Brumos Collection.

Support skilled trade education for future auto restoration technicians.


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