The Classics: Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

imageThe Tampa Bay Automobile Museum showcases some of the most beautiful, innovative, and most influential cars in automotive history. Every car in the museum is an important piece of history, each possessing its own distinct qualities. The following pictures don’t do the massive collection justice. Only a few cars were included in this post, although that does not mean the rest of the collection is any less precious. Enjoy.

1953 Talbot Lago T15 Ql6

The 1953 Talbot Lago T15 Ql6 features the traditional lines of the era, however under the hood is a rather innovative power plant. The hemispherical 6 cylinder engine puts out 120 horsepower and displaces 2.7 liters.


Peugeot Darl’Mat

This exquisitely styled Peugeot, made from 1934 to 1939, was originally purchased from a police auction for $150 dollars. The car came in coupe, and roadster body styles. A racing version was also made.


Panhard Dynamic

The beautifully styled Panhard Dynamic was made from 1936 to 1939 and featured unibody construction. Under its smooth and innovative styling the Dynamic features a state-of-the-art six cylinder and an independent front suspension. Only 2,581 were made.


1956 Claveau 56

The gorgeous Claveau 56 was a prototype designed by Emile Claveau. It featured a two-stroke, three cylinder, gasoline engine that powered the front wheels. As with many other of Claveau’s creations, the 56’s styling is very innovative for the time, with a steeply raked back windshield and a smooth profile. The Claveau 56 was originally shown at the 1956 Paris Auto Show.


Hanomag Komissbrot

The Hanomag company in Germany, known for it’s engines and locomotives, built the rear engined Komissbrot. Originally designed by two inexperienced automotive designers, 1,600 were made from 1925 to 1928.


1965 Ford Mustang With Ferguson All Wheel Drive

There is more than meets the eye with this 289 cubic inch V8 equipped Mustang. It features all wheel drive, ABS, an automatic transmission, and was made for only three years.


Citroen 2cv

The odd-looking 2cv was produced in France from 1949 to 1990. It features a two-cylinder, four stroke engine. Early models produced only eight horsepower, however the 2cv could achieve 50 miles to the gallon. About five million were made during its 41 year production run.


CGE Gregoire Electric

The little CGE Gregoire electric prototype was first produced in 1970. Even with a fiberglass body it weighed 2,000 pounds, 1,000 of those pounds belonged to the tremendous amount of batteries used. An electric motor drove the rear wheels, and at a speed of forty miles an hour the car could achieve a range of forty miles.



The Type 82 Kumbelwagon had been designed to be the German army’s version of the Jeep. Based on the Type 1 “Beetle” running gear, the Type 82 featured an air-cooled, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a torsion bar front suspension. The Kumbelwagon was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and his son as a recreational vehicle, however the vehicle was modified for military use during World War II.


NSU Ro80

Introduced in 1967, the sleek and innovative Ro80 really does not look its age, thanks to its neat and clean styling, although the real surprise is under the rear hinged hood, where amidst the jungle of wires, is a one liter rotary engine putting out 113 horsepower. Unfortunately, the car was plagued by problems from it’s unreliable engine. It was not uncommon for owners to go through multiple engines while the car was still under warranty.


Cord 812

In a dark corner of the museum their lies a piece of fantastic automotive engineering and design. The sumptuous styling of the Cord 812 is simply ageless, with its retractable headlamps, bulbous front fenders, and subtle grill. Under the hood is a Lycoming V8. This particular model has a supercharger allowing the engine to produce roughly 195 horsepower, while the standard model produces 125 horsepower. This engine was mated to a preselect automatic transmission that allowed for gears to be selected before the actual gear change. Reliability problems cut the Cord’s life short: only 4,000 were produced from 1936 to 1937.


Tatra T97

Tatra, a czechoslovakian company, is known for its unique rear engined vehicles. The compact T97 was first introduced in 1938. After Czechoslovakia was invaded by Germany, Hitler ceased production of the T97 because of its similarities to the KDF-Wagon, also known as the Beetle.


Tracta A

The Tracta A, made in France, was first made in 1929 to race at Le Mans. In 1929, it placed first in its class, and placed seventh overall. Powered by a four cylinder engine joined with a four speed transmission, the car could achieve 90 miles an hour. It raced from 1929 to 1930.



The unusual Ruxton was a front wheel drive car made from 1929 to 1930. It features slim looking headlamps that really add its distinctive look, but with this prototypes multicolored paint job, this car cannot be mistaken for anything else.


Alvis Model F.D. 12/75

The Alvis featured a supercharged 1.5 liter four cylinder and an aluminum body and frame. It was made in Great Britain in 1928.

imageFardier De Cugnot

The Fardier de Cugnot can really be considered one of the first automobiles, but can be more aptly described as the first self-propelled vehicle. It was made in 1770 and was designed by Joseph-Nicolas Cugnot featured an early steam engine that could allow the vehicle to tow five tons, more than some of today’s pickup trucks. The example shown is a working replica of the original which is currently housed Conservatoire de Arts et Metiers in Paris.



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