What are some of the things you would aspire to do after you had immigrated to the U.S., built a successful and profitable business, and was passionate not just about the machinery manufactured by your company but also about automobiles?
Maybe you would start your own car collection. And once it got large enough, open your own museum to share your zeal with the public.
At least this is what Alain Cerf did. Cerf is the founder of Polypack, a designer and manufacturer of automated packaging equipment based in Pinellas Park, Florida. In 2005, his Tampa Bay Auto Museum threw its doors open to the public only a skip and a hop across the parking lot from Polypack.
Alain Cerf is Français and much of his collection includes vehicles from the land of wine and cheese and neighboring territories. He was particularly interested in vehicles with innovative and pioneering features, such as front wheel drive and rear engines. His collection includes very rare models and one-offs, especially from the era when Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were young and inspired.
Below are photos of my favorites from the museum. The cars have documentation nearly worthy of Encyclopedia Britannica at the museum’s official website.