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Brian Bruce

The Parnell Bruce Collection


Classic Edge, the point of integrity


Speaker Biography

I knew from an early age that my purpose in life is to serve. My roots lie in a blue-collar liberal family with deep and independent Scottish roots. I grew up in the Motor City of Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape, the frontline of what was to become our New South Africa. I received a classical education from the Grey Schools and read engineering at UCT. I believe in Human Justice and Freedom and I have always been guided by the closing statement of the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath published in 1320.

“It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for Freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”

I was President of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering in the seminal year 1994. My career has always been guided by the original Object of the Engineering Professions:

“To Harness the Forces and Materials of Nature for the Benefit of Humankind”

I took my first step to retirement in 2011, setting my course on a completely new journey. I exercise my right of freedom to allocate my resources to the preservation of an aspect of my heritage for which I have passion, but that I believe is under threat as we confront the socio-economic injustice of endemic poverty in our society. 

The names Parnell and Bruce are synonymous with the freedom of Ireland and Scotland respectively.  My collection is a Private Charitable Venture based on the preservation and enhancement of collectable heritage automotive assets and artefacts with a South African bias. It recognises the motor car as an expression of personal freedom, whether satisfying a basic right to freedom of movement, a desire for speed and competition, or an indulgence in exclusivity. It celebrates the design evolution of the motor car over the past 100 years and its contribution to our parallel human journey towards artificial intelligence.

Regrettably, the majority of South Africans were separated from this heritage and denied access to this developmental journey. Through the preservation and display of this heritage, I hope to provide an opportunity to rectify this disadvantage and help our next generations to better prepare themselves for the future world.

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