The Lane Motor Museum is the best museum for automotive enthusiasts in the United States. Period, bar none. It was started by an enthusiast owner, for enthusiasts, and is run by enthusiasts. With a growing collection of over 330 cars, a focus on European and Japanese cars, race cars, and unique military vehicles, you will be fascinated by unique and unusual cars that you’ve never seen before. Where else, for example, would you have the opportunity to see a Marcel Leyat Propeller Car in person – as well as to see it start and run? Incredible!
But today offers a very special opportunity: an annual day-after-Thanksgiving tour to see the 180 cars stored in the basement area that are not on regular display. This tour is only offered a couple of times per year. Some of the cars are rotated upstairs yearly, some are undergoing restoration, some are stored for future restoration. On our first post-Thanksgiving day tour two years ago, besides getting a ride in one of several Tatras, we were fascinated so see multiple S600s/S800s, Alpines, Matras, a factory dual-engine Mini, BMWs, Citroens, and many other cars we could not even identify. This is an incredible place, and the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour will be one of the best days of your year.
Lane Motor Museum invitation follows:
Join us on Friday, November 23 from 10am-5pm for a day of family fun and activities including special demonstrations, tours of our rarely seen basement collection, and the chance to ride in a museum car*!
Day After Thanksgiving Fun!
Friday, November 23, 2012- 10am-5pm
We have a lot of special activities planned for the Day After Thanksgiving that are free and will be included in your museum admission. Photography is encouraged so feel free to take photos to remember your visit!
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR FRI, NOV. 23, 2012
Check Out Our “Basement Collection”!
Though we have over 330 cars in our collection we only have room to display about 150 at any time. The Day After Thanksgiving is your chance to have a 30 minute visit downstairs to see the cars we store for future exhibits. We only open this a few times a year so enjoy!
Limit of 40 per group- sign up in museum lobby. First come, first served.
Basement Tours available at: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Take a Ride in a Museum Car*!
Did you know that 95% of our collection is in driving condition? Sign up for a ride in one of these cars and you will get to experience the car in action!
11:30 am: Rides in a 1962 Tatra T-87
2:00 pm: Rides in a 1997 Citroën Saxo Electrique
3:00 pm: Rides in a 1963 BMW 3200
*Adults 18+ Only. Cars go out on the road and most do not have seat belts. Limited Space available – sign up in museum lobby. One ride per day, per person, please.
Vehicle Demonstrations with Museum Director Jeff Lane
Join Museum Director Jeff Lane as he demonstrates three museum pieces: the 1925 Hirondelle Retro-direct Bicycle, the 1931 Mochet Veolcar and the 1925 Tatra T-11 Targa Florio Race Car. Demonstrations begin on the museum floor at the listed times.
No registration needed.
Demonstrations Scheduled for: 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm and 3:45 pm
Get Free Admission to the Museum With Our Annual Toys for Tots Drive
Bring a new, unwrapped toy worth $5 or more for Toys for Tots and you will get one free admission to the museum or a voucher to return at another time (a great stocking stuffer!). Offer good Nov. 23- Dec. 10, 2012.
Lane Motor Museum
702 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37210
Here’s an original video clip, likely from a very early Top Gear (back in late eighties when Clarkson and Needell were mere correspondents). Get a few minutes into it and are surprises to be found…
Incredible… the original Jeremy Clarkson… with hair. And, no… not a copy born and bred on Clarkson Island. The only original Clarkson…. in the world.
And if this is not enough, here is Tiff Needell (note the British pronunciation – “knee-dell”) at the 6:15 mark comparing three Ford Sierra Cosworths (original, Evolution, Group A race car - ranging from 200 to 500 HP)!
The sale referenced is at Beaulieu National Motor Museum. With year-round monthly events as well as the enormous sales in the spring and fall, this is one of the top museums to visit in Britain. Beaulieu is situated in the south of England, in the New Forest between Bournemouth and Southampton, with easy access from London and the Home Counties.
Our favorite museum, the best museum in the United States for driving enthusiasts, has come to Twitter. Follow the Lane Motor Museum here: http://twitter.com/lanemotor.
We’ve visited the Lane museum about a dozen times, and have 2 photogalleries showing some of those visits:
Every visit to the Lane museum is unique: the museum has well over 300 cars but only has room to display about 100 or so. The rest are stored in an underground workshop where there are also additional cars in varying stages of mechanical work and general freshening. The Lane museum has a philosophy of driving their cars when possible, everything that can be driven is driven. Like us, they understand that cars are made to be driven, not left sitting. This is our kind of place!
Here’s a video from our last visit, where we were very fortunate to see them startup and run the Marcel Leyat Propeller Car!
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville TN USA is very fortunate to have a Tommy Makinen special edition Evo VI in its collection. This is a special edition factory-built limited edition Evothat honors the victories achieved by Tommy Makinen in the World Rally Challenge.
We had an opportunity to get a close-up look at this car on a recent visit. Given the fact that the the Evo wasn’t imported into North American until it’s 8th generation, this may well be the only Evo VI here, and is very likely the only Tommy Makinen edition in North America.
The Tommy Makinen edition has several important functional enhancements over the regular production GSR and RS models which enhance it’s driving capability. Full specifications are provided in the press release below.
Seeing this early edition Evo reminds us once again that Mitsubishi should have brought the Evo into North America right from the start, instead of waiting until the 8th generation. It also reminds us that if Mitsubishi fails, the current 10th generation car will likely be the last Evo ever made. Read more
After seeing a Renault Alpine for the first time in >20 years at a local Cars and Coffee event, we became intrigued by the history of this unique car and of Alpine as a manufacturer. And then we found two more Alpines at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee USA. As we’ve said before, this museum has our vote for the best car museum in North America, and it’s certainly the most approachable museum. You’ll note in the pictures we’ve taken here and here that none of the cars are blocked off or otherwise separated from visitors. While you can’t touch them, you can look all around them, examine details, look underneath, etc.
The museum has over 330 cars, but with room to display only about 100 of them at any given moment. So we were very fortunate to have found both of their Renault Alpines on display for this visit. Note that the museum also has two Renault Dauphines, a Renault 5 Turbo 2, and some other Renaults.
This bright red 1986 Renault Alpine GTA Turbo is again powered by a 2.5 liter (2458 cc) 200 HP V-6 engine, this time with 200 horsepower. It’s one of only 21 Alpines said to be in the United States, out of approximately 8000 Alpines produced by Renault in the years 1971 to 1992.
The GTAs loudly proclaim their powerplant, which is typical for the 80s but also justified because of the collaboration between Alpine and Renault which produced the turbocharged Formula 1 engines which smashed all the previous records.
The dark red Alpine we examined at the Cars and Coffee event had non-standard wheels and tires. These are the correct wheels, although the tires are modern radials.
The interior is well laid-out in a modular fashion. Note the floor-hinged pedals below.
Being a GT-type car, the seat bolsters are generous (especially in the hip area) but not confining. We notice details like that as we walk past the cars in the Lane Motor Museum and dream of driving some like them one day.
We really like the rear design, with wrap around taillights and especially the integrated spoiler (like the original Lotus Esprit).
The lettering is molded right into the hatch.
Parked next to the red Alpine is an earlier model 1985 Renault Alpine 310. We were very lucky to see this car at the Lane Motor Museum – we had never seen an earlier Alpine in person. This Alpine is also powered by a 6 cylinder, in this case a naturally aspirated 2.7 liter 2664cc) V-6. This Alpine uses a mid-engine layout, with a monocoque and a fiberglass body. Weight is approximately 1800 pounds. It was built by hand in Dieppe, France and sold thru Renault dealers.
The styling of the front end is similar to the red car. Note the Renault badge is used here instead of an Alpine badge.
The side profile will remind some of the later Pantera, and offers a light open cockpit with excellent forward and side visibility.
The rear design is a bit puzzling… perhaps remind viewers of the functionality of the Lotus Europa. The purpose of the high sides and scoops immediately following the rear side windows is to get cooling air into the engine radiators and coolers. Integration of the fenders with the roof is… odd.
We were surprised to find the Alpine was originally equipped with Michelin TRX (“Tension Reparte X”) tires, with their special 390MM wheels. Very few cars used these in production, the Mustang GT and some BMW 3, 5, 6, and 7 series amongst them. If the tire and unique rim design was indeed a better idea by Michelin, it was a poor idea for enthusiasts as replacement tires of this type were only produced by Michelin and Avon.
The interior is a straightforward driver-centric design with a thick steering wheel and well-placed shifter. Being designed as a 2+2 GT, creature comforts abound including cloth door panels and dash covers and a stereo system. Très sophistiqué!
We’re going to keep our eyes open for further examples of the Renault Alpine. There are more models to be seen, such as the earlier A1xx series from the 1970s and perhaps even a rally car. Perhaps somebody has catalogued the 20+ cars (and their location) that are said to be in the United States…?
- Renault Alpine Owners Club: http://www.renaultalpineownersclub.com
- Rumors of a new 350Z-based Renault Alpine: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/?p=1233
Our post-Thanksgiving tour extraordinaire of the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville TN turned up dozens of fascinating cars, including a pair of Matra Bonnet Djets. One unrestored, model not known, and a fully restored V model (70 HP).
The Lane Museum is a must-see, it’s unique in North America and is home to over 300 cars. We were lucky enough today to get the tour of the underground restoration and storage area, where the majority of the cars are located. These cars rotate in the ground level exhibition area. Read the full story of our tour here.
First up is the unrestored Matra… awaiting a better day and a new chance at life.
Next is the restores Matra Djet V.
What better way to wrap up a vacation week than to visit what is probably the best car museum in the country? It’s the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee USA , and we spent the day after Thanksgiving there.
The Lane Motor Museum was founded in 2003 by Jeff Lane. It initially featured the personal collection of Jeff and Susan Lane, although since that start the museum has grown considerably and actively purchases cars for the collection. The museum is housed in the former Sunbeam bakery, and is interesting in that many of the architectural details of the building have been preserved. The bakery upstairs is used to house the public display of cars while the former distribution area downstairs is used as a workshop and for storage.
We’d toured the museum many times before (gallery of images here), but due to the sheer number of cars available for display, every visit is unique. The museum has well over 300 cars but only has room to display about 100. The rest are stored in an underground workshop and there are also additional cars in varying stages of mechanical work and general freshening. The Lane museum has a philosophy of driving their cars when possible, everything that can be driven is driven. Like us, they understand that cars are made to be driven, not left sitting..
Our post-Thanksgiving visit was a was a special day for the museum: one of only 3 days per year in which they offer demonstrations, give rides in special cars, and conduct tours of their underground workshop. We’d never been in the workshop before and we were simply blown away by everything we saw. We could easily have spent the entire day in the workshop!
The special demonstrations were very interesting. For example, in your entire life what opportunity would you ever have to see a propeller car in person, much less to see it started and run? The Lane museum has several propeller cars, likely the largest collection in North America. And if you didn’t already guess, a propeller car uses a propeller to pull the car forward - there are no powered wheels.
Needless to say, acceleration is minimal, and pedestrian safety is an “issue”, to say the least – although they will hear you coming well before you are upon them. A complete set of images are in the gallery.
In the video below, we see the museum’s replica of a Marcel Leyat Propeller Car started up and run. It actually took about 15 pulls on a starter rope (just like a lawn mower) to get it running, so we’ve cut out a few of those. The entire experience of seeing it started and run was incredible. We’ve seen a lot of collector cars, antiques and classics in the course of our hobby… this ranks as one of the most interesting and unique. Once it starts, listen to the amount of noise it makes. Just imagine driving this going down the street!
On this special day, the museum also offered rides in 4 different cars from it’s collection. Given our limited time, we chose the 1950 Tatra T600… one of three Tatras in the collection. This car has an air-cooled 1.5 liter flat four, with a manual transmission, single dry plate clutch, and a swing-arm rear suspension – very sophisticated for the day. Because of the engine design, the car had no heater, so winter driving would have been difficult! Given the Czech Communist government of that time, it was more important to export these for much needed capitol, so some examples outside of Europe have survived.
Note the blue BMW V-8 powered sedan next to it… that would have been interesting, but not anywhere near as unique as the Tatra. Note the fin going down the back – this is a very original design. The engine cover includes scoops at it’s leading edge to take air to the engine – there is a separate bulkhead between this and the passenger compartment. The driver has to look thru two sets of rear windows to see straight back.
This model of Tatra has a rear-mounted (behind the rear wheels) air-cooled 4 cylinder engine. It’s a reasonably pristine example and worthabout $30k. Mr. Lane himself took us out on the back streets of Nashville for an approximately 10 mile ride. The acceleration was good enough, the ride was smooth, and it appeared that the car could cruise all day at 70 MPH if called upon. A very enjoyable ride!
Then there was the tour of the enormous underground workshop. There are enough cars under here to keep you busy for the rest of your life. These photos only show some small sections of it.
Cars that are not currently part of the upstairs display are stored here, along with many others in various states of repair. There are any number of unique gems to be seen here (but only 3 times per year), such as this 1969 Twin Mini (engines in both the front and the back!). Note the air scoop on the rear fender.
Need a Matra D’Jet? There are three in the total collection, 2 complete. An early Honda S600? There are two (coupe and convertible), along with an S800. 2 running. An Auto Union 1000SP? Found, and who says that American styling didn’t influence the Europeans in the 1950s? There is very clearly a strong influence from the Ford Thunderbird here:
Or a Citroen 2CV race car? There are also two. Imagine encountering one of these on a track day (and pitty the poor instructor)!
Then it was back upstairs for one last walk around before we had to leave. We were pleased to find not one but two Renault Alpines. A 1985 Renault Alpine 310 (silver), and a 1986 Renault Alpine GTA Turbo (red). Beautiful cars!
Along with a 2001 Tommy Makinen special edition Evo VI. We’ve seen only one of these before, at a Pro Rally, and this is likely the only one remaining in North America. It reminded us again that Mitsubishi should have brought the Evo into North America right from the start, instead of with the 8th generation. It also reminds us that if Mitsubishi fails, the current 10th generation car will likely be the last Evo ever made.
By the end of the day we were suffering from information overload, in a good way. That’s what the Lane museum does with every visit – there is such an incredible number of cars here to see. You’ll also note that none of them are separated by ropes or barricades – you can get close to everything here and the management of the museum is very trusting of it’s visitors.
The Lane Motor Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and needs your support to exist. Please consider joining as a member, even if you cannot regularly visit. It’s important that these kinds of vehicles be preserved and available to the general public. And the Lane museum has done an exemplary job. That’s why we feel this is the #1 museum for car enthusiasts in North America. And if not in shear size, then certainly in approachability.
The 2007 Avanti continues to be built on a Mustang chassis. The standard and only powertrain is the standard Mustang 300-horse 3-valve V-8, with 5-speed automatic transmission. The car is offered in a convertible model, using the standard Mustang top, or a coupe using a unique side and back roof.
Other technical specifications are identical, except for the 245/40-18 and 275/40-18 tires fr/rr. The interior is again standard Mustang GT, with the Avanti logo sewn into the door and seat panels. The dashboard is wood, eliminating the large chrome rings around the speedo and tach. No more than 150 Avantis are produced each year.
As of October 2006, the Avanti is built in Cancun, Mexico in a new 100,000 square foot industrial complex. an Avanti/Studebaker museum is included, but information as to whether this is open to the public for viewing is not provided. Plant tours are available by request and appointment.
Avanti website: http://www.avantimotors.com/
Avanti Owners Association: http://www.aoai.org/
Given the success of the Honda S2000, and the announcement of the new 2008 S2000 CR package, it’s time to take a look at the history of the “S” line. The S500, S600, and S800 were the ’60s predecessors of today’s S2000, although with performance and size more appropriate to that era.
I’ve added a new section to my S2000Enthusiast.com site, with >120 detailed images of the S600. The 1966 model shown had a .6 liter engine that revved to a redline of 9500 RPM, backed up by a 4-speed manual transmission. When you see the car run, when you hear it, and when you drive it you are immediately taken with how much it sounds like and drives like an S2000. Although the 0-60 is well over 13 seconds, and the top speed is only 90 MPH (versus ~5 seconds flat and a top speed of the high 150s for the S2000).
The S600 was preceded by the half-liter S500, and followed by the S800 – the last of the line. Lack of emissions capability and future crash standards would kill the car, and the concept wouldn’t return for 30 years. Nonetheless, 13000 S600s were produced and the much-improved S800 was also very successful. It is thought that less than 20 “S” Hondas were imported into the United States, and it’s not known how many survive.
The S600 pictured here is located at the Lane Museum in Nashville, TN. It’s completely unrestored, and is driven on occasion (as are nearly all of the cars in the Lane Museum). If you haven’t been to the Lane Museum, you owe it to yourself. This is a great museum for the enthusiast!
Honda, Toyota, and Nissan all offered small and economical front-engine rear wheel drive sports cars. A 1967 Toyota Sports 800 is shown parked in front of a 1966 Honda S600 in this image:
Safety, emissions, and a yearn for even more power and handling ended this age. Honda didn’t play again for 30 years, however Nissan brought out the famous 240Z and Toyota the ultra-rare 2000GT.
Go to the S2000Enthusiast.com site and look in the new “History” section for the full report and set of pictures.