Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Lane Motor Museum Nashville, Tenn.

The Lane Motor Museum is a unique motor museum in that they are not looking for cars that belonged to celebrities or famous people. The cars that are in this collection are different; most of them are the first one to have had a particular innovation.

The building where the museum is located is the former Sunbeam Bakery. It was opened in the 1950s and was the largest bakery in the area when it opened. It was used as a bakery until 1999. From then until 2002 when it opened as the motor museum, it was used as a distribution center.

Most of the cars and motorcycles in the collection are European. In fact, there are so many that this is the largest collection of European vehicles in the United States. This is not a collection of historic cars, many of the cars are older from the 1950-1970s but it is not a collection of antique cars. I have visited other car museum and this museum is not like any other collection I have ever seen.

As soon as you walk in the door you are impressed by the size of the space. The majority of the vehicles are in one large room. A separate room houses the motorcycles but the cars are together. About 150 cars are on display at any given time. The entire collection is over 300 cars. That is one of the beauties of this museum, you can come back again and again and really, you should, if you want to eventually see the entire collection.

At the same time, the museum can be intimidating because it seems overwhelming. I am not a car expert so if there was a theme here, I missed it. Having said that, I enjoyed myself immensely. I saw cars the like of which I have never seen before especially since many of them are unique European cars. 

I just headed off to the left when I entered and started reading the plaques. It was fascinated and I took an inordinate amount of photos. Photography is allowed here and even encouraged. You are not allowed to touch the cars however, except one in the far right corner and a bunch of us climbed in and had our picture taken.

I am sure that there were many significant cars in the collection that the gearheads among us will find interesting and there are just as many beautiful cars. For me, however, it was all about the cute little sports car that belonged to Brigitte Bardot. Very shallow of me perhaps but it is an iconic symbol of a different time and a different place.

If the children get bored with looking at cars a small play area has been provided for them. This is an interesting museum that can certainly offer an hour or two of entertainment to anyone who is looking for something unique and different. Jeff Lane has created a gem and we should all thank him for sharing his passion with the public.

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