Museums such as the Lane provide wonderful places for collector car enthusiasts to get their thrills while their own vehicles rest through the winter chills
If you live where winter weather prohibits the use of your classic cars, there is nothing better you can do than to visit one of the many car museums across the country.
For example, I recently was in Nashville and took the opportunity to visit the Lane Motor Museum.
Many think of the Lane as a microcar museum, but this does a serious disservice to this fantastic collection. Yes, the museum has quite a few microcars on display, but it celebrates everything with wheels that transports people from one place to the other. It features everything from bicycles to motorcycles to cars, and even has a few airplanes. Basically, if it has wheels it’s there.
One of my favorite displays is in the motorcycle hall where the museum has an amazing collection of French Velosolex mopeds. The Velosolex is sort of like a French take on the Vespa, but with a motor mounted on the front wheel. The Lane has just about every incarnation of Velosolex, and all are in wonderful and running condition.
Another favorite for me was the German pre-war area. Here the museum shows rare cars from Auto Union, BMW and DKW, just to name a few. Many of these cars are full classics and have been shown at concours such as Amelia Island, further proving the Lane is not just about microcars.
That being said, the microcar exhibit is terrific and features some of the rarest of these diminutive cars, which are again all in great cosmetic and mechanical condition.
At the other end of the size spectrum is the largest vehicle in the collection, and the largest amphibious craft the U.S ever built, the LARC-LX (lighter, amphibious, resupply, cargo). This mammoth is capable of transporting 60 tons from ocean to land, even across heavy seas. You can see how big it is looking at the picture of my Kia Soul rental parked next to it.
So if you thought the Lane might be a fun place to look at microcars, visit it yourself this winter and experience everything that this museum has to offer. And while you’re in town, Nashville offers some decent musical entertainment as well.