Jeff Lane is an unusual fellow. Several years ago, he bought a building once used for baking bread by a company that went out of business and stuffed it full of the weirdest, wackiest, wildest collection of cool old cars he could find.
Now you may think if you’ve seen one car museum, you’ve seen them all. But The Lane Motor Museum is different. Why? Because every fall, the museum conducts its annual Rally For The Lane, for which the staff culls a selection of historic vehicles right off the floor, gasses them up, puts air in the tires and lets people drive them on the public roads outside of Nashville. How cool is that?
I did this event 3 years ago and it was a major hoot. I drove a bright orange Citroen sedan prepared for rallying with three friends. That’s the car you see featured above. Some of my other buddies drove an early Tatra — known for being the only cars ever produced with air cooled, all aluminum V8 engines mounted in the rear. They are much prized by Europeans for their comfortable long distance cruising ability. That’s one on the right.
The Lane has whole sections devoted exclusively to off beat micro-cars and motorcycles. And then there is the basement, where you can wander for hours among a dizzying array of cars waiting to be restored. It is absolutely the most fun you will ever have at a car museum.
The two dozen cars for this year’s Rally include a 1962 BMW 3200S sedan, a Chevrolet Corvair wagon, a real honest to gosh Renault R5 Turbo and a 1954 Simca 2 seat convertible. There is a fee to rent each car, with the proceeds going to support the museum. It also includes lunch along the way, a Lane Motor Museum T shirt and a full color poster suitable for framing. If you are fan of old cars, it doesn’t get much better than that!
The Rally For The Lane happens this year on September 19 and again on October 3. Motoring through the Tennessee countryside on a fall weekend is one of life’s little pleasures. Be sure to reserve the car of your choice early. They go fast once the word gets out.
Photos by the author.