In 2002, Jeff Lane established Lane Motor Museum. Jeff has been an automotive enthusiast since an early age. He began restoring his first car--a 1955 MG TF--when he was a teen.
The Nashville landmark museum is one of the few museums in the U.S. to specialize in European cars--and in the unique and truly one-of-a-kind cars.
Below is a view of about one-third of the vehicles on display. The bright vehicle on the left of the row is a 1938 Tatra T-97, manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The silver cars are also Tatras; one is identified further in photos #3 and #4 below.
Tatra began experimenting with car aerodynamics in the early 1930s and began work on an automobile design on which future Tatras were based for decades.
The highly advanced, streamlined body design was constructed of steel and aluminum over a wood framework. The curved plexiglass windshield offers a panoramic view--except to the rear. The driver sits in the middle of the body.
William Hewson’s idea was to give the body form a very aerodynamic shape with no projections anywhere-–headlights covered with glass, tail-light lenses flush, and no outside door handles. But Hewson’s capital was depleted by the time the car’s body was finished. This was the only car produced.
This was built by Kenny Howard, aka Von Dutch, for a movie; built from a 120-gallon belly tank from a USAF F-86 Sabre Jet fighter.
The Davis Divan was presented as an advanced, aircraft-inspired, high-technology car. Sixteen running vehicles were built.
A Frenchman built this car for his personal use. The motorcycle engine was mounted next to the driver for stability.
Marcel Leyat developed the belief that propeller-driven vehicles were the wave of the future, and in 1919 began production. His theory was that the cars would be simpler (no transmission, rear axle, or clutch) and lighter, therefore they would be able to obtain better fuel economy. Instead of using traditional wheels, Leyat built his own with aluminum discs, and integrated the brakes to further reduce the drag. He showed his car at the 1921 Paris Auto Show and claims to have received 600 inquiries. Unfortunately, Leyat was never able to get funding to go into large-scale production, but he continued to build propeller-driven cars until about 1926, with a total production of about 25 cars.
This one-of-a-kind, propeller driven car was discovered in a barn in France in 2000 having been placed there by the original owner in the late 1930s. Little could be seen of it through the rubble. It was completely rebuilt but many of the mechanical components are original.
In 1891, Panhard & Levassor built a batch of four identical cars, followed by series after series of increasing numbers, which, chronologically, makes Panhard-Levassor the world’s first make of car in continuous production.
The fire and rescue service in Cogolin, France, used a Citroën 15-6 as part of their fleet. One night while on patrol, Colonel Hourcastagné found the narrow mountain road blocked. Unable to turn the car around, he was forced to reverse down the road for several miles aided only by a fireman with a small flashlight to guide the way. This incident gave him the idea for the need of a robust vehicle that could be driven forwards or backwards with the same ease.
With its 19.77 sq. ft. "footprint," it is the world's smallest two-seater. It got about 100 mpg.
The Messerschmitt was one of the first and among the most successful of the many microcars that hit the motoring scene in the 1950s.
This car was built by Michael Hoffman from hardware store and junkyard parts.
This car has four bicycle tires, one door, and one seat.