Lane Motor Museum

One of Nashville's hidden gems, this quirky museum houses the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the United States.

What began as a personal collection of 70 vehicles has expanded into a museum of automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. The Lane Motor Museum specializes in vehicles you’re unlikely to see on U.S. freeways.

Housed in an enormous former bakery, the museum holds over 300 vehicles in its collection. Displaying around 150 at a time, the vehicles are continually rotated which means you’ll always see something new. Categorized by country of origin, most items are from the 1950s-70s. One of the newest pieces, a Mercedes Smart Car, was built in 2003.

Explore the world of microcars, three-wheeled wonders, propeller powered oddities, amphibious vehicles, snow racers, alternative fuel cars and military transportation. But there’s plenty to satisfy the speed freaks who will love the 1975 Maserati Bora and the Caterham Blackbird.

Lane Motor Museum prides itself on obscure finds. The smallest vehicle in the collection, a Peel P50, holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Smallest Street-Legal Car." The largest, a decommissioned U.S. Army amphibious landing vehicle has tires which are over nine-feet (3.8-meters) tall! Truly a working museum, 90 percent of the collection is in operational order and each car is treated to an oil change and tune up annually.

Drop the kids at the indoor play area where auto-themed toys and video driving games will keep them happy while you wander the rows of gleaming automobiles. Be careful; the museum does sell its exhibits from time to time, so you could end up taking home more than just a souvenir T-shirt.

Lane Motor Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. The museum is located three miles (five kilometers) southwest from downtown Nashville on the Murfreesboro Pike, and has lots of free parking.

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