The Lane Motor Museum

By Jim Hornsby

Visitors to Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum describe it as “amazing,” “unique,” and “really cool.” They are “over-whelmed by the quality” of the exhibits and call it a “gem of a collection.” And rightly so; the award-winning museum is internationally known and held in high regard for its many rare and one-of-a-kind vehicles.

It is located at 702 Murfreesboro Road in a former Sunbeam Bread bakery. The building has been lovingly renovated with a large, well-lighted display floor, an observation area overlooking the restoration workshop, various educational displays, and even an auto-themed play area for the younger kids.

Seeing the collection was a real treat for me. Early automotive designers produced some fantastic shapes and forms, and in addition to the cars themselves, the museum has some remarkably fine artwork on the walls. I enjoyed the visit so much I contacted Jeff Lane, the man who put it all together and spoke with him about his collection.

Jeff loves cars and knows them inside and out. He grew up working and playing around his father’s automotive manufacturing business in Detroit , Michigan, and by the age of eight, when most kids are gluing together plastic models, Jeff was helping his father restore vintage MG’s. “Before I was old enough to drive,” he recalls, “I restored a 1955 MG-TF from pieces my father gave me. I have great memories of building and driving that car; it’s still in my collection.”

When he came to Nashville in 1989, Jeff owned two MG’s. By 2003, when he moved his collection to its current location, he had about 100 vintage cars, and today the number stands at about 350. “There was never a grand plan for collecting,” he says, “it’s just something that happened.”

The collection has an impressive selection of “mini-cars,” quite a few motor scooters and bikes, race cars, propeller-driven vehicles, and some items so curious they defy description – such as the French car with two front ends, designed so that firefighters would not have to turn around to retreat from a blaze. It is a fascinating place with something for everybody; fun for the entire family.

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Photos by Jim Hornsby

There is room for about 150 vehicles on the display floor, and the cars are rotated so that the exhibit changes every few weeks. “It’s good for them to be driven occasionally.” Jeff explains. “They aren’t just works of art; they were built to be transportation, and we have about 90% of them in working order. We take them to local shows and on the road to six or eight major car tours each year.”

Jeff is always on the lookout for more vintage vehicles and plans to add a few each year. “For a car buff,” he says with a smile, “the number of cars you have is totally based on the amount of room you have to keep them.”

About The Lane Motor Museum

HOURS OF OPERATION:

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Open 10am-5pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: Closed

CLOSED HOLIDAYS:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

ADMISSION PRICES:

  • Adults (18-64)…….$7
  • Seniors (65+)……..$5
  • Youth (6-17)………$2
  • Under Age 5……..Free
  • Group rates available

LOCATION:

  • 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210

CONTACT:

  • Jeff Lane, (615) 742-7445

 

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