Macchine Italiane: A Tour of Italy's Motoring Spirit Opens May 26

Macchine Italiane at Lane Motor Museum

Macchine Italiane: A Tour of Italy's Motoring Spirit

Coming to Lane Motor Museum on May 26

Over Three Dozen Italian-Made Vehicles to Be Displayed

1976 Lamborghini UraccoMacchine Italiane: A Tour of Italy’s Motoring Spirit is a look at Italy’s love affair with the automobile - from the affordable Fiat 500 to the exotic Lamborghini Urraco, with many interesting cars between. Macchine Italiane, open May 26, 2016 through May 22, 2017 at Nashville’s Lane Motor Museum, features over three dozen vehicles including race cars, motorcycles and even bicycles that demonstrate Italian design and engineering from 1936-2012. All items in this exhibit were drawn from the collection of Lane Motor Museum. In addition to the items included in Macchine Italiane, museum visitors can enjoy over 120 other unique vehicles, primarily from Europe and Asia, and rarely seen in the U.S.

Italy has always had a passion for automobiles and driving, perhaps best exemplified by the duo of famous road races, the Mille Miglia and the Targio Florio. The Italians’ sporting heritage is a central theme of Macchine Italiane, with a 1980 Santandrea Formula Monza 875, a 1999 Dallara IRL Car and several examples of successful sports cars, including a 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider, a 1971 OTAS 820 Grand Prix, a 1991 Lancia Delta HF Integrale and more. With Monza, the third oldest racetrack in the world, Italy’s race culture dates back to 1895 and dozens of low-volume manufacturers of high-performance cars thrived in Italy.  Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini, among others, survive to this day.

Though considered a people’s car, the Fiat 500 series found its way into this race culture with early competition success and is still popular with professional and amateur racers today as Italians are known to be ready to race, anytime, anyplace! Introduced in 1936, the Fiat 500 remains in production today, having gone through many changes in its eighty year history. Due in no small part to the long-standing and tumultuous political climate in Italy, Fiat has survived as its one high-volume car manufacturer. Starting in 1899 and continuing until today, Fiat and affiliates Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Maserati produce over 90% of Italy’s vehicles. The Fiat 500 series has been central to their growth and popularity, as it was essential in mobilizing the public Post-WWII and in periods of financial instability; Fiat helped democratize car ownership in Italy. Macchine Italiane features ten select vehicles that demonstrate the evolution of the Fiat 500, from the 1936 Fiat 500A Coupe "Topolino" to the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, and including Fiat 500 specials that were derived from its flexible platform like the 1974 Ferarrio Lucertola 500 and the 1970 Fiat 500 Giardiniera pickup.

Though a smaller marque, Lancia has been an important leader in technical innovations—not only in Italy but worldwide. Lancia developed monocoque construction, the V-4 and V-6 engine, the 5-speed transmission, and pioneered the aerodynamic development of the auto by the use of the University of Turin’s wind tunnel. Featured in this exhibit are the 1945 Lancia Aprilia, the first European car developed in a wind tunnel, the 1960 Lancia Appia, a small, solid family car that lent itself to both competition success and special models developed by Zagato, Pininfarina, and Vignale, and the 1976 Lancia Scorpion, a Bertone-designed replacement for the Fiat 124 Spider; it was unique among Lancias, with few shared parts.

Reciprocal Admission Discount Offer at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Opening May 27, 2016, at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945–1975, marks an unprecedented gathering of rare and stunning Italian-designed automobiles and motorcycles in a museum setting. The exhibition celebrates the streamlined elegance, novel and powerful engineering, and seductive allure characterizing Italian coachbuilt cars, concept cars, and motorcycles produced during the post–World War II economic revival. On view only at the Frist Center through October 9, 2016, Bellissima! boasts 22 extraordinary vehicles from private collections and museums that are now among the most sought-after collector cars in the world.  

Bellissima! will be concurrently on display at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts from May 27, 2016, through October 9, 2016, and Lane Motor Museum and the Frist Center will offer reciprocal admission discounts. Visitors to the Frist will receive 50% off all adult prices at the Lane by showing a Frist Center admission ticket through October 10, 2016. Visitors to the Lane will also receive 50% off all adult prices at the Frist by showing an admission receipt from the Lane through October 9, 2016. Members of either the Frist or Lane will receive free admission at both museums when membership cards are presented. Learn more about at

2016 Summer Hours at Lane Motor Museum
Lane Motor Museum will be open daily from 10am-5pm for a special 2016 summer schedule that begins May 26, 2016 and ends October, 10, 2016. On October 11, 2016 the museum will return to normal operating hours with the museum closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

About Lane Motor Museum
A member of the National Association of Automobile Museums, Lane Motor Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit automobile museum, established in 2002 by Jeff Lane.  As director, Jeff Lane continues to search out cars for the collection that are technically significant, rare, or uniquely different with a focus on vehicles from Europe and Asia. Though the collection exceeds 450 vehicles, approximately 150 are typically on display at any time and the items on the museum floor are rotated frequently. The goal of Lane Motor Museum is to share in the mission of collection and preserving automotive history for future generations and works to maintain all vehicles in running order and is one of the few museums in the U.S. to specialize in European cars. It is a working museum with the goal of maintaining all vehicles in running order. Some cars are in showroom condition, while others represent typical aging. Efforts are made to restore each vehicle to near-original specifications.

Admission is free for visitors ages 5 and younger and to members; $12 for adults; $8 for seniors and college students with ID; and $3 for youth ages 6-17.  Active and retired military save $3 per ticket with ID. Discounts are offered for groups of 15 or more with advance reservations by calling 615.742.7445. The museum is located at 702 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville and is normally open Thursday-Monday from 10am-5pm but in 2016 will follow summer hours and will open daily, 10am-5pm, from May 26, 2016-October 10, 2016. Additional information is available by calling 615.742.7445 or by visiting

Hoods Up!

Hoods Up! Through 4/25/16

Hoods Up!

A Look Inside Our Most Unique Vehicles!

Now Open Through April 25, 2016

Join us now through April 25, 2016 as we present Hoods Up! A Look Inside Our Most Unique Vehicles! This annual, limited-run exhibit is your chance to look under the hoods of over 40 cars in the museum collection!

Just a few of the open cars include a 1962 Renault Dauphine, a 1967 Toyota Sports 800, a 1933 Panhard-Levassor, a 1985 Renault 5 Turbo, a 1974 Citroën DS21 Rally Car, a 1938 BMW 320, a 1934 Aero 30, and nearly 40 more!

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Les Autos Françaises: 60 Years of French Automotive History

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Les Autos Françaises: 60 Years of French Automotive History - On Display May 21, 2015 - May 23, 2016

This summer Lane Motor Museum brings you “Les Autos Françaises: 60 Years of French Automotive History,” focusing on 60 of the 120 years of car production in France. Starting in the 1890s, France remained the largest producer of cars in Europe until after WWI. In fact, from 1902-1907, France produced more cars than the rest of Europe combined. The United States did not out-produce France until after 1907.

What made France such a leader in the beginning? There were three major reasons: First, they had an excellent road system that allowed early, rudimentary cars to be driven almost everywhere; second, France’s high level of technical competence, from bicycles to steam trains; and lastly, France had an abundance of energetic and talented entrepreneurs.

In 1913, there were 31 major French car makers, and many smaller car companies. Although other countries eventually caught up with, and surpassed, French car production, the French manufacturers remained alive and innovative. Citroën was a major manufacturer with many technologically significant cars, starting with the Traction Avant in 1934, and continuing with the 2CV in 1950 and later, the ID19, which stunned every attendee of the 1955 Paris Auto Show. Although Citroën was a large company with technologically-advanced cars, there were many smaller manufacturers that turned out unique and interesting cars, such as Georges Irat, Matra, Rovin, Hotchkiss-Gregoire, Panhard, Simca, and many more.

Lane Motor Museum will be displaying 30 of the most unique French cars from the 100+ French cars in the collection, focusing on the heyday of French production – 1924-1985.

The Choice- by Jeff Lane, Director

With over 100 French cars in our collection, one would think it easy to do an exhibit called “All Things French”. Actually, it was very, very difficult, and the biggest problem was pruning 100 cars down to 30.

I started with Citroëns since we have about 50, and Citroën was one of the larger French manufacturers, and without a doubt, the most innovative. Citroën started later than some makers, beginning production in 1919. They more than made up for their late start by being hugely innovative. The Traction Avant began production in 1934, and was the first front-wheel drive, steel unibody production car. It remained in production until 1953, and sold in large numbers. As if the 19-year success story of the Traction Avant was not enough, in October 1955, Citroën introduced the DS at the Paris Motor Show. The DS was the first mass-produced car with front-wheel power brakes. It also featured a self-leveling hydropneumatic suspension system. In short, the DS was a technical sensation clad by a futuristic aerodynamic body. Ride quality and handling were unmatched for the day. In fact the ride quality, 60 years later, has not been improved on. The DS was such a successful car that Citroën did not introduce another clean-sheet-design car until the 1970s.

Moving away from Citroën, I tried to choose several unique examples from the three other large French manufacturers: Renault, Panhard, and Peugeot. Renault is a volume French car maker that still survives. Known for conservative cars and leadership, it has always been very successful in France, yet less so in the rest of the world. Panhard was a very early car manufacturer, starting production in 1890. Before WWII, Panhard made mostly upmarket cars. After WWII, they declined, and made more middle to low-end cars, mostly with 2-cylinder, air-cooled engines. Peugeot has always been Renault’s rival in France, and has enjoyed tremendous success in their 100+ years of production.

France has had four major car makers, but throughout their history, they have also had hundreds of others. While many of them were not large or long-lived, they made unique and interesting cars. Georges Irat, Matra, Hotchkiss-Gregoire, and Deutsch-Bonnet are three examples featured in this exhibit.

To complete the exhibit, I picked six of the most interesting French microcars plus the Helicron, which is propeller-driven! Not an easy choice, as I made list upon list, and finally whittled it down to 30 unique and special French cars that are a major part of automotive history.


Education Program

School Groups:

Lane Motor Museum offers discounts to school groups of 15 or more. All visits to Lane Motor Museum are self-guided. The cars on display are varied and a self-guided visit gives your group the opportunity to spend more time with the cars that interest them the most. For those who like to learn all the details and history of a particular vehicle, each car has a sign by it that gives details about its background.

To be eligible for a group discount you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a group of at least 15 or more persons aged 6 or older
  • Have a group leader who serves as the museum contact.
  • Pay as a group (one form of payment for everyone).
Self-Guided Group Rates
  Regular Price
Group of 15+ Adults
Adults (18+) $9.00 $6.00
Seniors (65+) $6.00 $6.00
Youth (Ages 6-17) $3.00 $3.00
Age 5 & Under Free Free

Please contact Rex Bennett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 615-742-7445 to set up your school group.

For Teachers:

The Museum offers structured activities for use in the classroom or during your class’s visit. Activities and lesson plans meet Tennessee Common Core Standards

Car Logo Art Project 7-12

Activity Sheets

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Would you like a guest speaker from the Museum to come to your event or organization? Email our Education Director Rex Bennett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an event. Speaking engagements are available during normal business hours, for the greater Nashville area.

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1933 Dymaxion Replica- Now On Display


(Please note-- the Dymaxion will be on display in 2015 with the exception of approximately June 9-17, 2015 when it will be shown at Ault Park Concours d'Elegance in Cincinnati, OH and July 24-29 when it will be at Concours d'Elegance of America at St. Johns in Plymouth, MI )

Backwards To the Future

Lane Motor Museum Announces Completion of Classic Dymaxion Replica and Appearance at Amelia Island

After eight years, Lane Motor Museum is pleased to finally announce that its replica of Dymaxion Car #1 is complete and will go on display starting Feb. 26, 2015.

Three Dymaxion Cars were produced between 1933 and 1934 by famed futuristic visionary Buckminster Fuller. The Dymaxions were legendary for being far ahead of their time in both design and technology. The three-wheeled Dymaxions, powered by a Ford V-8 engine, could achieve 30 mpg and carried up to 11 passengers. The Dymaxions were teardrop-shaped for aerodynamic efficiency and could reach speeds of 90 mph. The cars also featured front wheel drive, a rear mounted engine, and rear wheel steering.

As advanced as the Dymaxions were, the project failed to attract sufficient funding to continue, and the project stalled. Two of the cars were sold; one was destroyed in a crash, the other in a fire.

The sole remaining, non-running, original Dymaxion rests at the National Automobile Musueum in Reno, NV. Now, thanks to a dedicated team of restorers and mechanics, Lane Motor Museum has one of their own. After undertaking the project in 2007 and after taking many twists and turns, the retrofuturistic Dymaxion is back and here to stay.

“The Dymaxion just makes sense for us to have at the museum,” said Director Jeff Lane. “The design is well ahead of its time and its looks definitely fit the uniquely different philosophy we build our collection around. After doing lots of research, we decided that Dymaxion #1 was the best fit for the museum and now it’s here.”

In 1934, an original Dymaxion was driven on a road trip to Connecticut by famous designer Isamu Noguchi, who helped design the wonder car. This year, Lane Motor Museum Director Jeff Lane will be driving Lane Motor Museum’s example on a road trip of its own from Nashville to make its debut at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Florida on March 15, 2015.

About Lane Motor Museum: TheLane Motor Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, established in 2002 by Jeff Lane. Museum director Jeff Lane searches out cars that are technically significant or uniquely different. The goal of Lane Motor Museum is to share in the mission of collecting and preserving automotive history for future generations. For more information about the cars, hours, or the mission of Lane Motor Museum visit:


Jarrod Holland

Publicity Factory


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