Things You Find on the Side of the Road

On our travels back east we cam across this sight at a gas stop.

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These are some great old trucks that they use out front as a display.

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This old Mack truck is being towed by a White truck.

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There was an even older yellow truck.  Can you guess what brand of truck it is?

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It is a Mack truck as well!

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Strange Things on the Side of the Road–Clarence Kansas

If you didn’t know that it was there you would probably drive right by it, but in the small town of Clarence is the most unusual gas station I have ever visited.  It is on an intersection and in back of it is a large grave yard.

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The cars are mostly Fords and are occupied by several realistic mannequins.

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I don’t think it can be called a museum.  Maybe its just a place frozen in time.  Or it could be… the Twilight Zone.  See for yourself.

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Things on the side of the road–Delta, CO

Just driving around and as I am heading to a tourist attraction we pass this place:

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With a squeal of the brakes and a quick u-turn we stop and photograph some real classics.  Certainly these are not restored classics, but man, they are still amazing to look at.

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Most of these were just across the street.  Here is a shot of the other side of the street.

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Hanger 18–a gem on the side of the road

As I travel around I like to stop at car museums, cars and coffee events, and once in a while I come across an interesting car on the side of the road.  This shop really caught my eye. 

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The colors certainly caught my attention along with a great looking car from the pre-war era.

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Originally this was a Sinclair gas station that has been around Colorado Springs for decades.  In the past year it has been transformed into a great service station.

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The customer greeting area is colorful and inviting with plenty of certifications on display.

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It was an impressive shop with a great staff that was completely focused on providing great service.

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Pike’s Peak

Today we decided it would be a great day to drive up Pike’s Peak.  In just a couple of weeks the famous hill climb will be taking place so this was an opportune time to see what this was like.  Our mode of transportation would be the Chick Magnet, my 1992 red Toyota Pickup.  It loved the high altitude and the climb up to over 14,000 feet was a piece of cake.

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We were allowed to drive about 16 road miles up the mountain and then had to park and take a shuttle bus to the top.  There was a lot of construction going on and little room for parking at the summit.

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Where there was once only a wooden shed for shelter there is now a large gift shop and eat shop.  We took advantage of their special on a pair of doughnuts and a cup of coffee.  The air was thin and the view was amazing.

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Above are the tacks of the cog railway that was shut down for the season while repairs and construction took place.

Then there was the view.

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The weather started out very sunny.

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There were ravens enjoying the summit.

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Soon it was time to take the shuttle back to the truck.

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But the nice weather changed.

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There was thunder and lightening.  It held up the shuttle buses.  Eventually we were transported back to where we had parked the Chick Magnet.

And guess what was there in the parking lot?  A film crew.

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They were from the television show Road Kill.  They had a Chevy that they had rescued from a junk yard and drove up the peak.

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I’ll be watching for this episode.

Then it was back in the red truck heading back down the winding road.

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So be sure to put Pike’s Peak on your list of places to travel.  It will amaze you!

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The Lane Motor Museum–Nashville

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This is the second half of our trip to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN.  In the first part we explored the parking garage and the automotive treasures that are on display there.  This installment we will be exploring the cars inside the museum itself and focus on the micro car exhibit that will be at the museum until sometime in May of this year. 

Greeting us as we stepped through the entrance was a 2013 Peel Trident:

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It was manufactured by Peel Engineering as an updated version of the Peel Trident manufactured and sold back in the 1960s.  A gentleman by the name of Cyril Cannell started the original Peel Engineering on the Isle of Man back then.  He was fascinated with fiberglass as a construction material and his little company designed and manufactured two micro cars, the Peel P-50 and the Peel Trident.  The P-50 being the smallest production car ever produced and the Trident the smallest 2-seater.

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Red seems to be a popular color with micro cars.  Perhaps for safety reasons.

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Above is a 1953 Rovin D4.  Rovin developed motorcycles and motor cars in the 1920s and after WW II he was encouraged by the French government to produce vehicles that were affordable to own and maintain.

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Even though it clearly was low priced and easy to maintain it managed to be a beautiful car that didn’t look cheap.  The rear view mirror just sparkles with class.

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Above is the 1938 Tatra T-97 a Czechoslovakian beauty.  It was rear wheel drive, rear engine with 40 bhp and had a top speed of 80 mph.

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Above is a 1958 Tatra T-603

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This is a 1996 Tatra T-700

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Above is the 1939 JAWA 600. Franisek Janecek was an arms manufacturer during WW I that switched to motorcycles and cars afterwards.  JaWa was from the first two letters of his last name that the first two letters of the motor manufacturer, Wanderer.

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If you ever saw the movie Brazil you might recall this car:

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It is a 1957 Messerschmitt KR200 manufactured at the same post-war factory that made the famous German fighter planes of WW II.  It had a top speed of about 50 mph and could seat three for about half the price of a VW.

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The red pickup truck on the left is a Subaru

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It is a 1970, left-hand drive model. 

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Above is a 1962 Berkley T-260, a very popular three wheeler from England.

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This is a 1967 Toyota Sports 800.  It was a very sporty version indeed coming in at less than 1300 pounds and having a40 hp two-cylinder air-cooled engine.

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Above is a 1991 Honda Beat with a 64 hp 3-cylinder engine it could top out at over 80 mph.

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Take a close look at this Citroen.

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Yes, it is a double car.  Designed as a fire department car that could go in either direction so that it would not get stuck on a narrow road where it could not turn around.

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A racing BMW – 1962 Shirdlu weighing 635 pounds and boasting a hot-rodded 750cc BMW engine.

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The 1977 Urba

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and now for the fastest red car on display

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The 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo with a twin-turbo 3 liter V-6 KERS power plant (hybrid) it was built to compete at LeMans.

 

As my sharp-eyed readers can tell not all the cars on display were red.  But with photos of hundreds of fascinating vehicles on display I had to limit just how many I could share with you.  Please make it a point to see this amazing place yourself and enjoy them all.  I certainly did.

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Nashville and the Lane Motor Car Museum

Last week we took a road trip to see the Lane Motor Car museum in Nashville, TN.  We had heard about it and knew that it has a special exhibit of “micro” cars until May of this year.

After World War II the European car industry was working hard to recover and since the continent was also recovering economically its people were looking for transportation options that were inexpensive.  From this came the development of the micro cars.  Some were spectacularly small and some were just petite.  There was a great deal of creativity in terms of engineering and development of these automobiles.

While we had seen examples of micro cars over the years the museum was offing a chance to see them all in one spot and compare the various approaches to producing micro cars.

The first thing we did was find a spot to park in their garage for the P71.  To our surprise we found that the exhibit started in the parking garage itself.  Here are some examples of what we found:

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Before the Tesla was the Fisker. A high end electric that looks beautiful.

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Looking around were some examples of small post-war cars.

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Above is the 1957 Reliant Regal MkIII

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Three wheelers were a favorite way to build these micro cars as many countries would treat them as motorcycles which was an advantage in registration and taxation.

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Some had two wheels in the front while others, like the one above had two wheels in the rear.

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There were some non-micro cars as well…

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Above is the Amphicar that could drive on roads and then drive into the water and propel itself with propellers.

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The car in the three shots above was derived from an early Volkswagen.

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The Simca above was a beauty from 1954.

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How about this very sporty 1964 Peel Viking Sport.

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Or this 1935 Adler Trumpf Junior

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There were these examples of military vehicles.

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From this angle this Citroen almost looked like an ambulance, but it was really a race car transport.

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There were a pair of classic SAABs…

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The white one was reminiscent of the ones Kurt Vonnegut once sold when he opened a small dealership on Cape Cod in the 1960’s.

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Above is a beautiful example of a BMW E30 M3.

These cars were just a few of those that we browsed before we left the parking garage and headed to the museum proper.

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Our next entry will show some of the hundreds of cars we viewed in the museum building itself.

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