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:
Before the Tesla was the Fisker. A high end electric that looks beautiful.
Looking around were some examples of small post-war cars.
Above is the 1957 Reliant Regal MkIII
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.
Some had two wheels in the front while others, like the one above had two wheels in the rear.
There were some non-micro cars as well…
Above is the Amphicar that could drive on roads and then drive into the water and propel itself with propellers.
The car in the three shots above was derived from an early Volkswagen.
The Simca above was a beauty from 1954.
How about this very sporty 1964 Peel Viking Sport.
Or this 1935 Adler Trumpf Junior
There were these examples of military vehicles.
From this angle this Citroen almost looked like an ambulance, but it was really a race car transport.
There were a pair of classic SAABs…
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.
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.
Our next entry will show some of the hundreds of cars we viewed in the museum building itself.