The Lane Museum is located in a former Sunbeam Bakery at 702 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville, TN and is home to the largest collection of European vehicles in the United States. Approximately 150 automobiles and motorcycles not typically seen in the U.S. are on display (although the collection is more than double that). The great majority of their collection is arranged by country –Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. It’s a great opportunity to learn how similar–and different–vehicles were from one part of the world to another–and why.
Of course with a bit of a fascinating vehicle collection of our own, it is no surprise that we love Jeff and his amazing museum. In fact visiting the museum is a little like coming home since two of our cars are now part of his collection. The first is a Tatra T-600 from 1950. It was produced after Tatra found itself stranded behind the Iron Curtain and Hans Ledwinka was imprisoned after being accused of collaborating with the Nazis. The automobile was introduced at the 1947 Prague Auto Salon.
The other is a T-603 and was unveiled to the public in 1955 at the International Motor Event in Zlin. The body is an all-steel monocoque construction with an unusual front bench seat that can be folded back to make a temporary bed. Private customers could not buy the T-603, as it was only for Communist officials and presidents in Eastern-European countries and Cuba.
When you visit the Lane Motor Museum you’ll notice there is a statue of a famous Berne bear on the dash of the T-603. Little did we know that the bear stored incredible memories of our yesteryear road trips. You see it was all one of our founders could really see from the low “old school” seats. Her and her brother don’t miss the car (the seats were incredibly scratchy) just the bear. So Jeff, maybe there is another transaction in our future. Visit @ http://lanemotormuseum.org
Last week we added something new to our “trip” list, which is to visit the entire California Missions Trail “con” Road Chief. You probably know that twenty-one missions comprise the trail and all are located on or near Highway 101 which roughly traces the El Camino Real (The Royal Road) named in honor of the Spanish monarchy who financed the expeditions into California in their quest for an empire. It’s a fascinating part of California’s history.
We decided to start with the “Queen of the Missions” Santa Barbara whose named for a girl who was beheaded by her father for following the Christian faith. Although founded in 1786, the construct of the present Mission began after the great Santa Barbara Earthquake of December 21, 1821. The stunning interior has not changed significantly since then.
There is so much to see at Mission Santa Barbara so book a tour to enjoy to take in their beautiful water features and gardens and gain insight into the art and architecture of this mission. You can find all the information to plan your trip at http://www.santabarbaramission.org.
We’re a little behind in our reading so when we recently cracked the November 3, 2014 issue of The Economist to find, “One way or another, Ford’s new aluminum truck is a game-changer” we were in our nerdy Road Chief way, down right tickled. As you know aluminum has long been used in high-end automobiles and we’ve been tracking the Ford vision for using aluminum in their popular F-150 for some time. If you’re having trouble finding your issue, here’s the link so you can enjoy the article in full http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21630375-one-way-or-another-fords-new-aluminium-truck-set-be-game-changer-adding-lightness.
With hundred of pounds in weight saved, the new F-150 boasts a 22-percent improvement in combined mileage and a 23-percent aerodynamic drag improvement along with an additional 11% ability to haul heavier loads. Car and Driver further explores the wonders of aluminum alloy in their article http://blog.caranddriver.com/in-depth-with-the-2015-ford-f-150s-aluminum-presented-in-an-alloy-of-facts-and-perspective.
Although the fully aluminum Bowlus Road Chief would make a sweet addition to any new aluminum Ford F150, at just shy of 2300 you can tow your Road Chief with just about anything.
January is the time and Arizona is the place for classic vehicle collectors. You can count on the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, Gooding & Company Collector Car Auction, RM Auctions, Russo and Steele and Bonhams Scottsdale Sale as the really big events that have every serious collector scanning their delicious catalogs and clamoring for their paddles.
It seems every year sees exciting transactions and double-digit gains in sales. In 2010, a 1935 Bowlus Road Chief sold for $187,000 at the Gooding & Company auction cementing the collector status of Hawley’s Bowlus Road Chief. Now we can’t guarantee your Road Chief will see that type of valuation in eighty years, we do guarantee we will do everything we can to make that happen.
Bowlus Road Chief fans have been busy chatting today about Thrillist “12 Things You Didn’t Know About Airstream Trailers – They Weren’t Always Silver” that was published today @http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/things-you-didn-t-know-about-airstream-trailers. We are particularly found of 7 and 8.
7. Wally wasn’t the first to come up with the design
Airstream may have become the most popular trailer company of its time, but it didn’t create the unique design. William Hawley Bowlus, a veteran designer who had previously worked on Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis airplane, was the first to use that streamlined shape on an RV. Applying his background in airplane design, he created a silver trailer called the Bowlus Road Chief. His company went under in 1935, however, just as the Airstream was gaining in popularity. 8. Although the Airstream’s original competitor is making a comeback
Wally may have bested William Hawley Bowlus in the 1930s, but fans of the Road Chief are bringing it back. Only 80 were built before the company went under, but a Canadian family has recently revived the Bowlus, adding modern amenities like Wi-Fi and solar paneling.
P.S. As you all know, Bowlus Road Chief’s have always been 2024 T3 polished aluminum :).
P.S.S. We were thrilled to see Con’s beautiful Road Chief in the photo.