Monday, July 22, 2013

Automobiles, Motorcycles and More! (Part 2)

OK… It’s time for part 2 of our review of some of the ugly, beautiful, weird, rare and exotic motor vehicles that we photographed during our recent visit to Nashville Tennessee.


We’re continuing our photographic exploration of the many vehicles on display at the Lane Motor Museum.  FYI… The Lane Motor Museum is open 7 days a week.  Admission is very reasonable.  It’s $9.00 for adults, $6.00 for seniors and only $3.00 for youth who are age 17 or younger.

Laurie took this photo of Dawn Marie and I standing beside my new ‘dream car’!  This microcar is a 1959 Mikrus MR-300.  ‘Mikrus’ is Polish and it means “Little Tyke” or “Midget”.  I can’t even imagine trying to leverage myself into or out of this tiny little car!  The Mikrus was built in Poland from 1958 until 1960. 
The cars were produced in an old MiG-15 fighter jet plant.  Management was faced with the prospect of laying-off their skilled workforce…and they built many different products in an effort to avoid the layoffs in what was then a state run socialist economy. 
The Mikrus has a 4-speed transmission and a 2-cylinder engine which produces a whopping 14 HP!  Top speed is 56 MPH…but, on the bright side, it gets 47 MPG… Only 1,728 were ever built.  Note: In 1959 the Mikrus cost 50 times the average annual Polish workers salary!

This beautiful automobile is a 1935 Adler Trumpf Jr.  This sporty German car was in production from 1934 until 1941.  A total of 102,840 were built.  It had a 4-cylinder engine that produced 30 HP and its top speed was 60 MPH. The Trumpf Jr. has front wheel drive, all-round independent suspension and an all-steel body.
In 1880, Heinrich Kleyer founded a bicycle business and by 1900 he moved to automobiles. FYI…Adler means “Eagle”.  By 1928 Adler employed 6,000 and was making 60 cars a day, in addition to commercial vehicles and bicycles. The company was Germany’s third largest car maker after Opel and BMW. The Trumpf was introduced in 1932, and it became the best known Adler automobile. The Trumpf Jr. is a smaller version of the Trumpf. Passenger car production for Adler ended with the onset of WWII.  During the war the factory produced staff cars and ambulances. When the facilities were rebuilt after the war, they manufactured typewriters and motorcycles.
For more information re: some interesting and truly beautiful Adler automobiles…including photos of one that looks much like an early VW Beetle… just go to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adler_(automobile).

I warned you that some of the motor vehicles at Lane Motor Museum were weird and exotic!  This is a 1948 Davis Divan.  This 3-wheeled car was built by the Davis Motorcar Co. in Van Nuys California.  Three prototypes were developed as well as a military version.  These autos were powered by a 4-cylinder engine and they could reach speeds of 116 MPH.  The Davis Divan had been projected to sell for $1,400 each…
Glenn Gordan “Gary” Davis was an industrial designer and salesman. At the end of World War II, he bought a small racecar that had been converted to a 3-wheeler–thinking it would make a practical economy car.  That vehicle was likely the first Davis prototype. The Davis Divan was presented as an advanced, aircraft-inspired, high-technology car.  Only 16 operating versions were built. (2 prototypes, 11 Divans, and 3 military jeeps) The Divan is 15½ feet long, a massive vehicle by 3-wheeled standards. It’s wide enough for four people to be seated side-by-side on the single bench seat.  Davis sold franchises around the country but he never began production.  He was eventually prosecuted for fraud and went to prison.   The prototype cars were not sold but rather given to creditors.
To see a photo of another Davis Divan as well as one of the prototype jeeps, just go to this photo from National Automotive and Truck museum in Auburn Indiana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Davis_Model_494,_NATMUS,_May_2011.jpg.

Here is another weird and wonderful automobile in the Lane Museum’s collection!  This is the 1946 Hewson Rocket.  It was built in Hollywood California by a company…and former body shop…named Coachcraft, Ltd.  The Rocket used a flathead Ford V-8 that was capable of producing 85 HP and speeds of 90 MPH.  This one-of-a-kind prototype cost $16,000 to build.
Coachcraft, Ltd. was founded in 1940 and the owners began building custom auto bodies for movie stars and wealthy Californians. (To view some of those custom cars, you can go to http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/c/coachcraft/coachcraft.htm)
In 1945, William Hewson raised capital to form the Hewson Pacific Corp. He planned to produce the “Hewson Rocket” and sell it for $1,000.  The team at Coachcraft fabricated the body shape and welded the aluminum panels together. Hewson’s idea was to give the car a very aerodynamic shape with no projections anywhere–headlights covered with glass, tail-light lenses flush, and no outside door handles.  Unhappily, Hewson’s capital was depleted by the time the car’s body was finished.  Coachcraft kept the car in their front showroom until it was auctioned off in 1959 to a used car dealer in Minneapolis for $650.

Yes, as advertised in the blog’s title, the Lane Motor Museum also has a fair number of motorcycles in their collection.  Most of them are on display in this long corridor. 

In total, the Lane Motor Museum’s website lists 31 motorcycles and motor scooters in their collection.  I suspect that the actual total is a bit higher…as I noted at least one car from the few photos that Laurie took that wasn’t listed in their website’s ‘auto inventory’.
Models represented in this collection include: Aprilia; BFG; BMW; Carabela; Fuji; Gas Gas; Hercules; Honda; IZH; Jawa; Kamasura; Kawasaki; MBK; McLean; NSU; Salsbury; Schwinn Whizzer; Sears Allstate; Sinclair; Suzuki; Velosolex; Vespa; Wind Wagon; Yamaha, and; Zundapp.

As the box in the photo above indicates, this is a folding and portable “Yike Bike”.  This is a 2011 version.  It’s an electric bicycle with a carbon version that weighs about 25 lbs., has a range of 6 miles and a top speed of 15 MPH.  It comes with headlights, a tail light and turn signals.  As you might note, the seating and steering arrangement is a bit unusual.
The “Yike Bike” was invented in and is manufactured in Christchurch New Zealand.  The carbon version sells for about $5,000 NZ…or just a little under $4,000 US.  Of course there are shipping costs and other add-ons that can drive up the price.  There are several dealerships for the “Yike Bike” in the USA.  These include: Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Miami, Houston, Mt. Dora FL, Walnut Creek CA and, strangely enough at least to me, McAllen TX.  To see a demo of the “Yike Bike” and to learn more about this new ‘ride’, just go to http://www.yikebike.com/.

This crazy looking ride is also found in the Lane Motor Museum’s ‘hall of motorcycles’.  This is a 2007 Snow Hawk Jr. X120.  This fusion of a motorcycle and snowmobile only weighs 120 lbs.  It has a single cylinder, 2-stroke 16 HP engine that can propel this machine at speeds up to 40 MPH.  Can you believe that its intended market was for kids…aged 5 – 10 years old!  The good news is that the Snow Hawk Jr. 'only' cost $2,500.00…
It appears that the Snow Hawk Jr. is currently off the market although the manufacturer still holds the rights to the design.  The original Snow Hawk for adults can still be purchased through another company…for only $16,000+!  If you’d like more information, you can go to AD Boivin’s website (Quebec Canada) http://www.adboivin.com/en/home-adboivin.aspx.
That’s about it for Part 2 of our tour of Lane Motor Museum’s collection of European, American, exotic, weird and beautiful methods of transportation.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and continuing the tour with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

 

7 comments:

  1. You did find some very unique vehicles and looks like you really took in the Nashville area.

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  2. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
    Car Finance

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  3. Your photos have me wanting to visit that museum if I return to Nashville for a visit.

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  4. these cars look something special I love the Little!!

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  5. You wrote some very interesting posts about the Nashville area. I am taking note of the restaurants you visited. I’d love to visit the car museum but I think the grandsons are not old enough to appreciate it (6,4 and 2 years old, and the girl 2 months old.) When we go to Brentwood, about every 3 or 4 months more or less, we go for an event, like the birth of the granddaughter or the birthday of someone, or Christmas or Thanksgiving, so we don’t catch many tourist spots. But I know we’ll keep going up there, so later on we may see more. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving comments. I have been busy watching the Tour de France every day and knitting and crocheting blankets for the next birthdays – so I am behind again reading blogs.

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  6. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post Japan used cars .

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  7. Those cars look so spectacular in their own right. But despite their age and their designs, they look quite futuristic. Especially the Davis Divan and Hewson Rocket. They both look very remarkable. Anyway, thanks for sharing your explorations, David!

    Diana Hayes @ Baldwin Subaru

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