It was on Saturday I needed to make a decision. That was whether I was going to come back to the Tail of the Dragon. From where I stayed, it was about a two-hour drive to get to Fontana Village. I was adamant about going to Lane Motor Museum after seeing Doug DeMuro rave about it in a video in which he reviewed the Volkswagen XL1. I live for those kinds of quirks and if I was driving this far from home, I might as well make it to Nashville. The drive to get to Nashville would take 4 hours starting from Fontana Village.
It did not look promising in the morning due to fog and cloudy skies in Calhoun, Tennessee. When I got to the entrance of the Tail of the Dragon, it was clear and dry. I experienced the mountain road in the wet and I wanted to experience it one more time. The challenge would total 1200 plus miles having me drive all of Sunday into Monday morning.
My challenge started at 5:30 a.m. I began to prepare, pack, and be out of the unit I rented by 6:45 a.m. By around 9 a.m. I made it back to Fontana Village. You have to make lemonade out of lemons when life gives you obstacles. Looking back that Sunday morning put a grin on my face because struggling to drive the road on the wet allowed me to tackle the road with ease in the dry. I had such a short run that day, but it was more than enough to enjoy the course. I was able to get footage for what I am releasing on Youtube for the channel (I thank your patience ^-^v). I had quite a few excellent runs. I just looped the same section from Tennessee to the village and back. I got to drive along with a few Miata groups and even have a spirited drive against a WRX and another NC. To my surprise, the new setup is a lot quicker in the entrance and exit at corners. After Fontana Village, I headed straight from the Tail of the Dragon to Nashville, Tennessee where I would be eating at a local bbq spot that the locals praise. After leaving around 10:30-11:15 a.m., I made it to Nashville for lunch around 2 p.m. My lunchtime was just under half an hour. I needed to be at the museum by 3:00, giving me approximately 2 hours to enjoy the facility, which I underestimated and thought was enough. I could make a trip just alone to this museum.
It quickly became apparent to me that Lane Motor Museum wasn’t just a museum about automobiles, but a celebration of human ingenuity in transportation, as well as how bicycles and motorcycles are somehow connected to the success of the automobile. It is because of the development of pneumatic tires that cyclists have advocated for a movement for good roads, something I didn’t know before this visit. I could not believe what bicycles they had in the museum. I got to see one of my favorite bicycles of all time and that is the Lotus 110. I’ve only read stories, watched videos of it online, but to see it in the physical form had me geeked out.
I found it fitting that my Miata registered in New York state was parked next to a Civic registered in California as I approached the end of my trip in Tennessee. We may live on opposite coasts, but we both appreciate the celebration of human ingenuity in automobiles and other forms of transportation.
My drive took more than 19 hours and 46 minutes. I did regret eating a lot of food during lunch/dinner before the long trip. This made me lethargic and struggle with the night drive. The drive was smooth up until the border of PA and NJ where the speeds reduced to 65 to 55 mph. I decided to pull over and rest around 6:30 a.m. before I had to drive two more hours to get home. Waking up from that nap, I had never been that mentally and physically exhausted from long-distance driving. I ran on fumes the rest of the way but made it. The drive was well worth the experience.
LANE MOTOR MUSEUM
The section celebrates millennial’s appreciation for cars from 1980-1999 they saw as kids that they can now own as adults. Radwood celebrates cars and the lifestyle from this particular period.
II. STAFF PICKS
The curation of vehicles in the museum is by automotive enthusiasts. The staff picks highlight their taste and I thought it was interesting they had two Lotus on hand that shows they are about the driving experience.
III. KEI LOVE
I love small compact cars as what the Japanese refer to as “kei” vehicles. They are much smaller in size and weight. I like their accessibility and portability in everyday city life. It helps them get super kawaii points for their unique form factor.
This exhibit gave me new insight into the relationship between automobiles and bicycles. The cyclist demanding better roads ultimately benefitted drivers.
I did not know that there were motorcycles that we built previously for compact purposes that make them very accessible for people to use. Now why they are not being used more is something I want to understand clearer for myself.
The trucks in the exhibit are very unique. It’s not every day you see a beautiful red Corphibian and a Larc LX 1959 in the same place. Both are special because they can travel on land and water.
VII. RACE CARS
This is the first time I got to see up close what a Formula 1 and an Indycar look like that has been in a race. You can bring yourself to that moment if you see the worn components on the race cars on display for a limited time.
They had an exhibit inside the parking lot to make the cars and owners feel right at home with the entrance. As I walked further down towards the end I notice this cherry red Honda S800 sandwiched in between the staff cars.