Day 2: January 21, 2016
Old Stops, New Sights

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By the time I went to bed, the snow had me thinking that climbing on the expressway ramp near the motel would be the way to go in the morning. After a night's sleep, though, I decided to at least start out on US-31W as planned. It turned out to be rather nice and I stayed with it through Elizabethtown and all the way to Bowling Green.

Three pairs of photos of motels along what was once a very busy highway. The for sale sign in front of the cabins in Munfordville says "will divide" so resurrection seems unlikely. Wigwam Village #2 is very much an active motel although it appeared to be empty when I stopped. The photo with the playground equipment was taken from Old Dixie Highway which runs behind the motel. Horseshoe Camp Cabins are a few miles north of Bowling Green. A fire broke out there in 2014 not too long after some tantalizing roof repairs were accomplished.

I used to stop at the National Corvette Museum practically every time I passed. I had a membership and it cost nothing to pop in and see what had changed. That was several years back and I knew that much had changed since my last visit. For one thing, the bottom had dropped out of the Skydome area back in February of 2014. Something had recently reminded me of that and when I got close to the museum I decided to pay my admission and take a look. There were other changes too, of course. I was particularly impressed with a replica of the 1954 Corvair concept car built with original Corvette front fenders and a lot of custom made panels. The display's placard is here.

It was a sinkhole that swallowed a big chunk of Skydome floor and eight Corvettes. Video from an unmonitored security camera is available here. This is Mammoth Cave's neighborhood so large underground spaces are not all that rare around here. There is one beneath the Skydome and its outline is marked in yellow on the new floor. The outline of the sinkhole is marked in red. All the cars were retrieved but five were damaged beyond repair. Those five plus one that has already been repaired and another that will be are on display in the museum. The eighth is currently being repaired in Michigan.

Stopping at one car museum made me think of another so, in a repeat of a previous Nashville afternoon preceding a Bluebird visit, I checked into the motel and headed to the Lane Motor Museum. Picking just a few pictures from a Lane Museum visit isn't easy. This is just a pitifully small sample. And the cars on display is just a sample of what the museum owns. Two of my favorites from past visits, a Renault 4CV and a Crosley Hotshot, were in hiding today. The Lane is filled with the rare and unusual. With no more than 240 built and how knows how many remaining, the 1959 DKW Monza is certainly rare. I don't know what all the diminutive 3-wheelers beyond the 1964 Skootacar are but I know they're unusual. The rest of the cars I've pictured are as rare as it gets. They're unique. And unusual, too.

The 1950 Martin Stationette would have sold for $995 if James V. Martin had been able to convince anyone to built it. This prototype is the only one ever produced. Same with the 1951 Hoffman. Its track actually exceeds its wheelbase meaning that the cars footprint is wider that it is long. The fellow who restored it in 1996 described its handling as "a drunk leaving a hotel bar". "UNIQUE" signs are not themselves unique at Lane. There are several but the cluster of vehicles under this one really caught my interest on this visit. At the rear of the picture is something they're calling a 1945 Erickson Streamliner. Although it was built in near-to-me Dayton, Ohio, and stayed there until quite recently, I'd never seen the car or heard anything about it. Read about it here and get a better look here. In front of the Erickson is a 1934 McQuay-Norris Streamliner. Read about it here. Once there were six but only one remains. The other two cars are LeClaires. Despite there being two, they are unique. One is the original 1930 machine and the other a copy. The original was sent to Lane to restore in exchange for making a replica. The project was completed around Thanksgiving and the original will soon be returning to France. Seeing them side by side is a real treat that led to another treat. Take a look at the other ends here and read about them here. I'd looked the LeClaires over early in my visit but could not decide which was the copy. I returned to try again when I was about to leave. I decided the prop hub on the car to the left looked a little rougher than the other so picked it for the original. I had barely made my mental choice when a guy who looked like he knew things came near. I asked and he verified my choice after looking for some pitting on the frame of the original. This was John, one of the museum's restoration crew. He shared some more information about the LeClairs and we went on to talk about propeller driven cars, Morgans, Renaults, Nashville musicians, TV detectives and more. Great conversation.

The Bluebird Cafe was essentially sold out for the in-the-round show with Amanda Williams, Shannon Lawson, and Bridgette Tatum. I wasn't at all familiar with any of them but that didn't keep me from really enjoying the performances. Bridgette did occasionally turn to the folks behind her but it was always quick and the side shot is the best I got. Great music and good fun. You can barely tell that it's raining in the open window shot but it is.

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