Unusual Transportation Museums

It really shouldn’t be a surprise that we here at Backyard Buddy are huge fans of just about anything with an engine and wheels (or wings, or props). As we think about hitting the road in what’s left of the summer, we couldn’t avoid seeking out some of the more. . . interesting transportation collections across the United States.

If you’re reading this, there’s pretty good odds you’ve heard of the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles (https://petersen.org/), the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit (https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/henry-ford-museum/), and maybe even the National Packard Museum right here in Warren Ohio (http://www.packardmuseum.org/), but this year, we’re thinking of digging deep and looking for someplace different.

Our first stop to see something unusual would be the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN (https://www.lanemotormuseum.org/). This museum has more than 500 unusual vehicles and features oddities like the Helicron–a wood-bodied French car that is powered by a four-foot propeller on the front of the vehicle. Other oddities include three-wheeled English BSA roadsters, a rocket-powered racer, and more post-war European micro-cars than you are likely to ever see in one place. The Museum also features a large number of foreign vehicles that were never available in the United States, and some very unusual prototype and small-production military and utility vehicles. If you can’t make it to Nashville, the Museum’s website has photos and a description of everything in their collection, and is worth spending a few minutes (or hours) to browse.

For those whose tastes are for the extremes of rugged and heavy, there’s the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Menlo Park, CA (http://www.mvtf.org/). The MVTF features more than 200 military vehicles from World War I, World War II and both sides of the Cold War, including tanks, personnel carriers, reconnaissance vehicles, self-propelled artillery, and various trucks, transports, and tractors. Some of the more interesting vehicles in the MVTF collection are the M8 Light Armored Car (a six-wheeled American mini-tank), the M88 Recovery Vehicle (a tow truck tank built to tow out-of-commission battle tanks), and the 2-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun Carrier (a hybrid of a tracked base with a 40mm anti-tank artillery piece mounted on its top).

The Volo Auto Museum near Chicago (http://www.volocars.com/the-attraction) takes uniqueness to the extreme, and features non-production and custom vehicles prominently in its collection. Its TV/Movie Cars exhibit includes multiple Batmobiles, KITT, Munsters cars, the Ghostbusters’ hearse, and even the Flinstones’ Flintmobile. The Bizarre Cars exhibit features a guitar-shaped dragster, a V8 barstool, and a grand piano car. If you’re looking for luxury, the Cars of the Rich and Famous exhibit has its fair share of Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Lamborghinis. The Museum also displays monster trucks, bikes, campers, stagecoaches, tractors, and scooters. If your kids get bored (not that we think they would!), the Museum also has Disney and Warner Brothers exhibits, a vintage arcade, and a theater.

These three unique museums just scratch the surface of strange transportation collections. We know that there are few people more passionate than vehicle collectors, and they have collections of interesting vehicles in warehouses, barns, and garages across the United States.

If you’ve know a strange transportation museum or collection that you think we should feature, let us know in the comments!

As always, if you need a lift for your one-of-a-kind creation, or your millions-sold daily driver, Backyard Buddy has the best lifts you will find. Give us a call at (800) 837-9353 from 8:00 to 5:00 Eastern time so that we can help you find a solution for your unique needs.