Helping the Lane Motor Museum by driving a Saab 96 V4

As you may recall from a previous entry, the Lane Motor Museum is a fabulous little automotive treasure right here in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  The Lane Motor Museum boasts many one-of-a-kind prototypes, several examples of limited-production variants and one of the largest collections of Tatra automobiles anywhere.  Naturally, they have a few Saabs.

They have currently under roof a red 1960 Saab 93 rally car, a green-and-white 1967 Saab 96 two-stroke cabriolet prototype, a light blue 1967 Saab 95 and a green 1969 Saab 96 V4.  It’s the latter that is of interest to us today, although the thought is to preserve the heritage of all of these cars through the efforts of people like Jeff Lane, the proprietor.  You see, the Lane Motor Museum is holding a rally to raise funds on September 25.  A rally where the participants can rent one of the 31 available cars to participate.  The little green Saab 96 is one of those cars that is available to drive.

The rally runs from the museum on the East side of Nashville, through downtown and on to Ashland City, Tennessee, a town on the banks of the Cumberland River about 25 miles from the museum.  There, Lane will have their 1964 Amphicar, truly a rare vehicle, available for rides on Cheatham Lake, a reservoir on the Cumberland River.  After lunch and a ride on the river in a car (should be a great show), all will return to the museum via a different route.  As one may expect, this is not a competitive rally, just more of a drive with checkpoints.  Still, it should be a good time.

Currently, there are three Tatras, a Lotus Elise, a Renault Alpine, a very dignified-looking 1962 BMW 3200, a Porsche 911 and a handful of odd ball modern cars available to drive in the rally.  Of course, the Saab 96 is also available.  The Citroens, Fiats, even more Tatras and some special-interest modern cars have been rented.  The complete display of available rally vehicles may be found here (scroll down).

So, what is the punch line?  I’m debating whether or not it’s worth a tax-deductible US$550 to drive the Saab in the rally.  I’m still not sure, and I’ve got other obligations.  We’ll see.  The truth is that US$800 (the current bid level) to drive their pristine 1947 Tatra T-87 may be a better deal.  Seriously, when else would I get to drive one of those again?  Never?

If you’re interested in participating, let me know.  They are allowing two drivers per car, and we can split the costs.

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