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Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Tommy)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we ignite the power plant and drop the hammer on our Hurst Olds making a few hot laps to declare victory.

(Joel)>> Then we head on over to a museum that's in a lane all in its own. [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> I've been waiting for this day, to slide in, bump the key, and enjoy the view from the driver's seat. [ Music ] [ engine rumbling ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Today's the day that we finally get to reap the benefits of all of our hard work. Guys work months and or years on their projects, and we finally finished with ours. Goal for today is to enjoy ourselves. We've got a cool car, wonderful weather, and some T-tops. So that shouldn't be hard to do. Now this Oldsmobile may look the same from where you're at, but it's got a total different attitude. We're gonna wind up at the track, but for now we're gonna soak up some good times. [ Music ] It's been one heck of a journey transforming this Hurst Olds from a middle age motor car to a lean and mean street machine. When we got it, it wasn't in bad shape. For being 40 years old it had some wear on it, but despite having a few flaws we knew it was a diamond in the rough. Our Hurst Olds started out making a puny 150 horse. So, we transplanted in a legendary big block worked on by Doctor Olds, Joe Mondello. The Hurst was always known for having three handfuls of lightning. Now it has all the thunder. Since we upped the power under the hood we had to beef up everything else to get the power to the ground, like with a new transmission, and some hefty brakes to halt all those horses. We also had our buddies over at Sonax come in and help us throw some shine on the finish to roll back the clock. We even swapped out the hood and gave it a fresh coat of paint to match our revitalized exterior. We couldn't leave out the interior. So, we added some TMI custom seats and restoration components from Original Parts Group. All this together gives us a perfect combination of performance and style. Any time on the calendar during fall could be considered perfect to set the date for completion on a project. We've been working on this one for hours on end, pulling some double shifts just to get it out here and in the sun. It's funny how the sensation of the wind in your hair and the sweet song from the sound of the exhaust flowing out of the pipes can make you forget about all the blood, sweat, and sacrifices one can go through to build or create something that you're proud of. If you haven't ever had the opportunity to participate in something of this magnitude you don't know what you're missing. It can give one a sense of accomplishment and recenter them as a person. The reflection of the journey to this point is now in the past, and what's in front of them is purely an open road and it's up to them to choose the direction they want to go and how fast they want to get there. With projects and life there will be bridges you'll have to cross, and my tip for you is there's nothing wrong with some planning, and don't forget to enjoy the scenery. Who's that being all philosophical? This is a car show. Cue the cool music. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Just down the road from us are some friends that like to have a good time. Here at Etheridge Motorsports Park there is one thing for sure. Here on a Friday and Saturday night there's plenty of folks who are ready to crank it up. [ Music ] We're ready to join in the festivities. You could say that there are some attendees who are dressed for the occasion. We all have a similar thing that we want to do. That is go fast and look good doing it. [ engine rumbling ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> With many hours spent and a few final adjustments combined with an open track we're finally ready to make some noise and turn this Oldsmobile from a street car into a track star. Up next, we get slick and burn some rubber, leaving only a trail of smoke.

(Tommy)>> So what's better than coming to the track? Coming to the track with your buddies. Behind me is the dynamic duo from down there in Engine Power. They've brought along that Granada to see what kind of numbers that thing's gonna turn out there on the track. Now this ole car is not really a looker. So, I'm gonna say it's more of a go'er than a show'er. Normally when you think performance hub caps don't come to mind, but with the power that this thing makes I just hope they stay on. [ Music ] Them ole fellas just strapped on a new set of slicks on the back of it and uncapped the headers. It's gonna make significant more power than it did before. That thing's got another healthy shot of nitrous on it too. I'm pretty anxious to see what this thing's gonna put on the wall over here. [ engine rumbling ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> After Pat made a couple of passes it was time for me to give it a go in our Olds. I'm by no means a pro driver, but I do enjoy stomping on the throttle. This Olds makes close to 550-foot pounds of torque. You combine a number like that with a street tire it usually means significant slippage. Well, it didn't hook. We knew that basically from the beginning, but it's just kinda fun to launch it down the track with those street tires on it. After putting those sticky mickeys up under the back side of this thing its gonna be a completely different story. Now cool thing about this car is it's got a pretty good size trunk in it. Those things can ride to the track with you. Next thing you know you jack the car up, reskin this thing in the back, make that hot lap. There's nothing wrong with having a track car but I'm a way bigger fan of having a car that's track capable. Swapping a couple of tires isn't that big of a deal. To me being able to drive out and grab a burger and raise a little Cain, you get the best of both worlds. Now this swap is very basic and will absolutely help our traction problem, which will directly improve our e-t. I would also bet with a little more tweaking and tuning here and there we could drop our time even further. This old helmet's been through quite a bit. A few cars smashed, a few cars trashed, most of all it's been a whole lot of fun. This by no means is a race car, but I have to say now it looks like it could be. To say that the sensation of this fire breathing dinosaur burning old school power plant vibrating through the car is pegging my meter is an understatement. Once this light turns green, we're gonna see how much more fun this ride is going to be. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Yep, that's better. Conclusion for the day I'm gonna say is an absolute success. We started off just riding around in a cool car and we wound up at a racetrack. So, with this project I'm gonna say mission accomplished. We've got stunning good looks, we've got speed, and we've got cruise-ability all in one package. It's time for me to go find something cool to drink and soak up plenty more of this fun. Yes sir, you did good. We never want to put our play pretties in harms way. Over the years of hauling some of these hot rods around it teaches you a thing or two. Inside of an enclosed trailer people think it's in a sterile environment. Often times that's not the case. There's quite a bit of dust and debris that's floating around on the inside of these things. Simply installing a Covercraft car cover during transport can keep a lot of that unwanted debris off your ride. [ Music ] A lot of us go to great lengths detailing our pride and joys to show them off. Hours upon hours are spent washing and polishing them for a perfect reflection, and it can be frustrating to do all that, and in a commute a lot of that effort be lost or potentially damaged. [ engine rumbling ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Just a few seconds spent installing a high end cover like this one from CoverCraft can have you show ready when you're on the go.

(Joel)>> Coming up, saying these are some one of a kind vehicles is putting it lightly.

(Tommy)>> Guys if you consider yourself a car enthusiast and you're in the Nashville area, a place that will probably pique your interest is the Lane Motor Museum.

(Joel)>> And this is my first time here, and from my understanding this is no cookie cutter car collection. Now I thought I had seen some pretty obscure vehicles in my time, but this place is on a whole other level. They've got everything from experimental planes to one of one custom curiosities. The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville is anything but normal.

(Derek)>> So we're at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and it's actually a very interesting and eclectic transportation museum. It's actually the largest European collection of vehicles in the United States, but we also have a number of American built vehicles in the collection as well. I think the draw of the Lane Motor Museum is the depth, or the breadth, of the collection. There's a car here for everyone almost, but then we also have bicycles, motorcycles, airplanes, boats. We have a little bit of everything, but if you're just looking for the cars you're gonna find cars from all over the world here. There's gonna be cars you've never seen in your life or never heard of. Whether you're interested in the technology of the vehicle, or the human connection, or the human interest point of the vehicle. I think that's the draw, is there's always something here that the visitor is going to connect with no matter who you are.

(Tommy)>> You may be curious what brought us here. Well, there's several vehicles with unique features and historic significance.

(Joel)>> And there's so much stuff to see. So, we're gonna kick it off with a familiar name, Ford. Henry Ford's first car that he ever built was the Quadracycle. He had no ready made components. So, he modified a plan that he found in a magazine. The cylinders were fashioned from a length of scrap pipe off of a steam engine. The flywheel was part of an old lathe, and the wheels came off old bicycles. When it was finished Ford couldn't fit his Quadracycle out the front door. So, he chopped the door up with an axe and used the leftover doorbell for the horn.

(Tommy)>> The car that Ford build that arguably put the world on wheels was the Model-T. The touring model seen here was released in 1918, and had the iconic hand cranked four cylinder engine that generated 22 horsepower along with a basic two speed gearbox. It also rode on leaf spring suspension to help it roll down unpaved roads. You knew a Model-T was coming when you heard that iconic sound.

(Joel)>> Here at the Lane Motor Museum there are vehicles you've probably never seen, and a few you definitely haven't seen because they only made one. [ Music ] Let me introduce you to the 1946 Hewson Rocket. It was hand fabbed and welded to give it an aerodynamic shape with no projections anywhere. It has glass covered headlights as well as no traditional outside door handles. It sports a Ford flathead V-8 engine that generates 85 horsepower, not to mention it may be the dictionary definition of mirror like shine with the entire finish of the car being reflective chrome. William Hewson ran out of funding just as the body was finished. So, no others were produced, making it truly one of one.

(Tommy)>> If you're talking aerodynamic autos the Vaughn-Dutch rocket car may be at the top of the list. This is a literal rocket shaped car because it was built from a 120-gallon belly tank of an F-86 Sabre jet fighter. It has a vintage Harley Davidson UL flathead engine. It also has wings, wheel spats, aero gauges, and custom leather work in the cockpit. Even though it's modeled after a jet, there's nothing plain about this ride. Up next, we get to see a car that is hard to put into words but it's easy to articulate.

(Joel)>> Whether it flies, floats, or is foot powered this place has it all. The Lane Museum has many unique creations. The inspiration for some is more obvious than others. However, one vehicle in particular is hard to describe but easy to articulate.

(Tommy)>> Wow, that this is impressive.

(Derek)>> So this is the 1958 Sir Vival that I've mentioned earlier. It's actually built out of a 1948 Hudson, which you guys can probably see the body lines down it. Totally '48 Hudson. A guy in Massachusetts named Walter Gerome got very interested in automotive safety in the early 1950s and came up with an idea for this car. The biggest purpose of the car is what he called force deflection, and that's why you see that it's actually articulated, or hinged, in the center. It allowed not only for the engine to be separate from the passenger compartment completely, but if something was to impact this vehicle rather than actually assuming the force of that impact the car would actually swing away from it and deflect some of that energy out of the vehicle. So, the passengers inside wouldn't get bounced around or thrown around inside the vehicle.

(Tommy)>> I've got to check the cockpit out on this thing.

(Derek)>> It's funny you say cockpit because he really was thinking in that direction. Segregating the driver into what he called the driving turret, which is what you see up here with this round plexi-glass windshield, and just felt that it would make for safer, more focused driving. You separate the driver from the passengers. The drive would be more focused on what he was doing.

(Joel)>> Did he keep the original Hudson power plant in it?

(Derek)>> Yeah, interestingly enough it's actually pretty much all Hudson underneath. The engine is the Hudson six cylinder, automatic transmission that the Hudson had. Even still has the two piece Hudson driveshaft underneath. They were known for having a short driveshaft up front and then a long at the back that all went to the rear axle. Because the front end articulates for steering they actually welded the kingpins, welded the front steering dead straight. So, it now all relies on the pivoting action of that front end to actually direct the wheels where they're going. It's definitely one of the quirkiest cars we have in the collection.

(Joel)>> Not practical by any stretch as some would say.

(Derek)>> Not all good ideas are practical.

(Tommy)>> There's no shortage of unique finds here at the Lane Museum, like this Davis 494 XP. It has a three speed column shifter and is powered by a Continental F-41-62 four cylinder motor that generated about 64 horsepower, topping out at about 70 miles per hour.

(Joel)>> Davis also produced the Divan Baby. It had three wheels with disc brakes and allegedly could go up to 100 miles per hour. It was rocking a 50 horsepower Hercules four cylinder engine and was designed with an extra low center of gravity so it could take corners going 50 and not tip over. Davis vehicles had a very science fiction look for the time, and some people may have thought this might be the future of the automobile.

(Tommy)>> When you're talking about out there concepts you've got to give a nod to the Dymaxion. Legendary designer Buck Misner-Fuller gave it a fully streamlined body, rear wheel steering, mid-engine, front wheel drive, and a very unique three frame chassis. A pretty cool concept but too complex for mass production.

(Jeff)>> Well I say it's a hobby gone wild. You know, I either need to stop collecting cars or I need to put them together in one entity, and that was kind of the impetus for the museum. Here's a way to put all the cars together. So, I thought, here's the perfect opportunity for that to happen. I think it reflects a lot on my tastes because I'm a mechanical engineer. Some people are drawn to the aesthetics. I'm drawn more to the mechanical strangeness, different systems, drive systems, different steering systems, things like that. So, every museum kinda has its niche. If you're the Corvette Museum, it's Corvettes. If you're the Studebaker Museum, it's Studebaker. Weird and unusual, or however you want to term that, is kinda became known as us, and that was a good thing cause it sets us apart from a lot of other places. There's a lot of cars here that you're not gonna see other places. I mean a lot of people come here that are not car people. They're just generally interested and tell me I really enjoyed this because of the different shapes, or the different colors. Again, we have unique, interesting vehicles. Many people walk in the door and say I've been to 50 car museums, and I came to the Lane Motor Museum and three quarters of these cars I've never seen or heard of before. So, there's a lot of cars and stories that are different from other typical museums.

(Tommy)>> I was definitely impressed with that collection. From those teeny weeny cars to those high end restorations.

(Joel)>> You know I'm a big fan of the obscure and primitive builds, and that place has no shortage of all that stuff. I'm kinda curious to see what other exhibits they come up with.

(Tommy)>> They rotate things around we'll have to come back and check stuff out.
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