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Day 6 – Friday May 4: Parker To the Rescue!

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

<– Day 5 – Thursday May 3: Rainy Day Quilts | Day 7 – Saturday May 5: There’s a Coffee Shop Here? –>

DAY 6: Today we drove from Paducah to Huntsville via the Sam H. Werner Military Museum. It was almost a total bust, but Parker Lowndes saved the day!



Today’s drive from Paducah to Huntsville

Today we had one objective: To visit the Sam H. Werner Military Museum in Monteagle, Tennessee, a museum that just opened last year in 2017. I’d seen pics of prototype jeeps, prototype lightweights and more and couldn’t wait to visit.

Once again, for the first half the drive, rain came and went. About noon, the rains finally left us. It was great to have some dry weather again!

We reached Monteagle at 1:30pm. The Werner Military Museum isn’t far off the interstate, so within a few minutes we were sitting in front of the museum. But something was noticeably wrong. The gates were locked and no cars were in the parking lot.


But it’s supposed to be open today!!!! NOOOOOO…..

Hmmm …. This can’t be good. The hours were Wed-Sun, 10-3, so it should have been open. But, it wasn’t. I looked to my left and there was a sign, torturing me. It read: Jeeps to Tanks, Come in and Visit Us …. trust me, I’m trying to get inside!!


Desperate, I turned to the website. There, I found two folks with emails and phone numbers. The first one went to voicemail. The second one went to Parker Lowndes. Thankfully, Parker answered.

Parker explained that the volunteer who should have been at the museum had to leave early. Could I come back tomorrow? I explained that I’d come a long way and had to head south to Huntsville later in the evening. After a short conversation, Parker offered to meet us at the museum but couldn’t be there until 4pm. I said we’d be happy to wait. It turns out, it was worth the wait.

It was real pleasure to meet Parker and learn about the museum. He took time out of his Friday evening to open the museum just for us and guide us through it. He explained that the museum has only been open a year, serving about 1000 visitors so far. They are looking for more volunteers, to rebuild vehicles and operate the museum. They also need to sort through lots of items; they are not lacking in museum content. If you are interested in helping, contact the museum.

Parker also mentioned that the museum will be hosting a Military Vehicle Show & Swap Meet May 18,19 & 20 for anyone interested.

The museum itself is divided into two large buildings. Here are a few pics from the first:


The Mighty Mite has a hardtop that someone did a fine job of fitting on it.


This Ford GP is tucked in the rear of the first room:


The first room had some interesting items, but it was the second room that had the best stuff, in my opinion. In the foreground is a Bantam BRC-40, a Bantam BRC-40 4-wheel-steer, and a Ford GP.


Parker opened several hoods for us to photograph. He also allowed me to step over the ropes for a closer look at the jeeps. Yeah, I was having a good time! You can see Parker holding open he door below:


One of their cooler vehicles is the MT-Tug:


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Of course there some prototype airborne jeeps, too. Here’s the Crosley:

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The one by Chevrolet:

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The Willys entrant:

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This M-38A1 is called the “Hi-Helen” and was modified to make the wheel base wider. It did not make it into production (yes it used the stock Dana 25 axles … you can imagine those didn’t take the loads for very long).

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This teaching tool, a cutaway M-151 was pretty cool. Everything spins on it:

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M-38A1s, a CJ-V35U and an M-38:


And, finally … I was super excited to make it in the gate!


Tomorrow, we meet up with Geoff and tour the military museum in Huntsville.

<– Day 5 – Thursday May 3: Rainy Day Quilts | Day 7 – Saturday May 5: There’s a Coffee Shop Here? –>


8 Comments on “Day 6 – Friday May 4: Parker To the Rescue!

  1. Grant

    Great write up! I hope they realize your article will be some of the best advertising they could have asked for!

  2. SteveK

    10AM -3PM doesn’t seem like enough time to take it all in. Your insider looks were very impressive that I guess outside the ropes wouldn’t see. What a collection! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jay Knight

    As always I look forward to each day visiting your site, but especially when you are on your road trips!
    I have traveled all over the country but not to any or many of the places you go to. It is helping me redefine the way I will do my road trips! Your excitement and disappointments and every thing in between are well written! Thank you for sharing and I wanted you to know that what you do is appreciated!

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Jay: Glad you enjoy the highlights and lo-lights. That’s part of adventure. You always hope that the highs of the highs will provide salve for the lows.

    Steve: They would be open longer if they had more volunteers. It sounds like they have the board and financial foundation to make this museum grow. They are working to combine more from another collection into this one. They also have another shed full of stuff, too, that they need to sort through.

  5. David Eilers Post author


    I have a LOT more pics. I zipped up the folder and sent it to Barry for publishing on his Facebook page. I just didn’t have the time to reduce the size and post them all.

    – Dave

  6. John from SC

    What a wonderful collection. I hope they get someone soon that can wake them up! Museums just can’t sustain themselves by visitors alone. They need events to expose a wider population. The WWII museum in Colorado Springs is a great model. They do themed parties, have school groups coming through, even special classes.and lectures, etc. A couple of years ago the Western Region of vintage Jaguar (JCNA) held a 40’s themed party there as part of their western region meeting that year.

    I hope to visit one day. Dave, continued safe travels to you both.

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