This Museum Is Home to the Iconic Movie Cars of Your Childhood

From the General Lee to the Mystery Machine, “People can’t believe that those cars are actually here in Jackson.”

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Jackson TN

Courtesy of Thomas R Machnitzki under a CC 2.0 license.

If you grew up watching TV shows and movies like "Scooby Doo" or "Back to The Future," you probably felt like the cars the characters drove on the screen were celebrities in their own right. And if you’ve ever wanted to “meet” those celebrity cars in real life, you’re in luck: Rusty’s TV & Movie Car Museum in Jackson, Tennessee features more than 30 of your favorite Hollywood cars under one roof.

What looks like a simple warehouse space on the outside transforms into a pop culture lover’s paradise from the second you step through the doors. For just $5 a pop, you can take a look at the General Lee from "The Dukes Of Hazzard," the DeLorean from "Back to The Future," the Mystery Machine from "Scooby Doo," and the "Starsky & Hutch" Torino. You can also check out cars from "Batman," "Wayne’s World," "The Blues Brothers," "Ghostbusters," "Death Proof," and "The Love Bug." The museum even has two original cars driven by the late Paul Walker in the "Fast and the Furious" films — and all this is excluding the second half of the collection stored offsite in the owner’s yard!

Rusty Robinson, the museum’s founder, has been a car collector for more than two decades. He and his father spent Robinson’s early years working on cars together. As a child of the ‘80s, an era when cars in film and TV took center stage as characters of their own, Robinson slowly amassed several real-life versions of the famous cars he loved as a kid. While some of the famous vehicles are originals straight from the sets, many others were expertly created or restored by Rusty. Eventually, his collection grew so impressive that locals would ask to stop by his house and check out the cars.

Jackson

Courtesy of Thomas R Machnitzki under a CC 2.0 license.

“Having all that stuff at my house, it was just sitting there,” Robinson says. “I would have car clubs come and look, and I’d have people just come up and say, ‘Can we come to your house and look?’ So I thought I’d give [the museum] a try.”

Eight years later, the rest is history, and the museum’s business is booming. “[Visitors] either love the cars or they love the movies, it’s one of the two,” Robinson says. “My only problem is I need a bigger building.”

The museum’s location, in Robinson’s hometown of Jackson, puts it about halfway between Memphis and Nashville, but wherever you're coming from, it's totally worth the trip. “I've been here all my life,” Robinson says. “The museum just had to be here.”

And Jackson has turned out to be the perfect place, drawing visitors from all over the world who come for the cars and stay for the city's soulful music scene and amazing food. Robinson loves the fact that he gets to stay in his hometown while "meeting all kinds of people, from every country you can think of. They can’t believe that those cars are actually here in Jackson, you know?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Hannum is a writer and editor based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Self, CNN, The Frisky, Mic, YouBeauty, Racked, and other corners of the internet. more

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Fri, 05/04/2018 - 14:44