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Rev your engine at Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum
By Tom Adkinson

JACKSON, Tennessee – “Instead of drinking and smoking, I put all of my money into my cars.”

That is Rusty Robinson’s explanation of how he started collecting cars and eventually opened one of the more curious, and entertaining, automobile museums you’ll ever chance across. It’s Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum three miles south of I-40 in Jackson, Tennessee.

Come to Robinson’s museum to see a custom-made car called a Coyote from “Hardcastle and McCormick,” an AMC Pacer from “Wayne’s World” and a “maybe real, maybe not” Dodge Monaco police car from “The Blues Brothers.” There are about 30 vehicles in the museum, and many will transport you (at least mentally) back to the TV room in the home where you grew up or to your favorite movie theater.

rusty's ghostbusters
You know exactly “who you’re gonna call” when you see this gem at Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum; image by Tom Adkinson.

Speaking of time travel, yes, there is a banged-up “Back to the Future” DeLorean in the collection.

The museum is a plain-Jane building that coincidentally, but appropriately, is on Hollywood Drive. It is white with a bit of red trim, so it stands out as you’re driving down the road, but outward appearances are less important than what’s under the hood – or in this case, inside.

Some of Robinson’s cars are playful – consider his 1989 Batmobile, a replica vehicle Robinson described as “fully operational” but didn’t explain – while others are totally serious, such as two from the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise. One is a Mitsubishi Eclipse from “Fast and Furious 1,” which Robinson called his most valuable vehicle. The other is a Nissan Skyline from “Fast and Furious 4.”

blues brothers
Car collector Rusty Robinson says this is a “maybe real, maybe not” piece from “The Blues Brothers”; image by Tom Adkinson.

“In the first scene of ‘Fast and Furious 1’ where you see Paul Walker, he’s driving this car,” Robinson said, pointing with pride to the Eclipse. He likes the replica vehicles from movies and TV shows, but this one is the real deal.

When you consider how integral cars were to many popular TV shows and movies, it’s easy to understand how Robinson got the collecting bug.

rusty's museum
The museum exterior is uninspiring, but what’s inside generates many memories; image by Tom Adkinson.

“When I was growing up in the 1980s, cars were vital to just about every TV show. I got one (car). Then I got another. Then . . . “ he said, trailing off as he pointed to his first acquisition, a replica “Dukes of Hazzard” 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee.

He soon started looking for – and then being steered to – other replicas and vehicles actually used in TV and movie productions. He got a “Starsky and Hutch” Torino, the “Hardcastle and McCormick” Coyote, a “Knight Rider” Pontiac Trans Am and more.

rusty robinson
Rusty Robinson began collecting cars as a teenager, and fans of roadside attractions are the beneficiaries; image by Tom Adkinson.

He has a 1966 “Batman” Bat Cycle and the Yamaha V-Max motorcycle that Nicholas Cage rode in “Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance.” It has only 200 miles on the odometer, so it doesn’t matter that the movie rates only 4.3 stars at

There’s a big display for the ominous-looking Shelby-GT 500 that was the centerpiece of “Death Race.” The machine gun-laden and bullet-pocked sports car was a key element in a grim tale of convict violence in a post-industrial world. In other words, it was a star in its own right.

“I had the car before the movie came out,” Robinson said proudly.

rusty's death race
Robinson proudly says he had this car from “Death Wish” even before the movie was in theaters; image by Tom Adkinson.

On a far lighter note, Robinson shows off Ricky Bobby’s fire suit and the roof of his wrecked NASCAR race from “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Once again, Wonder Bread gets some love, and visitors smile at more memories brought to the surface by Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum.

(One route to Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum is via the same I-40 exit, #80, that leads to Jackson’s other famous transportation attraction, the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum. The car museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and by appointment Monday-Thursday.)

Trip-planning resources:, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published December 13, 2019

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