Lakeland Motor Museum at Backbarrow’s Neil Wood – Valet

IF you find it hard to keep your own car shiny and clean – spare a thought for Neil Wood who has hundreds of things to buff and polish.

Neil’s job is to ensure that all of the classic and vintage vehicles at the Lakeland Motor Museum in Backbarrow are at their best for visitors.

But, while many motorists find it a chore to keep a car clean, Neil relishes the enormous task he faces.

“I love it,” he said.

“I don’t even really mind visitors accidentally putting a handprint on a shiny new car – it gives me a job to do.”

It has been Neil’s job to prepare and park the Museum’s collection of vehicles since 2017.

“My favorite vehicle here is the 1937 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine which was used on the streets of Knightsbridge in London,” he said.

“If he could talk, he would be able to tell so many stories about all the people who rode him.

“It’s an incredible piece of automotive history.”

The Fleetwood is high maintenance and is the largest car on display at the Backbarrow attraction.

It was once the family car of the daughter of Sir John Betjeman, the former poet laureate, who often visited royalty.

Making classic cars suitable for presentation can involve painstaking work.

“The Humber Hawk estate took 16 days to prepare,” says Neil.

“Its interior was covered in orange mold and I had to use a toothbrush to make sure I got rid of it to prevent it from deteriorating over time.”

READ MORE: ‘I just want a quick polish’ – you can own this rare piece of automotive history

He has spent two days a week for the past five years cleaning, waxing and polishing the many classic vehicles on display at the museum.

When not at the museum, Neil runs his own car wash and mobile cleaning business covering North Lancashire and the South of the Lakes, so it’s hard to say how many cars he has waxed and polished during this time.

“There must be thousands of them,” he says.

“Working on historic vehicles at the Lakeland Museum gives me great satisfaction.

“It’s great to know that I’m keeping some history in the best possible condition.

“Don’t tell anyone, but if I could afford to do it as a volunteer, I probably would.”

Comments are closed.