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Author Topic: Lark Lane Motor Museum - a little bit of Lancia nostalgia  (Read 2929 times)
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nthomas1
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« on: 27 April, 2016, 11:02:33 AM »

Things seem a bit quiet on the forum at the moment so I thought I'd dive into my photo archives to find something worth sharing.  Back in 1986 I took my young son to the now defunct Lark Lane Motor Museum in Liverpool.  When we got there a sign on the door said that the museum was closed, but to knock on a house in the street next door to gain admission.  We duly did that.  The door was opened by Jim Baxter in a brown overall with a wrench in his hand.  He welcomed us into his house and said he'd be ready in a few minutes.  He had an engine (Lambda, I think) on his kitchen table where he was working on it.   Jane picked up a tin of cakes and we walked round to the museum together.  While my son and I toured the Aladdin's cave that Jim had built, Jane made us tea and cakes.  A couple of Lambdas, a couple of Ferraris, including, I believe, the first one imported to the UK, and tons of automobilia to pore over.  We had never met or heard of the Baxters before and had had no idea what to expect from the museum. It was a wonderful visit!!  Here are two of my pictures - not great quality as they are scans of small enprints.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
the.cern
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« Reply #1 on: 27 April, 2016, 11:38:00 AM »

That is beautiful and obviously very much a labour of love!! You were  lucky to get to see it ..... have you any idea of the cause of its demise or what happened to the collection.

Thank you for sharing this!

                                Andy
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the.cern
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« Reply #2 on: 27 April, 2016, 11:48:28 AM »

I have just made a quick visit to googlemaps ....... my parents lived in Aigburth (Mersey Avenue) from 1966 until 1978, about 2.5mls from Lark Lane. I had no idea about the museum, if only I had known!!! Maybe my parents would have even seen more of me!!!! Maybe they knew ...... and kept quiet about it!!!!!!

                                        Andy
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nthomas1
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« Reply #3 on: 27 April, 2016, 12:31:48 PM »

I went off to the USA to work in Detroit shortly after I saw the museum. I looked for it 20 years later but it had gone by then. I bumped into Jim and Jane a couple of years later at Donington or Oulton Park. Jim had offered the museum contents to  a Liverpool city museum on the condition that he be curator, which they declined. Their loss!  I assume the maintenance of the museum or cost of keeping it running was behind that - though I didn't want to be too pointed with my questions to Jim. Much of the collection ended up in a transport museum on the Wirral. I went see it but it had just closed down due to cuts in council funding so don't know what happened then.  I'm very happy to have been lucky enough to see Lark Lane.
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
nthomas1
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Posts: 621



« Reply #4 on: 27 April, 2016, 04:44:26 PM »

Well Andy - your parents certainly weren't far away but I have a feeling the museum wasn't open until after 1978.  The few references to it that I can find via googling refer to it having been there only "for a few years" and I saw it in 1986.  The building is in Hesketh Street, just off Lark Lane, not on the lane itself.  I think it was some sort of depot before Jim and Jane got it.  Jim told me that the wrought iron stairs and balconies came from a church that was being demolished.  After the museum moved out it was converted into a recording studio, and the first image that comes up on Google Images for the studio shows the stairs and balconies that Jim installed still in situ.  The studio is now one of the most important in the North West and apparently was hugely influential in the birth of bands such as Oasis and the arctic Monkeys. Interestingly it's known as the Motor Museum Recording Studio after being called the Pink Museum for a while!  Here's the exterior of the building in 1986 with my Ford Escort XR3 outside (that was my company car from Ford UK in those days).  Also, here's a picture of amiable hosts Jim and Jane in the cafeteria area.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
nthomas1
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Posts: 621



« Reply #5 on: 27 April, 2016, 04:46:03 PM »

Here's a couple more pictures.  Lancia this time!


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
JohnMillham
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Posts: 963



« Reply #6 on: 27 April, 2016, 05:21:46 PM »

I wonder what happened to the Lambdas. Strange that the earlier car has a later dashboard and engine.
Regards, John
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nthomas1
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« Reply #7 on: 27 April, 2016, 05:47:35 PM »

John, I bumped into Jim and Jane at an AMOC historic race meeting at Oulton Park in 2008.   Here's a picture of them there with MY1183.
I don't know what happened to the other Lambda.


* IMG_5330 Lambda.jpg (753.04 KB, 945x630 - viewed 98 times.)
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
ColinMarr
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« Reply #8 on: 27 April, 2016, 06:23:37 PM »

This forum took a look at Lark Lane and all these connections back in February 2014 - see http://www.lancia.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6912.0 Great to see a photo of Jane and Jim looking so well.

But there is more to add and I will come back to it.

Colin
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nthomas1
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« Reply #9 on: 27 April, 2016, 06:41:17 PM »

Sorry if  I'm being repetitive repetitive.  I thought I'd read through most forum topics but must have missed that one.  Hopefully the extra pictures will provide added interest.
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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
rogerelias
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MY 1600HF IN HEARTBEAT GARAGE


« Reply #10 on: 27 April, 2016, 06:45:19 PM »

Very interesting story and pics. There are some very nice bikes there  too, AJS 7R, Scott, possibly a Flying Squirrel , to name a couple,
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FULVIA 1600HF LUSSO
1958 VELOCETTE MAC
Triumph Bonneville t120v 1972
1968 MGC ROADSTER
1958 Series 2 Appia berlina
nthomas1
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« Reply #11 on: 27 April, 2016, 06:55:32 PM »

Yes, some great bikes.  Here's two that I took a picture of.  Moto Guzzis.


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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
ColinMarr
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« Reply #12 on: 27 April, 2016, 08:56:29 PM »

Norm, absolutely no need to apologise – all these things are worth revisiting and as you have demonstrated there is always more to tell.

The earlier thread will have shown that Jane is Buckle’s daughter and that the two Lambdas at Lark Lane were Buckle’s. From other sources we know that the Lambda most associated with Buckle, GO 7254, is in Holland and is much revered.

Your first post mentions two Ferraris also being in the museum. By an extraordinary coincidence I can shed light on one of them - a 212 Inter from 1951. In the 1980s I read about this car being at Lark Lane and corresponded with Jim about it and sent him some photos.

It so happens that almost my first encounter with motor sport was in 1955 when aged fifteen I cycled out from north London to a speed hill climb at Stapleford Tawney in Essex and the event still fills my memory. One of the cars competing that day was this Ferrari, and it was so impressive with wheel spin the like of which I had only ever read about. As you do, I took photos and I was pleased to send copies to Jim in the 1980s when he still had the car.

The coincidence was compounded when I mentioned this story to the late John Turner (who also knew Jane and Jim) and it turns out that John Turner also knew the 212 Inter from when he was living in Liverpool in the late 1950s. At that time John Turner had his first vintage car, an AC coupe (some time before he discovered Lancia) and through Jane and Jim also had the occasional use of the Ferrari. Two photos attached – one is my photo from the speed hill climb in 1955 and the other is John Turner’s photo of the Ferrari alongside his AC.

A further twist to this is that I had heard that the 212 Inter might be prepared as a saloon car entrant to a Goodwood Revival race meeting. With a fully developed 250 3 litre engine that could be a race winner. If it happens, let’s remember Buckle and Lark Lane.

Colin


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* 1951212racingpic.jpg (800.06 KB, 2382x1806 - viewed 66 times.)
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nthomas1
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« Reply #13 on: 28 April, 2016, 08:02:15 AM »

Colin - that's a great story.  I love to hear about people's early involvement in motor racing.  My first experience was in July 1962 when, at the age of 13, I worked on Saturdays for a grocer's shop in Bootle, Liverpool, delivering shopping using an old fashioned delivery bike.  In my lunch break I cycled to Aintree where you could peer through the metal gates at the Melling Road crossing.  I saw Mini Coopers and Mark 2 Jaguars - a sight I'll never forget.  I found out later that the cars were racing in a support event for that year's British Grand Prix - the last held at Aintree.
For fear of turning the LMC forum into a Ferrari forum let me talk a bit more about the two Ferraris that were in the Lark Lane museum.  Most of this information I gleaned from the FerrariChat website which I found when Googling for more information on the museum.  The left hand car in the first picture in this thread appears to have been a 250 Boano, #0639.  It was subsequently auctioned in Monaco in 2001 and was known to be in France after that.   
The right hand car is the one that you refer to in your entry as the car you saw all those years ago at Stapleford Tawney.  According to the FerrariChat website the car, a 1951  212 Inter, #0153, was one of two cars exhibited on the Ferrari stand at the 1951 Motor Show at Earl's Court.  It was raced in the 1950s. Jim's son confirmed in 2011 (again, on the FerrariChat website) that it was still in the Baxter family at that time.  Here are my two pictures of the car. I hope you're right about it being entered at Goodwood.  I would make the journey to see it. 



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Norm Thomas
Ormskirk, Lancashire

Own:
1973 Fulvia S2 Coupe
Various modern cars
Previous Lancias: S2 Coupe and S3 Coupe in late 1970s
stanley sweet
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« Reply #14 on: 28 April, 2016, 11:23:33 AM »

I love that photo of the yellow Ferrari parked outside terraced houses in Liverpool surrounded by the usual British cars of the day. I was brought up in the East End of London and I sometimes think back to the cars that were dotted about the area down the little terraced streets punctuated by bombsites. I remember an E-type, a Mk X Jaguar, a Porsche 356 and a Lancia Fulvia Coupe which my brother and I were very taken with. I remember my brother saying 'Look at the back axle - it's just a tube!'. I remember thinking the 356 looked like a VW that had been squashed. Now I wonder who these people were that they had these cars in that area? The 356 owner could probably have bought the entire street that I lived in for the same price. Perhaps it's better not to ask, in case they send the boys round.
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1971 Fulvia 1.3S 'Leggera'  1999 Lancia Lybra 1.9JTD LX SW
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