Not all the exhibits at the Lakeland Motor Museum have wheels.
Not all the exhibits at the Lakeland Motor Museum have four wheels. Or indeed two wheels.
In fact, one of the exhibits at the Backbarrow attraction has two sleeves instead. But it displays a love and passion for all things motor related.
It’s a leather biker’s jacket that was donated to the museum by a motorbike enthusiast from Norfolk called Evelyn Goad.
It was a prized possession of hers for many years. She was pictured wearing it as a young woman seated on a friend’s motorbike – a Triumph TR6 650.
Despite having no wheels, or an engine, the jacket enthralls visitors with its artwork and collection of badges and advertising images. It includes Happy - The Esso Oil Drop Man – with his yellow tear-drop shaped head.
Happy appeared in print ads and publications but was most well-known for his appearances on Esso’s service station maps. He was paired with the slogan “Happy Motoring!” and sometimes appeared with an oil drop woman – often appearing together in a red convertible.
In the 1960s, Happy’s popularity began to slide and eventually became non-existent after the domination of the Tiger in the advertising campaigns.
The leather jacket also features that Esso tiger which was one of the industry’s most famous ad campaigns along with the slogan “I’ve got a tiger in my tank.”.
The campaign was designed to convinced drivers that Esso fuel was so powerful it was the equivalent of having a huge beast in their petrol tanks. "Put a tiger in your tank" was a slogan created in 1959 by Emery Smith, a young Chicago copywriter who had been briefed to produce a newspaper ad to boost sales of Esso Extra.
The leather jacket has countless items on it that can spark memories among many motoring enthusiasts. It may not have a huge engine or wheels – but this ageing leather exhibit is still very popular with visitors to the Lakeland Motor Museum.