In 1982, while filming the television
series The Spoils of
War Granada Television approached Keswick
painter and sculptor, Peter D Nelson and asked
if they could borrow his MG
TC for use in their production. It was
as a result of this that several years later Mr.
Nelson conceived the idea of building a motor
museum, featuring celebrity television and film
vehicles. After purchasing the Royal
Oak Garage in the centre of Keswick, which
required total refurbishment, he began a two year
search for cars with film and television connections
and the dream finally became reality when this
unique museum opened to the public on 1st May
car from Raiders.
of the Stars developed, more and more famous
cars were gradually added to the collection, it
reached a point where the establishment could
not physically house all the vehicles in the Keswick
museum, at Ingliston outside Edinburgh. The building,
sited at the Royal Highland
Show Ground had been the Scottish
Agricultural Museum some ten years previously,
therefore it had a basic museum infrastructure,
however to house jet fighters, submarines and
cars some extensive modifications were needed.
Work was finally complete in May 2003 and the
museum opened that month.
Early in the planning stage of the
museum's Nelson decided that presentation was
paramount. Row after row of gleaming cars squashed
together was not what he intended. He wished to
show off each of these rare cars to its maximum
advantage and in context with its film and television
career. Therefore each vehicle is displayed in
its individual film set, with atmospheric lighting
and sound playing a part. Houses and mountains
were constructed; muddy battlefields and bomb
sites were built, all giving a further dimension
to the display. The result is a feat of nostalgia
for the visitor and a glimpse into the fantasy
world of television and film.
Part of this exquisite museum is
the actual Mercedes Staff car that appeared in
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The vehicle had also appeared in Space
and Jenny's War
although it is its role in Raiders
for which it will be forever remembered.