Club Scene, Winter 1992

We last left you somewhere “back east”, during this summer of quite bizarre weather, but eventually the Pacific Ocean again came into view through the windscreen, some 11,000 miles and 86 nights after we left Goleta in June!

Driving down scenic Highway 1 through Monterey, from Palo Alto, gave us the opportunity to review our journey in the Mossmobile and to reflect on some of the tremendous meetings we had attended since our last dissertation with you in these pages. We do not intend to give you a blow-by-blow account of each meeting, just a few highlights, some of which were most unusual.

We left you in Harrisburg, PA, where we traveled to MG ’92. the huge 400-car North American MGB Register Convention in Peterborough, Canada (where we were delighted to meet with one of the chief architects of the MGB, Don Hayter). The unusual happening here was that the awards banquet was held in the local ice hockey rink, where the trophies dispensed were already engraved with the winners’ names from that afternoon’s car show! We then wended our way to Buffalo where a couple of days were spent with the enthusiastic members of the Buffalo Octagon Association.

A couple of days spent fighting strong winds off Lake Eric saw us eventually reach Nashville (Indiana!), where apart from a splendid collection of T-type MGs attending GOF Central. we were also greatly amused by the happenings downtown, where some 5,000 Harley-Davidson owners gathered for a weekend drag racing event! Many admiring glances were passed between both the bikers and the T-owners – both seemed to respect each other’s affection for exotic, well-made machinery. A feature of the GOF was a Funkhana Rodeo – in cars! – where drivers and passengers had to undertake various tasks, such as shooting out a candle with a water pistol, roping an inflatable steer, and placing a brand upon a cut-out cow! Hey, these cars were meant to be driven!

Kansas City was our next port of call, whereon and humid weekend, some 150 MGAs gathered or GT17 – the annual convention of the North American MGA Register. As the cars drove onto the Kansas State University campus for the car show, each lady was handed a freshly cut morning flower – a nice touch. Again, an unusual happening, and even more bizarre, was the photo session for the winning cars, which was held in the basement parking lot of the headquarters hotel at well after 11:00pm that night, complete with balloons and streamers!

On to Denver! Way back in the early summer, we received a fax here at Moss which said, “You guys keep my old banger on the road. if ever you’re in the Denver area with the Mossmobile, come and be my guest at my R.V. park”. So, we met Teddy Cline, a real character, who not only owns an MGA, but also the Denver Meadows R.V.Park, in the shadow of the Rockies, and with a hot spa big enough to swim in! Call in and stay with him if you are ever in the Aurora area. I asked Teddy, when we arrived, if there was anywhere we could get (the Mossmobile serviced locally, as we had done nearly 5,000 miles by now. “No problem, stay there,” he said, and within minutes, a complete mobile lubrication service rolled onto the R.V. site, where a young man changed the oil, carried out a complete lube, replaced all the filters, and then presented us with a bill for $39.00! We couldn’t believe this unusually prompt and cheerful service.

The reason for staying in Denver was to prepare for the 40th Anniversary Meeting of the Big Healey at Breckenridge. We hauled the R.V. over 12,000 ft through the Eisenhower tunnel, and as usual, it was a little short of a breath at this altitude! But then, so were many of the attendees at the meet, which took place over 9.000 feet!

Thunder and lightning, some rain, but a superbly organized meet saw hundreds of Healey enthusiasts and several members of the Austin-Healey design team enjoy a whole week of activities with funkahana, hill climbing, rallies, and of course, the ever popular Moss Pinewood Derby. Our distinguished Chairman at Moss Motors, Howard Goldman, joined us at this meet, having driven his Bugeye out to Colorado, solo, from California.

Following a two day sprint with the Mossmobile performing to perfection, we covered a thousand miles to attend the gigantic MG party in Grand Rapids, Michigan – without doubt the largest gathering of a single marque in North America. 568 cars filled the Held for the car show on Saturday afternoon, and there was much merriment at the awards banquet later that day. Attendees were able to drive the track at Gratten Raceway the following day, before watching a superb program of vintage racing to round off the weekend.

We now were able to catch our breath a little, and a leisurely four day drive took us to Wyoming for the GOF West, held amid the spectacular splendor of the Grand Teton Range at Jackson Lake Lodge. Prior to this visit, I was unaware that this hotel was the site of a historic agreement signed between Secretary of State, James Baker, and Russian Foreign Minister, Edward Shevednazy, in 1989,which eventually led to the end of the Cold War. The unusual happening here? Event Chairman, Warren Wendt appearing like an NFL linebacker at the auction social, due to wearing each different T-shirt from twenty previous GOF west meetings! He then proceeded (to the audience’s great amusement) to divest himself of one shirt at a time, before finally being left with just the current 20th Anniversary shirt from Jackson! Leaving this meeting we were again reminded of some of the constant remarks we receive, including “I wish I could drive the motorhome, you have a great job”! Rounding a bend on a narrow road to Alpine Junction we spotted a sign on the rear of a truck, “Sheep Ahead”? No sheep were to be seen anywhere, but around the next comer there were sheep everywhere, thousands of them, on the road, in the grass verge, and being herded by a variety of cowboys. Indians and many dogs! It took us well over 30 minutes to navigate our way through the 2,000 sheep only to find that ten minutes later the road completely disappeared, due to construction leaving a 10-foot wide path between which to guide the 8-foot wide Mossmobile through concrete barrels! Still want to drive the Moss motorhome?

Idaho and a small town – a crossroads with a stop light. We stop for gas and breakfast and are asked, “What Is Moss doing in Idaho”? This from an MGA owner who was amazed that we’d come to his town! Down the spectacular Columbia River gorge – stayed at an R.V. park where the owner has a l953 TD he is restoring – he couldn’t believe Moss was actually in his town either. Hey, we get everywhere, and to parts other specialists never get to. Finally, on to the west coast and the All British Field meet at Portland International Raceway, which saw hundreds of Jaguars and other fine British automobiles turn out for a superb weekend of entertainment. Then, south through the beautiful Oregon and Northern California mountains to yet another All British meet in Palo Alto. This year, it’s the venue for the American MGB Association Convention, and that brings us back to where we began this column.

Highlights of this year’s tour? The amazing dedication of all you British car people who put on some really great events. The standard of the show cars – of all marques – which just gets better and better, and above all, the welcome we received at each stop with the Mossmobile! You are the greatest! Thanks also to everyone who hosted us, the names too numerous to mention, but thanks a million! And our sincere thanks to the “The Moss Crew” back at base who supported us magnificently from so far away – a hard working team of dedicated professionals doing their best to keep you and your cars running well into the 21st Century!

Heard at the Moss R.V.:
“Can I sue Moss for divorce”? This from a woman whose husband takes his Moss catalog to bed every night and falls asleep while perusing it! We are considering printing a warning message on each catalog- This catalog can be injurious to your relationship”!

“I understand you sell parts for British cars”. Whereupon the gentleman produced a haltered Dinky Toy MGB from his pocket and seriously inquired as to whether we supplied parts for model cars!

“Look, daddy – Moss Motors founded 1498″ said the little girl as she passed by the RV,”that’s just 6 years after Columbus came here”. “Yeah”, replied her father, “Moss has been around a long. long time”!
(Actually we’ve only been here since 1948!)

“I’ve not received a Moss Motoring in ages, in fact, not since I moved two years ago!” “Did you tell us about your address change?” A deathly silence ensued.
Moral: while our superduper computer system can do most things, it will not track you if you move without letting us know!

We now look forward to the 1993 season and meeting with you all once again, especially our friends south of the Mason-Dixon line (We are coming…honestly!)

1993 Events?

It is time again to get your 1993 event dates to us so that we can include you in
our events calendar, as well as make plans to attend, send donations or help out in any way needed!

Get together with your club and pin down the exact date of your upcoming
British sports car day. We want to attend as many events as possible, but we need to have some advance notice. Write or fax in your plans to:
Moss Motors Events Calendar
400 Rutherford St. Goleta, CA 93117

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