The Man Behind the Curtain

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Having been recently forced to subject myself to public scrutiny, at least among British Motoring readers, I feel it’s my civic duty to tell you all about the real puller of levers. You see, I’m just the apparitional talking head, with fire and smoke spouting from his ears.

Robert Goldman (right) may be recognizable as the face of Moss Motors, but he’s not the only one driving the bus. Glen Adams (left) has been part of the Moss family for more than 30 years.

Located behind the curtain, and pulling levers with a practiced able hand, is my business partner, Glen Adams. Glen is the longest-serving member of the Moss team. Having started in the warehouse in 1971, Glen demonstrated a special skill set that has enabled him to become co-owner, and the man who truly operates the company.

Glen wasn’t always the hidden business power behind the throne. In fact, like many of us, he was a British car owner who wasn’t above the random high-speed hijinks we all love to recall, after having survived the experience. If memory serves, there is at least one Glen story involving some or all of the following: an MGB, high speed, a stop sign, a cop, and maybe even a foreign country.

Early on in his career, company founder, Al Moss, recognized Glen had skills above and beyond the norm. By the time of the Goldman family’s involvement in the late 1970s, Al had already set Glen on a trajectory toward overall management. Howard Goldman continued the trend, promoting Glen and helping him obtain his MBA from Pepperdine University.

In the last 60 years, quite a few British car specialists have come and gone. Among the early entrants, there were several enthusiasts who, like Al Moss, opened their own repair and restoration shops. What differentiates an enthusiast business from a professional business, however, is how growth is managed. One cannot overstate the importance of professional management.

Our business model, which is comprised of supplying thousands of obsolete parts for dozens of obsolete car models, could easily spin out of control. We’ve seen more than our share of companies crash and burn. Their management teams rarely lacked enthusiasm, but often lacked sound business fundamentals. Our secret weapon, with a spectacular capacity to analyze and assess the meaning of business data, is Glen.

Not everyone is perfect, and perhaps even Glen never saw my evil plan to achieve a four-cylinder TR supercharger kit. Like Bill Murray pretending to ignore the gopher, I promoted the development of various other supercharger applications before leaping sideways and suggesting we had worked our way down the list to my beloved TR4.

That’s Glen on the far left with Al Moss and Chris Nowlan circa 1975.

There is no blueprint for the perfect management team. Glen, with all his organizational skills, and I, who often can’t remember to take my wallet home with me at day’s end, happen to not only represent a complimentary set of skills, but also get along quite well. The only real problem we have is that while I’m supposed to be the public face, I am in fact something of a recluse.

If Glen is hardly ever seen in public, it’s not because he lacks people skills (I’ve seen him working the crowd at parties), but rather because he’s busy pulling the levers that have kept Moss Motors humming along all these years. It’s easy to miss the man behind the curtain, but bear in mind he’s busy keeping our little British sports car world spinning on its axis.

By Robert Goldman


'The Man Behind the Curtain' has 1 comment

  1. June 9, 2024 @ 2:49 pm Edward Ridgik

    All of the stories that I’m reading are truly fascinating. Us old heads( I’m 67) yearn for the days of the English cars. I’ve owned a 59 Bugeye, a 1967 Sprite,
    A TR4, that I cannot remember the year, a 1971 Spitfire, and now a 1968 MGB. I’m amazed I can still get under the car. I still do stupid things, like letting the jack slip, holding the grinder with one hand… age does not equal wisdom. Two jacks does not equal safety factor of 200 percent. Grinders have two handles for a reason. Hindsight should be be helpful, but my brain power is being used up looking for my wrenches that I put down somewhere?
    Your stories and publications take me back to the years of the first car. Thanks for that. In 1975 we would just drive to the local Bap Geon. Those guys were helpful, even though occasionally we got the wrong head gasket… fortunately we were smart enough to turn the engine over with spark plugs out.
    I’m not sure where that idea came from. We could rebuild engines as 18 year olds, buy sadly it took weeks to get the headlights to work, thanks to “positive earth”. In my youth I made the mistake of not removing the ever present second gasket jammed in the oil filter can top!
    Thankfully, now, my 80 year old neighbor is a retired IBM guy who fixes my reverse lights in 12 minutes. IBM, Moss Motors, and the postal service are no my true heroes! Thanks for the parts, and all of the help!


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