Through the Windscreen: Fall 1991

Ken Smith

Club & events Coordinator

Salutations from the Moss Club and Event RV—the Mossmobile! Once again on the road to British car meetings across the USA, we have hauled the RV some 3,500 miles through the deserts of the southwest, across the great plains of Oklahoma and Kansas (witnessing some of the havoc left by the recent tornadoes) and into the lush greenery of the eastern United States, which is quite a pleasant change to someone used to the drought brown of southern California.

Our first event on this trip was the TR Register of America’s national event in Frederick, Maryland, organized by the Mason-Dixon Triumph Club. A great turnout of TR2s and TR3s celebrated TRA ’91. Brief impressions of this meet were the tremendously high standard of the Concours judging (the rules for which take a whole manual) and the vigor and enthusiasm of the participants in the Triumph Olympics held at this event! If you’ve never had to put the top up on a TR3 against the clock while being heavily rained upon by a garden sprinkler which resembled a fire hose, and being shot at by kids who had been issued water pistols, then you should try it someday. I cannot recall the winning time (which was under a minute), but the couple who took over five minutes got a real soaking! What is it about these British cars that turns grown adults into schoolchildren once again? Thanks TRA for your warm welcome. We hope to attend another of your excellent meetings some day soon.

On to the British Car Day at Bowie, just outside Washington D.C. The taste of original British weather (for it poured with rain all day until late afternoon) did nothing to dampen the spirits of the owners of the 700 or so beautiful British cars that braved the elements to fill Allen Pond Park, and the awning on the Mossmobile provided some welcome relief for the visitors to our display. We had heard a lot about Bowie and it lived up to every expectation we had—row upon row of classic machinery—and an unexpected bonus for us in the shape of an MGB roadster built using a Heritage body shell supplied by Moss New Jersey in January 1991. Owned by Larry and Mary Pratt, and assisted by Jim Hull, this Aqua 1970 MGB showed just what can be done, and why it shouldn’t be necessary to ever lose another MGB to the junkyard!

Heading northeast now to the MG T-Type Gathering of the Faithful meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, these stalwarts have met together for the 52nd time since the T Register was founded! One couple has attended every one of these gatherings over the last 26 years (since the first GOF in 1965) and were there again this time. Congratulations to Bernie and Mary Stelman of Connecticut. Incidentally, the Stelmans have attended each of the 52 meetings in the same 1953 MG TD that they purchased new. A remarkable achievement!

Apart from a splendid display of pre-1955 MGs, including two M-types and a P-type built for Le Mans, we were particularly impressed by a feature we first observed some two years ago at this same meet. This is the “Safety Fast” check, where participants’ cars are inspected by qualified personnel in the areas most vital to ensure safe and last running of these road warriors (the youngest of which is now 35 years old)! The inspection is free and covers such items as steering, brakes, shocks, suspension and many other items, and while by no means wholly complete, is an invaluable guide as to the condition of the car at the time of inspection. We at Moss heartily endorse this feature and recommend it to other clubs as a means of making attendance at any event worthwhile. Owners of cars that pass the rigorous inspection are rewarded with a unique “Safety Fast” pin, and the owner receives a record of the inspector’s sheet so that corrective action can be taken where required.

As usual, the host club, the New England T Party, put a great deal of effort and enthusiasm into making sure all went smoothly, and they were rewarded by a large, appreciative attendance.

A few thoughts and anecdotes through the windscreen of the Moss RV: How is it that the people in the Midwest are so considerate and courteous on the road? In rural Kansas, cars moved over onto the shoulder of the two-lane road when they saw us appear in their mirror, to give us a little more room to pass in a 40-mph crosswind.

Thanks to all the people who waved at us and flashed their lights, especially the white MGB in rush hour traffic in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

How about the Radio Shack 18-wheeler whose driver apologized for the poor quality of his transmission? We wonder what he had in there?

West Virginia, and the lady checking us in at the RV campground asked what type of RV we had. Our reply was a sportscoach. “But it says Jaguar on the side of it,” said she (it also says that Moss Motors caters for MG, Triumph and Austin-Healey!). She insisted on entering the coach in her records as a Jaguar RV. (We need a 12-cylinder, Howard!)

And finally, thanks to everyone who has made us so welcome—the clubs, the individuals and complete strangers who make the Moss Road Show worth doing. It’s been our pleasure!

We now turn the Mossmobile even further east to Boston, and then head west to Chicago. By the time you read this we hope to have met many more of you—our loyal customers old and new—during our summer tour, which this year extends all the way through November, to Triumphest ’91at Lake Havasu in Arizona. See you!

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