Moss: We Are Honored to Carry the Name

Glen Adams, Al Moss and Chris Kepler.

Al Moss, the founder and spirit of Moss Motors passed away Tuesday night, September 25, 2012. Here in our building and in our catalogs, too, Al’s presence is still palpable and will be, we hope, as long as we are in business. We are better because of it.

Moss Motors didn’t start out to be a restoration parts business at all, and if E. Alan Moss had bought a Ford instead of an MG TC things might have turned out very differently indeed! Al was then a young man living in the emerging Los Angeles powerhouse, and the lure of the TC, known as “The Sports Car America Loved First,” was irresistible. After reading about the successful road rallies being held on the East Coast, Al decided to organize one of the first West Coast rallies, this being the summer of 1948.

The rally, which ironically enough ended in Santa Barbara, brought Al into contact with a bunch of fellow MG enthusiasts. However, apart from a passion for British cars they all shared a common problem—parts for these cars were just not available at the local service station and invariably had to be specially ordered to keep these early post-war vehicles on the road. Al had served an apprenticeship in front-end alignment and owned some garage equipment. He saw an opportunity to combine his love for sports cars with the chance to make a living, figuring that a shop working on front ends and the occasional TC of a friend, might work out.

So he took the chance and rented a shop at 3200 Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, where the very first Moss Motors sign was hung outside the door. More than the sign was hanging out here, however. Al’s British car-owning buddies started to hang out at the shop, and more than once the shop closed its doors for an afternoon because his friends wanted to drive to somewhere more “interesting!” Under Al’s leadership this bunch became the “Foreign Car Group”—one of the first sports car clubs in California. An attorney among them had suggested they used the word ‘Group’ instead of ‘Club’ to avoid potential insurance problems. Another collection of sports car enthusiasts gathered at Al’s shop every Saturday calling themselves the “Moss Motors Luncheon & Bench Racing Society”.

Moss Motors was, by now, doing a great deal more than just front end work with Al buying and selling a few cars later in 1948. One TC Al sold for $1100 was to a teenager named Howard Goldman. Two years later Howard bought another TC from Al (which he still owns!). They became firm friends, and this friendship was to have far reaching implications.

The logical expansion of this growing business was to begin selling new cars, and in the spring of 1950 Al became the West Coast distributor for Allard Cars bringing the first Cadillac powered Allards to the area. In addition he also became the L.A distributor for the Rootes Group selling Hillmans, Humbers and the Sunbeam-Talbot lines. The Allards were fast and had a richly deserved reputation for being extremely difficult to drive. Al raced one with some success, but a serious accident in January 1951 convinced him that his future might lay in other pursuits. He’d never really enjoyed the new car sales end of the business and so he sold the distributorships, in order to concentrate on the service and parts work he loved the best. Al moved to a new facility on Pico Boulevard, however, he soon outgrew this location and moved again, this time to Venice, just west of Los Angeles proper.

Throughout the late 1950s, service work was the prime function of Moss Motors, however, since the MG TC had gone out of production in 1949, being superseded by the MG TD, parts availability was becoming a major problem. Al began to buy up lots of obsolete parts and even ventured into manufacturing some items. Thus with a supply of parts to support his own service needs, and an ever-growing demand from people who wished to undertake their own restoration and repair, Al prospered. Eventually, with more and more owners calling for spare parts it seemed logical to produce a modest catalog, and thus the first TC catalog appeared in 1962.

By now, Howard Goldman together with his brother Philip, had, in 1958, relocated their family-owned company some 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles to the scenic city of Santa Barbara. After numerous visits with his friend Howard, Al decided to relocate Moss Motors to Goleta, a small town adjacent to Santa Barbara in 1961. And, with the mail order side of the business expanding rapidly, the decision was taken to drop the service side of the operation.

Al was also going international at this time, making frequent trips to England to purchase discontinued parts which his customers urgently required. And Moss entered the computer age in 1970 with the purchase of an early IBM card based system. Rumor has it, that this very machine can be seen in some distant computer Hall of Fame! Also during the early 70′s, two junior members of staff joining Al were, Glen Adams, the current President of the company, and Chris Kepler, currently Vice President of Operations, and both are still here forty years later!

Glen Adams, Al Moss and Chris Nowlan.

The business continued to grow as enthusiasts embraced the British sports car movement and Moss expanded by adding parts and catalogs for the MGA, the early MGB, The Austin-Healey and the Jaguar XK120-140-150 series. In 1977 Al purchased 48 tons of ‘obsolete’ inventory directly from Standard Triumph in England, a shipment which filled no less than four 40ft containers, and was in fact, the largest single buyout of TR2-3-4 spares ever! Thus, in 1978 Moss Motors published the world’s first comprehensive TR2-3-4 catalog and this publication also represented a new philosophy. The catalog illustrated, and listed, virtually all the parts that would ever be needed for these cars, even if the parts were no longer available at press time. This made the catalog a valuable restoration aid and reference guide and set the standard for all future Moss Motors catalogs.

A track favorite, Al raced his “MG” Morgan Three-Wheeler.

By 1978 Moss Motors was supplying parts for British sports cars to customers worldwide, and in fact the business had become so large that it had ceased to be fun for Al, being more like work! It was at this time, that his long-time friend, Howard Goldman, offered to purchase the entire Moss Motors operation. Al eventually took him up on his offer and entered semi-retirement to spend much of his time restoring and racing his collection of British sports cars at his home in Arizona.

At the age of 80, at the urging of his many friends, Al wrote his autobiography: The Other Moss: My Life with Cars and Horses. Certainly there will be many additional stories shared of the adventurous, thoughtful and humor-filled life Al Moss vibrantly lived. We are saddened by his passing, but so enriched by him having been with us.

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'Moss: We Are Honored to Carry the Name' have 63 comments

  1. September 26, 2012 @ 2:28 pm Jim Wheeler

    I was privileged to meet Al a few years ago.
    Hearing his take on the business and the hobby was a unique pleasure, and will be long remembered. We miss you already, Al.

    Reply

  2. September 26, 2012 @ 2:31 pm Rod Smith

    It truly is a sad day in the British Motorsports world. Moss Motors is synonymous with quality parts, great catalogs, and top notch service from like-minded British car owners. I’m sure the company will continue to grow and prosper due to the great leadership instilled by Al Moss.

    The British Motoring world is better off today, due to the many ideas and accomplishments made by Al Moss, so thankfully, his legacy lives on. Motor on Al, top down of course!

    Reply

  3. September 26, 2012 @ 2:39 pm Robert

    I knew most of the story and history of Moss Motors. I only wish now that I had met the Man behind the stories.
    Today when I start my MGB and listen to the sweet exhaust note of the Moss Tourist Trophy SS exhaust header and system it will be with added thoughts for your company’s loss and for the loss felt by all of us out in the MG community.

    Reply

  4. September 26, 2012 @ 4:26 pm Jeff Taylor

    Thank you Al for pursuing your love. I, like many British car nuts, would be helpless without your vision many years ago. My best to your family. I have looked on the web with no luck for his autobiography. Is there any chance it may be offered by Moss Motors?

    With regards & safety fast,

    Jeff Taylor

    Reply

  5. September 26, 2012 @ 4:51 pm Judy & Jeff Kenyon

    So sorry to hear of Al’s passing. We have had a relationship with Moss Motors since 1966 restoring an MG- TC, MGA, Triumph Spitfire and an XK-120 Jaguar.

    Thank you for this lovely tribute to a special man who had a dream that enabled so many of us to realize our dreams.

    Jeff & Judy Kenyon

    Reply

  6. September 26, 2012 @ 4:54 pm Rafael del Coro

    I am just a client that for many years I have been purchasing your products. I sincerely thanks Al Moss and all Moss executives and employees, past and present, for the dedication to your business that help all
    British car owners to enyoy our cars. May he rest in peace.

    Thanks Al:
    Rafael del Coro
    Miami FL

    Reply

  7. September 26, 2012 @ 5:53 pm Eric Meissner

    I am truly sorry for your loss. A recent MGB purchase brought me in contact with your firm. It is always a pleasure doing business with knowledgeable folks. Your founder will be proud that you will continue to grow his business and prosper. With deepest sympathy, Eric Meissner

    Reply

  8. September 26, 2012 @ 8:04 pm Jeff Zorn

    Got to meet Al and have dinner with him back in 1999 and enjoyed the evening listening to his tales and stories. Needless to say those of us that were there had a wonderful evening with Al. Have wanted to get out west for one of his events but just never had the chance. Motor On Safely Al, you will be missed.

    Reply

  9. September 27, 2012 @ 6:34 am Dean Butler

    I still have Moss Motors catalogs back to 1961, when I bought a TD — a car I still own. The Moss Motors catalogues were my workshop manual in those wonderful days.

    Thank you Al!

    Dean Butler

    Reply

  10. September 27, 2012 @ 9:28 am Peter Yaskowski

    I’m truly sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Al Moss. My first dealings with Moss Motors were in the late 1970′s as I rebuilt the engine in my 1958 MGA for a trip to move to California from Pennsylvania.

    Although I never had the opportunity to meet Al, his legacy will continue on through Moss Motors. I can’t think of any other person that has had the effect on the English sports car scene as he. He will be missed and certainly remembered.

    Rest In Peace Al.

    Reply

  11. September 27, 2012 @ 9:50 am Don Holle

    After first meeting Al in 1999, I deemed it a privilege to call him a friend. I was one of thousands, I’m sure. He was simply one great guy with a grand sense of humor and twinkle in his eye. What a full and productive life he had! Godspeed, Al. You will be sorely missed. Best wishes to Lynda who made his last days as comfortable as possible.

    Reply

  12. September 27, 2012 @ 10:04 am George Jerome Jr

    This is sad news. I became acquainted with Al through his videos: Films of the Fabulous Fifties. Great stuff in there, and Al was such a pleasure to talk to. Thanks Al.

    George

    Reply

  13. September 27, 2012 @ 10:15 am Bill Spellman

    I never got to know Al very well but I started with Moss Motors on Venice Blvd in 1959. I still have the 1952 TD that got me started with this obsession.
    Sad to hear of his passing, he will be missed.
    Bill Spellman
    Ojai

    Reply

  14. September 27, 2012 @ 10:18 am Bob Schmitt

    I met Al in the late ’80s when he was living in Hope Ranch and restoring his Morgan 3-wheeler. Our mutual friend was Ned Curtis, an avid Frazer Nash owner and racer. Both Al and Ned were great story-tellers and I wish all those tales had been collected.

    Both were great guys and will always be remembered by me and many others.

    Reply

  15. September 27, 2012 @ 11:07 am Hugh

    I was a college student in 1960-61 and bought a 1951 TD in the valley. Shopped the best places in LA: Moss Motors, Parkhouse Motors and Hollywood Sports Cars. Al had the TD pickup and sold me the chrome valve cover off it which is still on my TD 52 years later. They were great days – RIP Al

    Reply

  16. September 27, 2012 @ 12:29 pm Ernie Feldgus

    I had the pleasure of meeting and hosting Al at our home several years ago when he was in the area for a car event. I will remember him fondly as “A Wild And Crazy Guy.” Are there any T-Series cars out there that Al hasn’t helped in one way or another? We lost a truly good guy!

    Reply

  17. September 27, 2012 @ 1:17 pm Greg Prehodka

    Al was a true MG enthusiast! He was a founding member of the “MG Vintage Racers” in 1981. I first met Al in 1976 in the New England MG ‘T’ Register’s “Bicentennial Ralley of the Colonial Capitals”. Al was active in racing his MGTC from when he first got it, up to his later years. He also had a good sence of humor, like when on the Bicentnnial ralley he and Lou Zuger dressed up like British milita. He also changed the door numbers on motel rooms of MG participants! He may be gone, but his memories will live on! And thankfully, because of Moss Motors, we can still get parts for our MGs!

    Greg Prehodka

    Reply

  18. September 27, 2012 @ 7:29 pm Wayne Hardy

    Moss motors has always been there as long as I’ve been playing with Brit cars—nearly as long as Al Moss did. Al was part of the history of british cars in America and we would never have stuck it out as British car enthusiasts without the assistance of Al Moss and his merry group of parts folks. We’ll miss him.

    Reply

  19. September 27, 2012 @ 8:06 pm Greg

    So sorry to hear about Al…There’s a little bit of him in every part on my TR-4. RIP, my friend!

    Reply

  20. September 27, 2012 @ 11:17 pm George Kershaw

    Al, On behalf of the GoF West Steering Committee and the thousands of GoF Westers who have enjoyed our Events over the past 40 years, we are truly indebted to you as one of our Founding Members.

    Your foresight and vision in providing the parts and information that has kept our little cars humming these many, many years has brought countless hours of joy and happiness to so many is certainly the mark of a life well spent.

    Thank you

    George Kershaw

    Reply

  21. September 27, 2012 @ 11:18 pm Terry Butcher AUSTRALIA

    Thank you Al Moss ! I could not have kept my TC ( purchased 1961 ) going and on the road without your assistance. Long may your operation prosper.

    Reply

  22. September 27, 2012 @ 11:26 pm William Hollingsworth

    He was going to be the MGVR guest at Road America in 2001. While loading his trailer in Sedona he broke his leg. He sent his movies of Cal Club movies from the 50′s and Art Evans. Art was great stand in, we became friends and had a link through relationships in the Cal Club that were closer to his generation than mine – I was just a kid in the fifties, these guys were in their 20′s and 30′s racing cars! Al and I spoke and traded emails over the years. I meant to make it to Sedona for his Tuesday lunch group and never did – I regret. Enthusiastic until the end and a wonderful guy. Synonymous in America with everything MG…and most things British car if it needed a part. God bless you, Al.

    Bill Hollingsworth

    Reply

  23. September 28, 2012 @ 5:39 am Charlotte Luer

    My husband Hank and I met Al at one of the NE MGT Register’s gatherings. What fun!!!! We also ran into him here and there through the years at MG events. Since Hank passed away Al and I have had a couple of phone conversations. The laughter was ringing across the wires. The man was amazing! Fun, well spoken, hilarious (don’t ever “dare” Al Moss!!!!), and a good egg all around.

    He shall be missed.

    Pax, Al.

    Reply

  24. September 28, 2012 @ 6:29 am Skip Harris

    I was privileged to meet Al last year when he was the featured speaker at the Northwest Arkansas gathering. We had a long chat while I drove him back to the hotel to fetch his trailer when a fan bracket in his Chummy broke returning from the show area. His love and dedication to these cars and the entire field of interest was unequalled. His sense of humor could keep you laughing for hours. Al will be sorely missed.

    Reply

  25. September 28, 2012 @ 7:44 am Jeff Becker

    MG today stands for Miss you Greatly Al. I don’t know how the MG movement would have turned out the way is has without you.

    Rest In Peace and heartfelt Thanks.

    Reply

  26. September 28, 2012 @ 9:42 am Cherish Clinton

    I bought my 1952 MG TD as my 1st car the summer before I was 16. 1973 and started buying all of the parts I needed to restore it from Moss Motors. My daughter went to college at UCSB and I always wanted to go by and visit Moss Motors. I finally did this past weekend and had my picture taken by the sign. I still have my MG and although I didn’t get to meet Al I appreciate Moss Motors for the service they have provided all the years so I can enjoy and have fun driving my MG.
    Thanks to you Al.

    Reply

  27. September 28, 2012 @ 2:01 pm Steve Hanegan

    Being of a generation that was born a skosh too late to be called a “pioneer” of the British car movement, (first MG: Feb 1971), I have only known Moss Motors as a major player in the British Car Community. I am sure, after reading the tributes and tales, that the current Moss organization reflects much of Al’s enthusiasm and integrity. I have had the pleasure of meeting several Moss employees and have found them to be universally pleasant, creative and dedicated to the world of British sports cars. This speaks highly of Al and the environment that he created. Today I will raise a glass in honor of the man and the company he established that allows me the luxury of being able to say that I can get parts cheaper and more easily for my 50+ year old LBCs than I can for my moderns. Thanks to Al and the current group for making it possible to enjoy my cars! How many are still on the road and giving smiles because of the efforts of this man and the company he created…

    Reply

  28. September 29, 2012 @ 4:59 am John Duncan

    God bless Al Moss. You have been part of the lives of so many auto enthusiasts, including me. I’m now 69 and still own the 1953 MG TD that I purchased in 1962 when I was 18 years old. Moss motors has been the life line that allowed me to enjoy this car over so many years. RIP

    Reply

  29. September 29, 2012 @ 8:24 am Chris Meyers

    I had the privledge of meeting Al for the first time at the MGVR Focus Event in Hallett in 2006. He impressed me as someone who seeks out relationships, and FUN! He kept me in stitches the entire weekend! Al joined MGVR again in 2008 for our West coast focus event where he shared one of Don Martine’s prewar MGs when he wasn’t sharing stories and spreading mischief.

    Al was a big supporter of and long time subscriber to the MG Vintage Racers’ Newsletter. Now is a good time to thank him for his contributions to the newsletter and spirit of MG vintage racing-”Thanks Al, we’re gonna miss you!”

    Chris Meyers

    Reply

  30. September 29, 2012 @ 1:32 pm J.R. (Jim) Ross (Canada)

    I’ve associated myself with British Sports Cars for 50 years and probably would hacve abandoned the passion were it not for the Moss Motors dedication and level of service. Without their help, I, and many others, would have missed out on all of the enjoyment and pleasure we’ve had from our LBC’s.

    The Moss name has become like IBM; the standard of the industry. That alone speaks volumes regarding the drive, dedication, and passion of Al Moss. “The speed of the Captain is the speed of the Crew”.

    Put the top down and motor on Al.

    JR

    Reply

  31. September 29, 2012 @ 7:38 pm Bob

    I met Al back in the 80′s after he had “retired”. He became a sort of a mentor to me and introduced me to the wonderful world of sports car racing, RC cars, and most importantly for me, he got me back into motorcycles after a 20 year hiatus after a ride on his Vincent Rapide. He even helped “finance” my first road bike, much to my wife’s dismay. We enjoyed many years as part of his honorary pit crew up at the Monterey Historics and participated with him in a few of the Governor’s Cup Rallies in Arizona. He was tolerant enough to let us into the SB MG Club with our 63 Porsche. Recently, I needed advice from him on one of the rallies he had hosted and he provided me with the whole format which made my organizing much easier. I will certainly miss him and his wicked sense of humor. His emails to me always started with “Boob” instead of Bob. I will be telling Al Moss stories for years to come. Thanks, Al
    Bob Friedrichsen (Atascadero, Ca)

    Reply

    • October 10, 2012 @ 2:49 pm Juli Moss

      Dear friends of Al,

      I sure hope you can join us for the California Celebration of Al’s Life on
      Saturday, November, 3rd @ 1:00 pm
      Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church
      1825 Alamo Pintado Road
      Solvang, CA

      Please come and share your stories………
      Thank you,
      Juli Moss

      Reply

  32. October 1, 2012 @ 7:55 pm Gary Perser

    I first met Al Moss in 1978 when I bought my MGTC that had not been on the road since 1968. Obviously, I needed a lot of parts and advice, so I considered myself lucky that the drive from Thousand Oaks to Goleta was short and pleasant, and that Al’s smiling face would greet me each time. I remember well his unique supercharged TC, and while I never really liked the paint job and chrome wire wheels, they were a perfect accompanyment to Al’s personality. After he retired, I ernjoyed watching him vintage race the TC at Willow Springs and Laguna Seca, as well as his “MG” Morgan 3-wheeler. Later, Al and I both moved away from California, and a long time passed before I saw him again in 2006 at Hallett where he was a guest of honor at the MG Vintage Racers focus event, and I was racing my MGB. Looking for a good time, as always, he kept us laughing all weekend. I am deeply saddened that we have lost him, like so many of the pioneers of the sports car movement. Each time I start up TC 5285, I will remember that each of the parts he handed across the counter to me in 1978 are still installed and keeping us rolling down the roads with the windscreen folded.
    Respectfully,
    Gary Perser

    Reply

  33. October 2, 2012 @ 3:07 am Nicholas Mastromatteo

    Bon Voyage, Al.

    Without you, and Mike Goodman, my MG TC would not have survived until today. I was spoiled by my very first mechanics, who took the time to share their knowledge — and their attitudes. Whenever I see the extra oil filled coils, spare plexiglass wind wings, SU piston needles, bearings and such, I always think of you. Especially when I drive by Torry Pines. There will be an empty spot whenever I’m in Sedona — empty, but filled with warmth. I never got to show you the fiberglass top I made for the TC.
    Nicholas Mastromatteo

    Reply

  34. October 2, 2012 @ 5:56 am Bill Johnson

    I never met Al, but he started a great company, Moss Motors. My son Chris and I made a 5500 mi. road trip in June, 2012 in a ’71 B. We were seizing a left front caliper in the California mountains outside Goleta, Ca. We made it to Moss Motors in Goleta, “have the bumper sticker on my car”. Arriving there, after purchasing a new caliper, my son installed the new one and we were “on the road again” without another required MGB part. Thanks Al for allowing us to complete a trip of a lifetime, down the PCH from Seattle Wa. to Santa Monica and across RTe 66 to St Louis and home to Nova Scotia, Canada !!
    May you Rest In Peace.
    MGBBill

    Reply

  35. October 4, 2012 @ 1:00 pm Tom Custer

    A few years ago I was at the Monterey Historics with a friend who was having a mechanical issue with his HRG. Al, with his TC, was a few spaces away in the paddock. I went up to Al, introduced myself, and asked him if he would come take a look at the HRG. Of course Al didn’t know me from Adam but he gladly obliged and went to take a look and offer some help.

    I’ll never forget that.

    Tom
    Las Cruces, NM

    Reply

  36. October 7, 2012 @ 10:16 am JustBritish » Blog Archive Passing of Al Moss

    [...] more at the Moss Motors site. Highlights [...]

    Reply

  37. October 8, 2012 @ 11:43 pm Bob ZWART

    This is not my favorite communication, but they come more frequently now.
    My first contact with Al was in 1951. I was in the Service and had a 1949 MGTC that I found sitting outside a hotel in San Diego, flat tires, dead battery, and some weather damage. The manager of the hotel had purchased the MG for his son. The son apparently liked hopped up American iron. So, here sat a car with 12k miles on it. I loved it from day one. But I needed money. I talked to the manager, who suggested my borrowing from a bank; and they must have felt sorry for me as they took my note and $150, and “gave” me the car, title and all. I got it running and dutiful paid the loan off (I even was surprised when I came to pay the last amount, the banker searched his desk as he thought I had already made my last payment. Good thing there wan’t a surprise audit during that time.)

    I was transferred back to Long Beach, CA, and there met Al, in a little shop on Olympic Blvd. No office, just a shop as the Long Beach MG Club was only a small group and the need for somewhere to repair a car was low priority. I would bring my car in and tell him that I was going back to sea and would he store my car until I got back. Just an oil change got me a safe storage for 2 to 3 weeks.

    I made more trips to the races as I got preferred parking and access. One exciting one time was to drive an Allard from Al’s tuneup to qoute: “warm up the motor”. Of course being in uniform and knowing Al, I was treated special. A couple of spirited laps and “fooey” the car was warmed.

    Over the years, a couple more of my MGs passed through his shop, an Alfa Romeo, and even a Buick. I was finally out of the Navy and I had less free time for car racing, my visits were less. Al would visit the Vintage MG Club events and we would talk about ‘old’ times. Al was a friend who remained true for many years, even though I didn’t have much to do with MGs then. Meeting at races was the depth of my contacts at that time. He always remembered my cars. We will miss him as he was always Mr. MG (Moss). He kept us close to racing with his Morgan three wheeler. As Librarian for the VMGC, I’ve tried to review his books and articles for reports to the Club.

    Thanks again, I will miss your efforts in keeping MGs known in the sports car side of rally and racing. Winning was not always the final story in racing. Supporting the sport by making MGs vehicles a basic car that could be owned, maintained, finally, driven by the everyday guy who was willing to work hard, making others aware of the fun of belonging—thismade Al respected by the motor sport clan. Every one who sees an MG will relate it to Al Moss and his goal of showing the interested that all can belong to the touring, racing, car show and restoration for a small investment of time and effort. Thanks, Al.

    Reply

  38. October 16, 2012 @ 3:01 am Richard Merrill

    I’m so sorry to learn of Al’s passing. I have been an MG/Triumph/Austin Healey owner for many years and in the early years of my hobby I remember scouring bone yards for parts a pieces for restorations and repairs until I discovered Moss Motors and the extensive inventory of parts available with the just a phone call and later a keyboard of a computer. What a find!!! After all these years I’m still enjoying my British Cars and they are all in show condition thanks to Al Moss and his passion for putting them on the road, the track and the show field.
    Many many thanks until we all meet again in British car heaven!!!
    Richard M.

    Reply

  39. October 16, 2012 @ 5:18 am Robert Presser

    We all owe a great deal of grattitude to enthusiasts like Al who made it possible for Britsh car owners like us to drive these cars in North America without the fear that we would have to wait weeks for simple replacement parts. I was eight years old when my 1973 MGB came into being; when I drive it, I am reminded of earlier automotive times when drivers were more connected to the road and required more skill for everyday driving. The feedback from the MGB, and indeed most sports cars of that era, transfer the essence of the road to our bodies and minds in a special, personal way. Al’s passion came from that feeling and thousands of us can share it because of his vision and perseverence.

    One day my two boys will drive my MGB and share in that feeling-a new generation of British car enthusiasts will rise because of the endurance of Moss Motors. On their behalf, I give Al our thanks, and condolences to the greater Moss Motors family.

    The Presser boys – Robert, Jonah and Charles
    Montreal, Canada

    Reply

  40. October 16, 2012 @ 6:11 am Tony Nataluk

    You should be very proud of such a heritage. what he has done for the industry is nothing short of legendary. Just knowing ‘you guys’ are there…for us, has spurned the industry. Al is responsible for this. An icon and a great guy…..he will be missed by everyone who has heard his name. Rest well.
    Regards, Tony

    Reply

  41. October 16, 2012 @ 6:54 am Norm Nicholson

    The hobby is far, far richer because of the work of people like Al. Fascinating to read the excellent article of the history of Moss Motors. People like Al are irreplacable and we are all the poorer for his passing. Long live Moss Motors

    Norm

    Reply

  42. October 16, 2012 @ 7:34 am george fleck

    Al,
    Thank you for all you have done for the British car parts industry. May you be happy and peaceful in heaven.

    Reply

  43. October 16, 2012 @ 8:31 am Henry Parker

    Al is missed. The VMG of So Cal brought my wife and I into contact with Al at the store, his home, and at many events. I built a 50 TD with the aid of Moss Motors parts through another great guy Jim Bigler at Commonwealth Classic Cars. I grew up in a MGTD family as my father let me drive his TD when I was about 9 in 1953. I still have one and will always.

    Thanks for helping me with my MG toy collection, I guess our trading days are over.

    Reply

  44. October 16, 2012 @ 9:07 am Lee Davis

    Thank you Moss Motors and Al for the years of help you have given me in my British car life adventures. Your catalogues, alone, have helped me make sense out of my 60′s MG’s and Healey’s that I have owned and dared to keep roadworthy. Until we meet again, Goodbye Mr. Moss,
    Sincerely,
    Lee S. Davis (member of the MGCC Rocky Mountain division)

    Reply

  45. October 16, 2012 @ 10:55 am Robert Kirk

    Al and his legacy have been a tremendous boon to most all British Sports Car drivers and collectors around the world. I personally know of no company more dedicated to the wide breadth of parts offered and no person more singularly responsible to keeping them all both safe and fast than Mr Moss. Condolences to his family. Al has quietly passed us but awaits down the road.

    Reply

  46. October 16, 2012 @ 12:31 pm mark spivak

    Although I never met him, thanks to Al for being an intregal part of cultivating the love I have for my MGs through his wonderful catalog business – the same love, I’m sure, that he held for his cars. Love begets love.
    Fondly,
    Mark

    Reply

  47. October 16, 2012 @ 2:13 pm Mike Fox

    My thanks to Al and his initial interest in his MG and the business that it spawned. I, like everyone else, would otherwise be relegated to dealing with less reliable sources for parts and information.

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  48. October 16, 2012 @ 2:25 pm kirby gilmore

    If Al Moss did not drive an MG in his early years, well there would be no Moss Motors as we know it. Moss is a great organization, without it we would be seeing early English sport cars only in museums.

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  49. October 16, 2012 @ 4:57 pm John McNarry

    One of my treasures besides my beloved TC is a very early copy of the catalogue Al put out. Seventh edition 2/16/64

    I bought my basket case in 1966 and I couldn’t afford much more than the catalouge. I still get a chuckle out of the illustration with the photographers toe in the picture on page 8. key #60 Part # ???? # req’d 10.

    Moss has made the restoration of my TC possible and I thank all of you for that.

    John

    Reply

  50. October 16, 2012 @ 5:29 pm George

    It’s always sad to hear of a fellow British sports car enthusiast passing away. Thanks to Al and his dedication to providing parts for our beloved British sports cars. Wish I could have met him. I bet he had some interesting stories to tell.

    Reply

  51. October 16, 2012 @ 10:34 pm Greg Stroop

    Nobody has done more to promote British motoring than Al Moss. His enthusiasm was inspiring and his work has enabled us to keep our aging cars on the road.
    It was exciting to watch him drive his iconic TC at Laguna Seca in recent years. I remember his TD pickup and TC van in earlier Monterey Historics too.
    Al Moss will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
    Greg

    Reply

  52. October 16, 2012 @ 11:35 pm Chris Cusick (San Diego)

    As with many I never met Al. I too grew up in L.A. but then moved to San Diego (1972) where I bought my first car (1961 Tr-3A) when I was 15 for $100. I remember visiting Moss Motors in Santa Barbara when it was a small shop close to the railroad tracks circa 1973. There’s no doubt that most British car owners have, in one way or another, benefited from the parts or services offered by Al’s company. Obviously many of you benefited from knowing Al personally. Look how many people here still own British cars they bought way back when!! Al made it possible for so many to keep and enjoy a car few other suppliers chose to support. Thank you Al for all that you have achieved. Though I never knew you I’m sure I would have enjoyed meeting you!!!!
    Respectfully,
    Chris

    Reply

  53. October 17, 2012 @ 12:13 am Tom Webb

    I really can’t remember when I started buying parts from Moss – I was probably 15 years old – and I certainly haven’t ordered my last – I’m now 49. It was nice to see the rememberances left by names I know I have also communicated with in the past. We truly are all a community of like-minded gear-heads from every walk of like, on every continent – and Al was one of the ring leaders, to be sure!

    Al – keep the shiny side up “up there”, and to all my other motoring friends I see here typing away, enjoy every minute of your days to come.

    Tom Webb
    Crystal Lake IL, and Melbourne VIC

    Reply

  54. October 17, 2012 @ 11:06 am Maynard

    So sorry to hear of Al’s passing. He was a great influence in introducing and promoting the great British sports car marques in this country. He indeed leaves a legacy. Condolences to his family and many friends. God bless…

    Proud former owner of a ’67 Triumph Spitfire
    Proud current owner of a ’78 MGB

    Reply

  55. October 17, 2012 @ 12:48 pm Michael Jacobsen

    Al was a stalwart of so many organizations; I first knew him in 1950–I was only 8, acting as a gofer for my Dad’s pit crew at various Cal Club events, especially at Santa Ana and at Carrell Speedway where Al first horrified all of us and then–when we learned he was Ok– became a life-long amusement with his upside down Allard. Of course Al didn’t remember me much from the ’50s but he knew my Dad well, and in the ’80s invited us to come to the Fabulous 50s lunches. Shortly after I began vintage racing alongside Al, and from that point he would call regularly to talk of old times and current ones or just to make me laugh. I was a lucky guest at his Sedona home twice, and was pleased when he drove my Dad’s old MG NA at Monterey for Don Martine–even if he didn’t like the twitchy rear end (on the car). Deepest sympathies to Lynda, Juli and Cindy.

    Reply

  56. October 17, 2012 @ 5:48 pm Vicki Currie

    Al,

    We’ll be thinking about you. Every time there is a practical joke, or some weird happening around here, we’ll know who’s benind it.

    We love you,

    Vicki

    Reply

  57. October 17, 2012 @ 9:30 pm Walt

    It will never be the same.

    Reply

  58. October 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm Len Bonnay

    After spending nearly 45 years in the old car(MG) hobby I can honestly say that there is no person that had more of an impact on me than Al. I first met him in 1978 when he drove the TC to Canada for a GOF held in Toronto and later on that trip he stopped at NAMAGAR’s GT-4 in Niagara Falls. The next time we crossed paths was at Lake Tahoe for NAMGAR’s GT-24 where I was honoured to present him with NAMGAR’s highest award- the Mac Spears Award. He represents the true meaning of it through his dedication, enthusiasm and countless contributions to our hobby.
    After purchasing my TC in 2002 he was most helpful with technical advice and hosted me at his house on more than one occasion. I will never forget the long discussion we had regarding the set up of the TC’s steering among other things.
    The best thing about knowing Al lies in the memories. If there is a race track in heaven then Al is at home. He will be sorely missed by anyone who had the fortune to know him.

    Len

    Reply

  59. October 25, 2012 @ 9:18 pm scott swope

    I had a chance to meet Al and listen to him talk about TC tech at the brits in the ozarks show in 2011, wow, what an incredible man!! My hobbie and business are truely thankful for his devotion to the british car “sickness” so many of us share.

    scott swope
    swope automotive
    springfield, mo

    Reply

  60. October 31, 2012 @ 6:54 pm john foley

    RIP Al (AKA henrietta Glockenspiel) you will be missed!

    Reply

  61. November 3, 2012 @ 9:45 am John Sekula

    May Mr. Moss rest in peace and the quality of his company live on.

    Reply

  62. August 13, 2013 @ 6:05 am David Dee

    I remember when my cousin Howard introduced me to Al and both his and Al’s cars during my first visit to California in the summer of 1959. I sold my last MG about 5 years ago but always remember Al and Howard competing for attention with Philip’s trains!

    Reply


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