About a million years ago, we purchased a small competitor named Start Your Engines, located in Beltsville, MD. The deal included the usual stuff, like parts, mailing lists, and some employees. Okay, so we didn’t actually buy the employees, but one of them, in the form of our ace catalog man, Eric Wilhelm, has stayed with us ever since.
The founder of the company, a one-time rock concert promoter, was bursting with ideas how to communicate with “The Base.” One of those ideas was a newsletter. And so, Moss Motoring was born. Although today anyone with an iPhone can blog to their heart’s content, in the early 1980s, there were fewer available avenues of communication.
An auto parts warehouse isn’t typically considered a hotbed of fine journalism, but we forged ahead. An editor was chosen, staff members were “volunteered” to write content, and once per quarter a management meeting was held to decide what would go into the next installment.
The nebulous goal of fostering communication was pursued with varying degrees of success, but over the years, enough folks thought it worthwhile to continue. There was even a brief period where your’s truly wrote so much of the content I had to make up the occasional pen name, lest anyone think MM was merely the personal automotive diary of Robert.
As the turn of the century rolled around, postal system changes and visions of grandeur had entered the stage. With an eye to potentially splitting the magazine off as an independent publication, Moss Motoring became British Motoring. Although the split never happened, the name stayed…until now.
We are very pleased to announce the return of Moss Motoring. Along with the name change comes something of a return to our roots. Our new Editor, Dave Stuursma, has been tasked with, drum roll please, getting us more in touch with “The Base,” or more specifically, you folks who live and breathe British cars.
There will not be huge and immediate changes. I will not be dredging up my old Lance Freeley persona. Although, it may be said, back in the day I looked pretty sporting with my headlight bucket, Viking cum space alien tinfoil hat. Unlike Mr. Scott, however, when addressing the mouse, I’m merely talking to myself.
One of the things we are looking for is a greater degree of community involvement, and we’ll do our best to entice your inner Ernest Hemmingway with some good ole American graft, or more specifically, payment in the form of gift certificates for contributions. Now is the time to let us know what you want to see more of, less of, or even “you guys haven’t a clue and I want it back to the old way.”
Suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. I may have misspelled his email address. Editor@mossmotors.com should work just fine. It should also be noted, Dave has no control over the quality of my particular contribution. I make a point of turning it in late so no one has a chance to point out all my disturbing tendencies.
All kidding aside, back in the early 1980s, the publishing of a random letter I sent to our IT department set me on a different path in life, one more associated with marketing than warehousing. That change of direction has suited me well, and consequently Moss Motoring is a publication near and dear to my own heart.
With the editorial talents of the aforementioned Mr. Stuursma, and art direction from our Creative Editor, Tamara Cribley, I expect the old is new again Moss Motoring to provide bathroom reading material and bird cage linings for the next generation of British car enthusiasts. Us underdogs should get the recognition we deserve.
Sorry Dave and Tamara. Oh dear, to protect the innocent, I’d better change my nom de plum again.
L. Edward “Ed” Footinmouth
[by Robert Goldman]