My Insatiable Fascination For British Cars (Brought Me Here to Moss)

Writing your own introduction in Moss Motoring can be a rather tricky thing to do, so on my way into work this morning I was trying to come up with a clever intro. When I flicked on the radio at my desk, it occurred to me that is the very same twelve dollar AM/FM radio that had forever been on my workbench back home in Virginia. Like an old friend, it serves to remind me that it is my insatiable fascination for British cars that brought me here to Moss. I think every enthusiast shares the same relentless drive to develop a relationship with a mere mechanical contrivance—our be loved British sports car! We can’t really expect our wives, husbands, and bosses
to understand this (well, my boss does), so you and I have to stick together, don’t we?

To me, there is no feeling quite like the one I get on a weekend morning, blasting down my favorite stretch of tarmac in a vintage British sports car. There’s nothing like the smell of leather, paint, and hot oil, or the musical sounds of tappets and gear box whining as you run through the gears. There is an aura about these cars that just can’t be put into words. Let’s forget about having to go home and fix the oil leaks. If it didn’t leak, it wouldn’t be a British sports car, would it? The cars have soul. Now that you know I’m a rambling sentimentalist, I’ll get on with how I came to be writing this article in the first place.

Before I was even a “twinkle in my mother’s eye”, my father bought a brand spanking new 1962 Triumph TR4, complete with all the tasteful options like Surrey top and overdrive. Of course, having children pushed him towards practicality, and he unfortunately had to sell the car for something more spacious. But his reminiscences lingered in my mind weekends spent tuning the car in the parking lot of his apartment with a fellow named Bob Tullius, who went on to become something of a racing sport. When the time came for me to buy a car of my own, the romantic images of British cars were just too powerful to ignore. So I found a clapped out TR4A in an effort to carry on the tradition. My Triumph and I were going to relive this 1960’s British sports car thing single-handedly, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

As time progressed, college came and went, but I knew in the back of my mind I’d always love these cars. With a Marketing degree in hand, job offers came from IBM and others, but none of it ever felt right. I then spent the next couple of years selling new cars (Jaguars, by coincidence), while I tried to sort it all out. As a shift of direction, I then held a position with a television
company as something of a local TV personality. But it was all unfulfilling to me—something was missing.

On one cold and particularly frustrating November evening last year, I came home from work and found the latest Moss Motoring in my mailbox. That very evening I placed a call to Chris Nowlan, Manager of Product Development, to chat about sports cars and inquire about opportunities with Moss Motors. Persistence paid off, and after nearly a year of phone calls, interviews, and a four-day visit from the east coast, I’ve arrived at Moss to join forces with veteran Eric Wilhelm in the Research and Development department. The clapped out TR4A I bought over ten years ago came along with me too. It’s now in the final stages of a three and a half year Concours restoration. You will likely be seeing a lot of me and my car at west coast events this next year. I intend to be as visible as time allows, to meet customers, answer your questions, and get ideas of how we at Moss can even better fill the needs of our customers.

It’s going to be an exciting time to be at Moss, especially in Research and Development. Some of my duties will involve actual product development and working with manufacturers all over the world in an ongoing effort to provide the spares for your British sports car. I’ll also be involved in quality control, catalog development, and product sourcing. Above and beyond that, I’ll be contributing ideas, articles and tech tips, to Moss Motoring.

Sometimes it’s incredible how the entire direction of your life can hinge on what seems like an insignificant event—like buying a clapped-out old sports car. I’m proud of my association with Moss Motors, and every day it’s a true pleasure to come to work. I’m right where I wanted to be, and loving every minute of it!

Keep those spokes turning.

By David Eichelbaum
Research & Development Department

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