About Moss Motors

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If Al Moss had purchased a pedestrian sedan instead of an MG TC in 1948, things might have turned out very differently for the British sports car hobby in the United States. Al was then a young man living in Los Angeles and the lure of the TC was irresistible, leading him to become an avid enthusiast of the marque and ardent supporter of the burgeoning sports car movement.

After reading about the successful road rallies being held on the East Coast, he decided to organize one himself in 1948 – one of the first held on the West Coast. The rally, which ended in Santa Barbara, brought Al into contact with a bunch of fellow MG enthusiasts. He quickly discovered they all shared a common problem – service and parts for these cars were not widely available. Al saw the opportunity and immediately opened an MG repair shop.

Although the company originally specialized in service, a growing demand for spare parts led to an increasing emphasis on supplying parts. After moving to Goleta in 1961, Al published his first MG parts catalog in 1962. As enthusiasts embraced the British sports car movement, Moss Motors published catalogs for the MGA, MGB, Austin-Healey and Jaguar’s XK120-140-150 series. In 1977, Al purchased 48 tons of ‘obsolete’ inventory from Triumph in England, a shipment which filled no less than four 40-foot shipping containers, and was in fact, the largest single buyout of TR2-3-4 spares ever made.

By 1977, Moss Motors was established as an industry leader. It was at this time, that his long-time friend, Howard Goldman, whose own business was located just across the street, 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. Soon after Howard Goldman took over, Moss Motors moved to a purpose built facility in Goleta, which had far more room and much better access than the prior location. Moss continued to update and revise its catalogs, and the business grew rapidly as more products were added to the line.

It was during the late seventies that Moss greatly expanded its product research and new product development activities. So many critical components had been discontinued, it was obvious that many British classics would be scrapped, simply because they could not be repaired for want of parts. In order to keep the business and the hobby alive, Moss took on increasingly larger development projects to fill the void for replacement parts. Ultimately, a complete upholstery manufacturing division was established to meet the demand for show quality interiors, meeting a need that continues to the present day.

By 1988, Moss Motors was the largest supplier of vintage British sports car spares. The sales staff had grown from 4 to 18 and 12,000 square feet had been added to the main warehouse in Goleta. The East Coast facility had moved twice (due to space constraints), and finally settled in a modern industrial park in Dover, New Jersey. That same year Rover Cars PLC (formerly known as British Leyland) decided to cease distributing original factory parts. They offered to sell their entire multi-million dollar inventory of “obsolete” spares, which allowed Moss Motors to purchase the entire inventory of parts on hand.

Since then, Moss has continued to grow as the country’s largest supplier of parts and accessories for British sports cars, expanding its operations to the United Kingdom and the European Continent, where the Moss brand has become as successful as it is here. That growth allowed Moss to move its East Coast operations to a 112,000 square foot facility outside Richmond, Virginia in 2008, allowing the company the space to provide a bespoke home for the British Sports Car Hall of Fame.

Today, Moss remains dedicated to meeting the needs of the British sports car enthusiast in the 21st Century while remaining true to the original vision that propelled Al Moss into business in the first place – offering products designed to help our friends and customers enjoy the hobby that we all love so much.