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The Original MG TD Midget

The MGTD/TF in America

A short history on the MGTD and TF's impact on the United States sports car scene during the early 1950's. Each of these vignettes tell a different story of the impact of the MGTD/TF in America and the companies and people that made the MGTD/TF so popular in the 1950's.

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Introduction

These pages contain a series of vignettes or short tales on some aspect of the MGTD and MGTF in America at the time of their production. It is intended to give you a short history and perspective of what it might have been like back in those days and the people, places and events that made these cars so popular. In many places you will find hyperlinks to additional information in this website or beyond. You may also choose to use some of the subjects as Internet search terms to discover even more information about the period. Be prepared to be amazed at what occurred in just a few years time to not only create a new paradigm in automotive history, but in changing social attitudes with the United States at a time when so many other events were occurring too.

Enjoy the stories and if you know of additional information or ideas you feel should be shared with others, please e-mail me and I will endeavour to host it here.

Map of Important MG Sites

The following map depicts important MG related sites during the first half of the 1950's. Use the map to select a location.

Markers are coded as follows:

Map icons by Map Icons Collection

Note: Use Google Streetview to wander around each landmark. You may find that not much has changed since the 1950's or that its completely unrecognizable.

Social and Economic Atmosphere

The 1950's in America saw an exciting change in its society stemming from many factors. The existence of the MG TD and TF and sports cars in general were just a contributing factor of that change. Read the text below to get a sense of American society and how it allowed the sports car craze to not only incubate but spread rapidly to other parts of the world.

Economy

During the 1950's, Americans achieved a level of prosperity they had never known before. While other parts of the world struggled to rebuild from the devastation of World War II, citizens of the United States saw their standard of living surpass what previous generations had only dreamed about.

The economy overall grew by 37% during the 1950s. At the end of the decade, the median American family had 30% more purchasing power than at the beginning. Inflation, which had wreaked havoc on the economy immediately after World War II, was minimal, in part because of President Eisenhower's persistent efforts to balance the federal budget. Except for a mild recession in 1954 and a more serious one in 1958, unemployment remained low, bottoming at less than 4.5% in the middle of the decade.

Many factors came together to produce the Fifties boom. The G.I. Bill, which gave military veterans affordable access to a college education, added a productive pool of highly-educated employees to the work force at a time American businesses were willing to pay handsomely for engineering and management skills. Cheap oil from domestic wells helped keep the engines of industry running. Advances in science and technology spurred productivity. At the same time, potential competitors in Europe and Asia were still recovering from effects of World War II in their countries.

In 1953 a family shows off the fruits of the new consumer wealth. One of the factors that fueled the prosperity of the Fifties was the increase in consumer spending. Americans enjoyed a standard of living that was inconceivable to the rest of the world. For example, Vice President Nixon told Nikita Khrushchev in the mid-1950s that there were 60 million cars in the United States, but the Soviet leader simply refused to believe him. When Khrushchev came to visit America, Eisenhower arranged for him to fly in a helicopter over busy roads and parking lots to witness the remarkable signs of abundance for himself.

"Gasoline War" at 3rd Avenue and Beverly in Los Angeles, Calif., 1954. For decades prior to the 1950's Americans had limited spending abilities. Either the concessions of both world wars, the depression and its after affects in the 1930's or other factors required Americans to limit their spending to the absolute necessities. When consumer goods became available again, people wanted to spend. By the 1950s, though they made up just 6% of the world's population, Americans consumed a third of all the world's goods and services. The 1950's Americans moved from a society of producing just what people needed to a consumer based society creating what people wanted. In short Americans went from a frugal society that saved and reused to one that used and threw away. Consumption became fashionable, not necessary. You bought a new car because you could and wanted to impress your friends, not because you needed one. Advertising this consumption model was as important as the products themselves. For example product promotion in the United States went from $6 billion annually to over $12 billion by the end of the decade. One reason all of this occurred is that credit was extended to a whole new level in the 1950's. For example the first national credit card, Diners Club, was launched in 1950 to be used solely for meals at exclusive restaurants. But by the end of the decade there were a number of credit cards available to consumers to purchase anything from clothing, to automobiles and even swimming pools.

Society In America

Bomb shelter in Hermosa Beach, CA 1951. Everyone was moving to the suburbs in the early 1950's On 1 November 1952, the United States set off the world's first thermonuclear explosion. It exploded with a force 500 times as great as the atom bomb that had destroyed Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Less than a year later, the Soviets exploded their own H-bomb. Both sides had long-range bombers, and both were developing missiles that would be able to rain down from the heavens upon the major cities of their enemies.

During the Fifties, Americans were rightly anxious about the threat of the Soviet Union and fearful of the dangers of nuclear war. They were told that Communists might be infiltrating their own country. The world was changing in ways they didn't understand.

If one word could describe American society during the 1950's, it would be "restless." We tend to imagine the Fifties as a tranquil decade, but in fact Americans spent the years moving and searching. They moved physically, from the Northeast to the South and West - California's population grew by 49% during the Fifties, Florida's by 79%. They moved from rural areas to cities and from cities to suburbs. By 1960, a third of the country's population lived in the 'burbs. Many people were content, but many others felt ill at ease because of the speed at which the world was changing. Searching for new ways of coping, they embraced religion and visited psychiatrists in unprecedented numbers. Diaper service trucks and mothers with babies they serviced. San Fernando 1958

From Los Angeles, Portrait of a City; Move in day in an LA Suburb, 1953 With veterans benefits, including VA loans, the 20-somethings found suitable housing in the new tracts sprawling on the outskirts of America`s cities. Documentaries on the topic indicate that the postwar suburban housing boom began in a suburban "planned community" called Levittown, in New York and Pennsylvania. In fact, large-scale, planned communities and housing tracts were being built on the outskirts of all major American cities, especially in California.

It was common that the young wives of virtually entire suburban neighborhoods were pregnant at the same time. In short order, new schools had to be built. Farm and ranch land became seas of similar-looking homes without town centers, jobs, or city amenities. Eventually, many isolated suburban tracts, numbering in thousands of homes, did become legal communities, albeit on a different model from traditional communities with a core downtown business center. Interspersed throughout those new communities were "strip malls", businesses lined up in a row along roadsides, usually in common and architecturally uninspired buildings fronted by a large parking lot with little or no greenery.

Control towers at new department stores, with electric signals directing shoppers where to park. Los Angeles 1953. Children rode bikes, played in the street, built models. Men built HeathKit electronics and toyed with sports cars. Women concentrated on fashion and homemaking. Girls played with dolls and pretended to be homemakers. Smoking was considered normal if not fashionable. Other pastimes included malt shops, community swimming pools, and clubs. Musicals and science fiction movies were popular by the 1950s. Westerns were especially popular with families, and many were created specifically for adolescents. Popular kid shows most often followed a serial format, appearing in the afternoon on Saturdays. Such shows as the Mickey Mouse Club, Lassie and Sky King were popular with families. At times, matinees played in several installments per week. Popular heros were Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger. Cartoons that were popular were Felix the Cat, Woody Woodpecker and Crusader Rabbit.

The term "teenager" was rarely used before the 1950s. During the 1950's, young people began to see themselves as a distinct group. Their attempts to forge an identity worried adults, who couldn't understand the shift. The change was connected to the nation's affluence. Earlier in American history, young people often had to work full-time jobs to help support their families' basic survival. Teenagers out cruising in 1953. By the 1950s, that was usually no longer the case. Teens instead worked part-time jobs or received allowances from their parents, giving them money to spend on fun non-essentials. In part, the phenomenon was inspired by the returning G.I.s of the late 1940s, who after surviving more than four years of World War II had a lot of wild oats to sow. Teens of the following decade imitated the defiant, rebellious, let-loose pattern of this slightly older group. But, then as now, most of these stylistically rebellious teens did not commit crimes or get in trouble with the police.

Instead, they eagerly embraced the mobile culture. They owned cars, cruised the highways, and frequented fast food outlets and drive-in movies. They bought records and adopted rock n' roll as the sound of their generation. Rock was a form of music created specifically for teenagers, performed by young people, and marked by a more open sexuality than the kids' parents were used to. Popular radio disc jockeys like Alan Freed, Murray the K, and Wolfman Jack became, in a way, unlikely authority figures for Fifties youths.

Transportation

During the Fifties the number of cars in the United States nearly doubled from 39 million to 74 million. By 1960, 80% of American families had at least one car and 15% had two or more. Many times that second car was a sports car, often an MG. By 1960, Americans owned more cars than all the rest of the world put together.

LA Freeway

Helms Bakeries street delivery 1950's. A new freeway system was devised, officially known as the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, it had a military as well as civilian purpose: it could be used to rapidly evacuate cities in case of a Soviet missile attack. It was a monumental undertaking to build 41,000 miles of four-lane roads. Americans were delighted with the ability to drive from place to place at high speed, with no stoplights or intersections to worry about. The automobile was their method to go anywhere easily and in style. This allowed Americans to move out of big cities where they worked into the suburbs where they thought they were going to live in idyllic settings, often en mass. Of the 12 largest cities in the United States, 11 lost population during the 1950s. (The one exception was Los Angeles, which became a kind of car-culture mecca.)

Harrington Best Western Motel, 1956 Drive-in movie theaters boomed - there were 3,000 in operation nationwide by 1956. Mobile Hotels, better known as Motels, became common, led by chains like Holiday Inn and Best Western. Shopping malls, offering new shopping convenience, began to appear everywhere. By the middle of the decade, 1,800 shopping centers had appeared in the United States. Everything was automotive. Drive in restaurants, inoculation clinics, churches, banking, and bakeries.

Much of the text for the above sections was derived from:

Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11).
Economy in The 1950s.
Retrieved January 30, 2014 from http://www.shmoop.com/1950s/economy.html

Many of the pictures in this section were derived from:

THE H.A.M.B.

The History Of Los Angeles blog.

Retrieved January 30, 2014 from http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=446547

Sports Car Scene

Social Attitude about Sports Cars

When you think of the sports car scene in the early Fifties in America it was initially not what you might expect it to be, it was 'anti-social'. Most people were driving large American made sedans. They were concentrating on raising families in their newly acquired suburban homes.

In 1954 LA sports cars were rarely seen. Sports cars, like MG T's, were considered radical and not generally socially acceptable. But those who liked the cars found a camaraderie in other sports car enthusiasts they did not get from other social venues. Soon they started to congregate, most often at the local parts store. Here they found other like minded individuals who thought like they did, normal. The next logical step in this transformation was to visit each others garages to 'help' them in maintaining or improving their cars. This followed with local drives to test and validate their work and then to more formal events like road rallies. The most ardent of the group actually raced their cars at one of the hundreds of racetracks that sprung up overnight in the late 1940's and early 1950's. In Los Angeles alone it was estimated that over 50 racetracks for sports cars, stock cars and other types of race worthy vehicles existed in the early 1950's.

By 1961 sports cars were more familiar on American roads. Note the two at the intersection. These refuges offered their participants an escape from the normal fabric of the 8 to 5 workday. Often tied up all week long in fairly mundane jobs a sports car allowed them to escape, if even just for a few hours on the weekends. Many would drive them to and from work, often commuting on crowded and smoggy urban highways and freeways. They were often looked down upon (actually both literally and figuratively) by those on the roadway they were often passing. Most non sports car enthusiasts felt that these individuals were radicals, ruffians and not to be trusted. Even future presidents were caught up in the MG sports car craze during the early 1950's Then there was another set of mostly young men who were envious and longed to drive one of those cars too. Whenever they passed each other on the highway they would wave. They felt that owning a sports car in the early 1950's put them in an exclusive club or society.

It was not long before sports cars became the rage and left the stigma of radicalization. By the early 1950's there were many other options available outside of the traditional MG TC or TD. Sports cars were being imported mostly from Europe with every type of feature and price tag imaginable. Single men with barely enough money to pay their monthly car payment through to Hollywood movie stars with multiple custom made imported sports cars. Soon everyone wanted to own, or at least be seen in, a sports car. They became not only socially acceptable but chic.

Interestingly in the July 30th, 1956 Sports Illustrated they asked leading car manufacturers and importers The Question: What Is The Appeal Of The Sports Car And What Is Its Future In American Life?

From the Thursday August 13, 1953 Issue of the Torrance Press

Car Lovers Build Unusual Club House

Camer-Inn will be the focal point of sport car enthusiasts if the unique vision of two young men is accurate.

Cameron Cooper and William N. Branch Jr. are building a club house located at Madison and Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance-Walteria. When it is finished, they expect to cater to sport car lovers in the whole South Bay area and beyond. They want their club house to be the meeting place of all who love to talk cars, whether the individual happens to own a sports car or not.

Club House

The club house will contain a restaurant with TV, a comfortable lounge, and outside seating facilities, Branch explained.

Cooper has been interested in sport cars over six years.

Since he was not able to buy one, he decided to put up a sign at a Hermosa bar where he worked as a bartender, reading: "Help Buy the Key to My MG."The response was such that Cooper had almost enough for a down payment and was able to get the car he had wanted to badly.

Enthusiastic

Cooper speaks with unabated enthusiasm of the marvels of sport cars and their potential effects on this area. His project has received publicity on Sport Car News, Channel 7, 10:15 p.m. At the time of his grand opening he hopes to get TV and magazine coverage.

Cooper and Branch can be seen working daily on the building which is located near the Torrance airport.
The men began construction in June and hope to open in the middle of September.

Alternatives and Competition to the MGTD/TF

While the MG TC is credited for starting the sports car craze in America, and the MG TD is seen as establishing it, not long after this the competition started to emerge. Not only were there different price points to consider from Triumph and Healeys to Jaguars, but the Germans and Italians were actively pursuing the market as well. There were dozens of different types of sports cars being imported into the United States by the mid Fifties and the MG was actually losing ground in market share. Porches became very popular as well as Fiats and Alfa Romeos. Even the domestic auto makers Ford with the Thunderbird of 1955 and Chevy with the Corvette of 1954 tried to compete, but they really did not appeal to the true sports car enthusiast. None the less seeing the different types of sports cars in the mid 1950's on the streets and racetracks of America would indicate there was no single dominant mark.

Popular Sports Cars of the 1950's

From How it Works

AC Ace and Aceca
AC Ace-Bristol and Aceca-Bristol
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500
Alfa Romeo 1900
Alfa Romeo Disco Volante
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo 2000 & 2600
Allard J2
Allard K2
Allard K3
Allard J2X
Arnolt-Bristol
Aston Martin DB2
Aston Martin BD2/4
Aston Martin DB Mark III
Aston Martin DB4
Austin-Healey 100/4
Austin-Healey 100 Six
Austin-Healey Sprite
BMW 507
Bristol 401 and 402 Bristol 403
Bristol 404
Bristol 406
Cistalia 202 Gran Sport Crosley Hot Shot and Super Shot Cunningham C-3 Continental
Daimler SP250
Facel Vega and FVS
Facel Vega HK500
Facel Vega Facellia/Facel III/Facel 6
Ferrari
Fiat 1200/1500/1500s/1600s
Healey Jaguar XK120 Jaguar XK140
Jaguar XK150
Kaiser-Darrin
Kurtis Lotus Elite
Maserati A6G
Maserati 3500GT/GTI
Mercedes-Benz 190SL
Mercedes-Benz 300SL
MG TD MG TF
MGA
MGA Twin Cam
Morgan Plus 4
Morgan 4/4
Nash-Healey
Triumph TR2
Triumph TR3
Triumph TR3A & TR3B


NA Exports of the MG TD for the Period 1949-1953

1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 Imported Total %
96 2810 5756 9901 5021 23,584 29,664 80

This includes Canada.

Its not surprising the MG TD exports to North America approached 80% as this was the market the car was designed for. Nuffield understood the United States economy very well and was savvy enough to know that this was the market they were going to be able to sell to. So the cars design pretty much catered to the US market, but built on the momentum that the MG TC started. Note that the exports dropped in 1953 for two reasons. There was a lot more variety of sports car choices being offered by 1952 and the MG TD was considered old and stale by 1953.

Sir Leonard had signed a contract with Donald Healey to produce a new Austin-based sports car that became the Austin Healey 100. Lord saw no point in the new BMC operation producing two sports cars that could easily compete with each other, so when MG requested permission to start production of the MGA it was refused, and MG was instructed to continue producing the TD even though sales were declining every week. This was a bitter first taste of Group Policy for Abingdon. Source: How British Leyland Grew Itself To Death by Geoff Wheatley

NA Exports of the MG TF for the Period 1953-1955

1953 1954 (1250) 1954 (1500) 1955 Imported Total %
1374
2374 1826 661 6235^ 9600 65

This includes Canada

The MG TF sales continued to slide downward and you will note that the percent of production being imported into North America was decreasing, demonstrating that BMC was finding other markets for their MG's. The market for sports cars in the United States at the time was actually increasing so it was not the lack of buyers or interest that caused the sales to decline. In 1957, a total of 17,195 MGA's^ were imported into the United States and found willing buyers so the market was still very active. It just needed a car that was more appropriate for the era to compete.
^ Source: MGA with an Attitude

Car Clubs and Organizations

During the 1950's car clubs sprang up all over North America in support of the MG T series and sports cars in general. Many times they were racing focused but they could also be purely social or sporting, supporting such events as car shows and rallies. Another popular activity was organized hill climbs where members would compete with their cars to see who can climb a hill the fastest. In some of these events the cars actually climbed the hill backwards. Below are a few of the most important and influential organizations of the period. A few are still active and strong today.

California Sports Car Club

In the late 1940's, after the war, the Los Angeles film industry had a resurgence and there was a lot of money to be spent on frivolous items by the Hollywood celebrities. Roger Barlow understood that and through his company, International Motors (LA's largest foreign car dealership), found a ready market for sports cars to these affluent buyers. To promote the exotic nature of the cars he saw a means to introduce sporting events for his potential customers. Roger's background was in car racing and he joined forces with John Von Neumann and Taylor Lucas (an employee of Barlow's) to form a motor club to provide competitive events for themselves and other interested parties. In 1947 they formally created the California Sports Car Club in Southern California.

The club's first organized outing was at Palos Verdes (August 31, 1947). The first sponsored CSCC race was in Palm Springs in 1950. The CSCC held races at Palm Springs and Torrey Pines as well as other venues in the early 1950's. During the early 1950's the CSCC was bitter rivals with their east coast counterpart, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Much of the disagreement had to do with how drivers were qualified for races and their status as amateurs or professionals. The CSCC felt that there was really no distinction and that amateurs, if properly equipped and with satisfactory experience, should be able to race in any venue. By the same token professional drivers should be able to race along with amateurs.

More about the California Sports Car Club.

Four Cylinder Club of America

Founded by British immigrant, John Foster in Glendale, California, the FCCA quickly grew into the largest non-racing sports car club in the United States. Some sources place the founding of the club in 1949, while others indicate it began in 1950. Regardless, it is clear the club was incorporated as a State of California nonprofit organization on July 19, 1951. Initially, the club consisted of a single entity, anchored in Glendale. But attendance at club meetings and events grew so quickly that a single club was not big enough to accommodate the throngs of enthusiasts. So, the Club decided to form chapters. Each chapter agreed to abide by the FCCA's bylaws and to the directives issued from the National Headquarters. At one point, there were chapters in ten states spanning the distance from the west to the east coast! And, with the chapters spread over such a huge geographic area, it became necessary to divide the country up into divisions, with chapters attached to these divisions and the divisions attached to FCCA National.

The Story of Sports Car Motor Week By JOHN E. FOSTER, National Pres. FCCA

In the Fall of 1952 at one of the regular FCCA Board of Directors meetings the question was raised "What can the National HQ do to help unite all the different chapters of FCCA both socially and financially?"

Many such question and topics are brought up at Board Meetings, and some are adopted. many are shelved for lack of interest, money, or workers. However, this question was foremost in all our minds and many suggestions were mulled. The best suggestion a "'Motor Week" was put up by John MaIone of the Santa Monica Chapter, the idea grew and grew, as did the enthusiasm of all present. The wheels were put in motion and the National officers set about enquiring for this and that and searching for the inevitable band of volunteer workers. From the very beginning the Ambassador Hotel officers and staff pledged 100% support as did the splendid group of Imported Car dealers listed in this program. The Southern California Distributors of Imported cars offered their complete support and many of the south's leading accessory houses made generous donations to the cause. As the enthusiasm for the 'Week' spread the newspapers helped carry the message of "motoring for fun." and more and more people donated time and effort and money to assuring its complete success.

Now the 'Week' is upon us, here it is yours to enjoy to the full. We want you to take part in each and every event - for the sheer enjoyment that you can get out of motoring events well planned. There are beautiful dash plaques for every contestant, gorgeous trophies for the lucky winners - lucky because we know luck will play a big part in this week which is designed mainly for fun. Only you can make the week a success - by participating. If it is the success we expect - next years will be even greater and if you could peak in one of the Board Meetings - your hair would stand on end at the suggestions lined up for the 1954 "Sports Car Motor Week."

JULY 12 THROUGH 19, 1953

As a footnote, a FCCA member later wrote: Motor Sports Week, also called Motor Week, was a huge event promoted by the FCCA. It included a concours, rallies, gymkhanas, road race, and other events that were held over the course of a week. Only two Motor Sports Week events were held, one in 1953 and the other in 1954. When the idea of holding another event in 1955, club members revolted, complaining that the event took too much time and energy to carry off.

More about the Four Cylinder Club of America.

MG Car Club

In September of 1952 there were over 1,400 members of the MG Car Club in the United States.

The first club meeting took place on 12 October 1930, at the Roebuck Hotel near Stevenage, with over thirty MG cars and their owners coming together. In 1945, the club was taken in-house by the MG Car Co. at Abingdon. August 1951 saw the first Silverstone 'all-Centre' meeting, an event which still continues today. Membership continued to grow and the first overseas Centres were formed. The club was greatly strengthened by the initiation of a magazine circulated to all members, Safety Fast, compiled by F. Wilson McComb.

MG Car Club of Florida

The MG Car Club of Florida, which was formed in 1956 in Jacksonville, FL. The MG Car Club Florida is one of the oldest MG & All British Car Clubs in the State of Florida.

MG Car Club of Western New York

The MG Car Club of Western New York Centre was originated in the fall of 1957. Formally established in 1958, it became a Centre of the MG Car Club of England. Rallying was the club's main focus in the early days and they were instrumental in creating some of the more challenging courses at the time. Gradually, the emphasis shifted to racing at local tracks and nearby Watkins Glen. The WNY Centre organized and ran the MG races at Watkins Glen. Many social events were also held during this time such as an annual overnight "Tour to Lake Placid" (1957) where the WNY Centre was conceived.

MG Car Club of Northern California

Kjell Qvale, a Northern California importer and race enthusiast, was the driving factor in the formation of the Northern California chapter in 1949. The club sponsored its first race at Buchanan Field in November of 1949. By May of 1950, membership had grown to seventy-five and the second race at Buchanan Field was held with thirty entries.

In November of 1949, the Northern California MG Club organized a day of special events for their members. The Contra Costa Gazette ran a pre-race article about the event, mentioning a gymkhana along with "speed trials" for "businessmen who participate for the pure enjoyment of driving". Despite the lack of advertising, 3,000 spectators showed up at Buchanan Field in Concord, California, to watch the events unfold. The program included acceleration tests, a novelty race involving driving backward, scratch races, and a six-lap feature race. A three-mile course featuring "twists, curves, and hairpin turns designed to test the driving skill of the drivers rather than the power of the car" was laid out using the airport runways.

MG Car Club, Northwest Center

In 1957, Cliff Garlatz, a sales manager for Imported Motors, a Tacoma foreign car dealership, applied for and received a charter from the MG Car Club of Great Britain. Cliff had a list of people who had purchased MGs from the dealership and invited them to the first meeting. While technically not a MG TD/TF started organization, the club was popular with the TD/TF owners late in the decade.

More about the NW Center club can be found here.

MG Car Club of Washington, DC

In 1951, the club began with a first meeting held at Manhattan Auto, the sole MG dealer in the Washington area, then located at Seventh and R Streets, NW. At that time, the entire East Coast was represented by a single organization, centered in the New York City area. This organization was part of the original MG Car Club founded by Roy Marsh and John Thornley in 1930. This Washington area club was founded as a separate sub-centre of the Eastern United States Centre. The number of members involved in the founding is not known, but by 1954, when the sub-centre became a separate centre in its own right, there were 47 members in the club. In 1956, the club won the Nuffield Trophy from the MG Car Club organization as the most outstanding MG Car Club worldwide.

Southern California Center - Long Beach MG Club

The Long Beach MG Club was the Southern California Center of the MG Car Club of England in 1953.

Moss Motors Luncheon & Bench Racing Society

After working half a day on Saturdays, Al Moss would close the shop and enjoy lunch with a few other car enthusiasts. Eventually this Saturday lunch session became a regular happening and the Moss Motors Luncheon & Bench Racing Society was formed. One of the members, Ben Sears, designed a special badge and this badge was proudly mounted on the front of each member's car.

The Luncheon Group was very popular. Members came from all walks of life, from Hollywood movie stars to doctors and lawyers to garage mechanics. "In those days," Al reminisced, "we all drove TC's or TD's and liked each other!".

Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)

The SCCA is an active organization that was formed in Boston in 1944. At first as only an enthusiast group, the SCCA began sanctioning road racing in 1948, with the inaugural Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Cameron Argetsinger, an SCCA member and local enthusiast who would later become Director of Pro Racing and Executive Director of the SCCA, helped organize the event for the SCCA. But to become a full member in the SCCA you had to own a proper sports car. Inskip Motors sold Cameron an MG.

The seven original members of the SCCA were wealthy and their initial interest was not in racing but to preserve exotic and expensive 'sporting' automobiles. But shortly after it was inaugurated former members of the Automobile Racing Club of America, which was halted during the war, decided to join the SCCA and abandon any plans of reviving the ARCA. They changed the mission of the club to include the regulation of competitive events 'for amateur members' and the encouragement of 'safe and sportsmanlike conduct on public highways'. The SCCA was basically a gentlemen's club and the thought was that encouraging safe driving would help give auto sport a 'respectable' image in the public eye.

In 1951, the SCCA National Sports Car Championship was formed from existing marquee events around the nation, including Watkins Glen, Pebble Beach, and Elkhart Lake. Many early SCCA events were held on disused air force bases, organized with the help of Air Force General Curtis LeMay, a renowned enthusiast of sports car racing. LeMay loaned out the facilities of operational air bases managed by the Strategic Air Command for the SCCA's use. The SCCA relied heavily on these venues during the early and mid-1950s during the transition from street racing to permanent circuits.

More about the SCCA can be found at their website here.

Important Raceways, Races, Hill Climbs and Test Tracks

The MG TC launched the sports car scene in postwar America. A wave of drivers first competed on the track in these and the later TD, TF and MGA models during the 1950s, many of them eventually moving up to Porsches, Alfa Romeos, Jaguars and Ferraris. A good book to go into the depth of these drivers and the races they competed in can be found in: They Started in MGs: Profiles of Sports Car Racers of the 1950s.

The 1950's was the most prolific and dramatic decade for sports car racing in the world. The MG T's had a lot to do with the popularity of the early 1950's racing scene. In 1950, three races were on the West Coast calendar: Palm Springs, Buchanan, and Santa Ana Airport. The MG played an important role in filling the grids of these early races. In some cases, over 50% of the cars entered were MGs. For example, at the first Pebble Beach Road Races that November, 19 of the 36 entries were MG-TCs and TDs - including one supercharged car and one with a Ford V-8 capable of 120 mph! This trend continued at the 1951 Pebble Beach event, with 24 of the 48 entries being MGs, including another V-8-equipped model driven by a young Richie Ginther. An increase to 85 entries - which included 45 MGs - came in 1952.

Most of the racing activity was in Northern and Southern California as well as the north eastern states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Both the California Sports Car Club and the Sports Car Club of America dominated the racing scene in these two geographies respectively. There were however numerous other small clubs and organizations scattered around the United States ready and willing to promote racing at whatever venue they could secure. Often airports were utilized because of their hard surface and open spaces. Both formal and informal tracks and road races were set up in the early 1950's, many times on common rural roads without any formal safety barriers, road conditioning or little more than a few markers to show the course to the drivers and spectators. Often spectators wandered onto the course and more than one race or two was affected by livestock or other animals who appeared randomly. In the later 1950's this lack of safety caused many venues to cease or to move to more formal facilities and in the end provided the basis for much of the safety facets we see in racing today. Thompson Speedway was the first off road location that the SCCA utilized when they were being pressured to stop road racing in 1952. Moving to an organized venue with a paved track, security and safety features for the public was a milestone in sports car racing in the United States. From this point on most venues would be held at formal tracks or airports. Road racing in public areas began to decline rapidly.

During the 1950's speedways and racetracks popped up all over the United States. In Los Angeles alone there were reported to be over 60 different tracks at one period in the early 1950's. They varied from simple dirt tracks to more elaborate banked and paved courses, sometimes ovals and often more complex and windy routes.

Initially most of these venues were the populace of hobbyists and enthusiasts. There were no professional drivers. Eventually that gave way to more formal events and participation, often sponsored by distributors, importers and car companies. The drivers and mechanics, who previously performed both roles and were just hobbyists, started to become specialized with full sponsorships, careers and even reaching celebrity status not only locally but internationally as well. These types of events made the aura of the sports car even greater and that had a direct effect on the commercialization and adoption of MG's and other sports cars into the fabric of North American society.

By 1953 the MG was becoming less competitive due to the influx of bigger, faster American Specials and an increasing presence of purpose-built, foreign race cars such as Jaguars, Porsches, and Ferraris. At this point MG's we generally driven by enthusiasts and hobbyists. The professionals had moved on to highly modified MG's or to more elaborate and expensive, often custom made, racing and sports cars. But even up to the 1960's you could find MG TD and TF's in the racing logs of amateur races.

An excellent source of information about the race tracks and detailed information about the venues and who participated can be found at the Racing and Sports Cars website.

A map of many of the lost Los Angeles area racetracks is located here and of course above.

Military Bases Used as Racetracks in the 1950's

As pointed out above, initially sports car racing was done on rural country roads with little or no thought to safety for the drivers or the public. After many accidents and deaths, to both drivers and spectators, local laws and regulations were put in place to prohibit or severely curtail road racing. The next logical place was to use airports which had more control to access and less hazards such as trees and cliffs to injure drivers. During the period from October 1952 until early November 1954, a number of United States military bases were used for motor car races. Much of these events were because of the sponsorships of Strategic Air Command (SAC) commanding general, General Curtis E. Le May. During this time the SAC was underfunded and not enlisting personnel at the rate they needed. General Le May thought that promoting car races on the bases would generate some needed revenue as well as help bring in potential new personnel.

The following is a table of military bases used for auto races from October 1952 until early November 1954 (see map above):

Paine AFB, Everett, WA 1953 Stout Field NGB, Indianapolis, IN 1953
Stead AFB, Reno, NV 1953 Atterbury AFB, Columbus, IN 1953-1954
Moffett Field NAS, San Francisco, CA 1953 Lockbourne AFB, Columbus, OH 1953-1954
Luke AFB, Glendale, AZ 1953 Westover AFB, Chicopee, MA 1954
March AFB, Riverside, CA 1953-1954 Floyd Bennet Field NAS, New York, NY 1953
Reeve Field, NAVSTA, Terminal Island, CA 1953 Suffolk ADC, Westhampton, NY 1954
Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE 1953-1954 Andrews AFB, near Washington, MD 1954
Fort Worth NGB, Newark, TX 1953-1954 Hunter AFB, Savannah, GA 1953-1953
Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX 1953-1954 Turner AFB, Albany, GA 1952-1953
Chanute AFB, Rantoul, Il 1953-1954 MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL 1953-1954

More on this subject can be found in the book:
Runways and Racers; by Terry O'Neil

1950's California Raceways

A listing of circuits used in the California Galaxy from the 1950's as Dean Batchelor listed them in Vintage Motorsport, January/February 1992, and modified by me.

Name Location Type Sponsor Comment
Paradise Mesa east of National City course built on and around a drag strip SDSCC Sweetwater Airfield used during World War II for aircraft landing practice
Torrey Pines near San Diego built on roads in abandoned military base CSCC 1st race December 1951
Hour Glass Field San Diego airport course SCCA  
Palm Springs Palm Springs course built on military base roads and airport CSCC first race in April 1950
Chino Airport Chino airport course using runways and taxi strips FSCC  
Pomona Pomona course laid out on the Pomona Fairgrounds parking lot CSCC  
Santa Ana Blimp Base Irvine airport course using runways and taxi strips CSCC one race only -- May 1950
March Field Riverside airport course on SAC base SCCA two races -- 1953 and 1954
Riverside Raceway near Riverside artificial course SCCA  
Terminal Island Long Beach airport course CSCC one race in 1953
Grand Central Glendale airport course on former Grand Central Airport CSCC  
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles parking lot course CSCC one race in November 1955
Hansen Dam Los Angeles built on roads in abandoned Basilone Homes veterans' housing project   one race in 1955
Paramount Ranch near Los Angeles artificial course on former Paramount movie studios ranch CSCC  
Willow Springs Mojave Desert near Rosamond artificial course   still used as racing venue, drivers' school and test facility
Santa Barbara Goleta airport course on Goleta Field CSCC  
Bakersfield Bakersfield airport course on Minter Field CSCC  
Madera Madera airport course on former military base    
Pebble Beach Monterey private roads   seven annual races, 1950 thru 1956
Salinas Salinas airport road course    
Laguna Seca Monterey/near Salinas artificial road course on Fort Ord property SCCA first event 1957 -- still in use
Stockton Stockton airport course on former military base    
Moffett Field San Jose/Palo Alto airport course on former Navy dirigible base    
Golden Gate Park San Francisco on public roads   three races -- 1952 thru 1954
Buchanan Filed San Francisco airport road course SCCA first organized event by SF Region of SCCA, 1950
Cotati near San Francisco airport course (naval field)    
Vacaville Near SF/Sacramento airport road course    
Sacramento Sacramento fairgrounds SCCA Used for the 1955 & 1956 National Sports Car Championships

Note the list is primarily sorted from South to North.

Berlin Raceway

In 1950 Chester Mysliwiec and family started the Berlin Raceway. The Berlin Raceway is a 0.4375 mile long paved oval race track in Marne, Michigan, near Grand Rapids.

The Berlin Raceway still exists today.

Bonneville Speedway


MG TD making a night run at Bonneville, Goldie Gardner

The Bonneville Salt Flats is a densely packed salt pan in Tooele County in northwestern Utah. The area is a remnant of the Pleistocene Lake Bonneville and is the largest of many salt flats located west of the Great Salt Lake. The property is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is known for land speed records at the "Bonneville Speedway".

Historically, the speedway was marked out by the Utah Department of Transportation at the start of each summer. Originally, two tracks were prepared; a 10 mile long straightaway for speed trials and an oval or circular track for distance runs, which was typically between 10 and 12 miles (16 and 19 km) long depending on the condition of the salt surface.

In 1951 at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, Goldie Gardner, with his supercharged MG streamliner EX-135 car he obtained 6 international and 10 American records in the 1,100cc to 1,500cc engine class. In 1952 he returned to Bonneville with the MG EX-135 car and set 21 speed records in the same engine class as the previous year. In 1959 MG would set additional land speed records with a modified MGA named the EX181 driven by Phil Hill.


In 1959 MG built the EX181 record car and Phil Hill drove it to a record 254.91 m p h

Video of MG Speed Trials at Bonneville Salt Flats 1956.

Bridgehampton

Bridgehampton race circuit 1949-1953 The first road races in Bridgehampton were held on public roads around the hamlet of Bridgehampton from 1915 until 1921. The course ran counterclockwise on an approximately 3-mile (4.8-km) rectangle, beginning on Montauk Highway, then turning left onto Halsey Lane, left onto Pauls Lane, left onto Ocean Boulevard, and left back onto Montauk Highway. The races were revived in 1949, utilizing a 4-mile (6.4-km) circuit adjacent to the pre-war circuit in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack. It ran clockwise beginning on Ocean Road, turning right onto Sagaponack Road, right onto Sagaponack Main Street, right onto Bridge Lane, and right back onto Ocean Road. The races proved successful, and joined the SCCA National Sports Car Championship when it was created in 1951. The road races came to an end in 1953, after a driver was killed in practice and three spectators were injured during the race. These events, combined with a spectator death in a crash at Watkins Glen in 1952, led the State of New York to ban racing on public roads.

Bridgehampton Race Circuit was a race track located near Sag Harbor, New York, United States. The circuit opened in 1957, following a series of road races held from 1949 until 1953. It was one of the first permanent road racing venues in the United States, opening after Thompson Speedway, two years after Road America, the year after Watkins Glen International, and the same year as Lime Rock Park and Laguna Seca Raceway.

Local racing enthusiasts formed the Bridgehampton Road Races Corporation in 1953 to finance the construction of a permanent race circuit in the area. The corporation purchased a 550-acre (2.2 km2) parcel known as Noyack Hills in 1956, and constructed a 2.85-mile (4.59 km), 13-turn road course. Although construction was not completed, the first races were held in 1957. The headline event, the Bridgehampton Sports Car Races, were a part of the SCCA National Championship; Regional races would be added in 1958.

The above information from Wikipedia.

Buchannan Field

Near Concord Calif. The first sports car race in the West Coast after World War II was in Northern California at Buchanan Field in Concord on November 20, 1949. It was organized, not by the SCCA, but by the Northern California MG Club, headed up by Kjell Qvale. The main event was six laps around a three-mile course laid out on the airfield's runways. Kjell's brother, Bjarne (Barney), won, in an MG TC. By May of 1950, membership in the club had grown to seventy-five and the second race at Buchanan Field was held with thirty entries.

Brochure property of Racing and Sports Cars website


The lineup of MGs at Buchannan Field near Concord in Northern California. The 1949 race, organized by the MG Car Club, was the very first road race held on the West Coast after WWII. (Photo: Qvale Collection)

Carrell Speedway


The lineup for the start of the October 15,
1950 race at Carrell Speedway - Al Moss
Collection

Tom Malloy's father, Emmett J. Malloy, (no known relation to Marion Mallory - inventor of ignition products) owned Sprint and Indy race cars, and built his own racetrack in Gardena, California called Carrell Speedway in 1940. The land was owned by Judge Frank R. Carrell, a longtime justice of the peace and community leader in Gardena, hence the name. Carrell Speedway was part of a whole circuit of local automobile raceways scattered around the Los Angeles area in the first half of the 20th century.

Carrell Speedway quickly became a hotbed of West Coast racing, hosting all kinds of events, from open-wheel racing to stock cars, sprint cars, motorcycles and foreign cars. It remained a dirt track until October 1948, when it was paved. Its close proximity to a local drive-in theatre created obvious challenges at night. When it rained it became very muddy for both contestants and participants. It was very near Ascot Park. The track’s closure was announced in April 1954, when W.L. Bolstad of the California Department of Public Works told track lease holders (and brothers) Bob, Ken and Dee Durr that the state had purchased the right of way going through the speedway site for construction related to the Harbor Freeway.

You can see a narrated video by Al Moss of the 1951 Carrell Speedway Foreign Car Races where he flipped his Allard here.


Carrell Speedway, Gardena, California. The road in the bottom right corner is Vermont Avenue. It runs roughly north and south, north to right. When Artesia Boulevard was put in, it cut through east-west just north (right) of the S/F line.

Climb To The Clouds

The Climb to the Clouds, also known as the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race, is a timed hillclimb auto race up the Mount Washington Auto Road to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The very first motorized ascent of Mt. Washington was completed by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame, in 1899. There were more steam-powered ascents during the next three years, and then in 1902, the first two gasoline-powered cars reached the summit.

The Climb to the Clouds was first run in 1904, seven years before the first 500-mile race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis and 12 years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado. Run sporadically throughout the years, many famous race car drivers and automobile manufacturers have competed in the event through its' colorful history.

You can read more of the history of the Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb here.

Cloudbank Hill Climb


Brewster Standard, October 25th, 1956
The Cloudbank Hill Climb was held in Garrison, New York on the 2, 3, 4 of November, 1956 and then again on 29, 30 of May in 1957. The 1956 event was sponsored by the Westchester Sports Car Club and the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department. The race course was basically the driveway of the Gilbert Family home (now Cloudbank Road). The course was a bit over 1 mile long and contained twenty-one turns. The road was unpaved and narrow.

The 1957 event was held mid week during the Memorial Day holiday. In addition to the sports car club and fire department they picked up two local sports car dealers. The events were really inspired and driven by the desire of Tip Gilbert, whose family lived on the road. It appears at first it was going to just be a few friends up for a race and then blossomed into a more formal event. The events only lasted for these two years as Tip went into the Army National Guard later in 1957 and unfortunately was killed in an automobile accident in 1958.

More about the Cloudbank Hill Climb can be found here.

Duryea Hillclimb

Named for the obscure automobile maker and following the same route that Charles Duryea used to test his cars, this is a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) hill located in a city park in downtown Reading. With a history dating back to 1951. Possibly the most diverse and challenging hill in the Northeast, Duryea boasts 13 turns (most of which are negotiated in the first half of the course) coupled with some high speeds at the top.

The Pagoda Hillclimb in June and the Duryea Hillclimb in August make up the two annual events that are commonly called the Reading Hill climbs. These events are run by the Blue Mountain Region of the Sports Car Clubs of America. Located above Reading, these two hill climbs use the same course. Duryea uses the full course, Pagoda starts at turn 2 and finishes at turn 9. Duryea is 2.3 miles long, rises through 800 feet, and has been used since 1951. Pagoda is 1 mile long, and rises through 450 feet.

More about the Duryea/Pagoda Hill climbs can be found here.

Elkhart Lake

In the early 1950's, sports car races were being run on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake. The open road sports car races held in 1950 through 1952 were conceived and operated by the members of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America. Jim Kimberly is acknowledged as the person who selected Elkhart Lake and was the driving force behind organizing the races along with Fred Wacker, Karl Brocken and C. Bayard Sheldon.

At the time, Elkhart Lake was at a low point in its economic history and Jim Johnson, President of the Elkhart Lake Bank, felt that the races would bring a new energy to the area. Joined by Fire Chief Ray Kramer and Resort owner Ollie Siebken Moeller, a strong community effort was mounted that resulted in dozens of volunteers coming forward to help organize the races. Governor Walter Kohler, who had a summer home on Elkhart Lake, helped pave the way.

The 1950 races, held on the 3.35-mile circuit north of the lake, had the flavor of a typical club event. All the drivers and cars came out of the Chicago Region and most cars were driven to the event, raced and then driven home. The event took place on Sunday, July 23rd and five races were held with cars divided into two classes: under 1500cc and over 1500cc. Two 30-mile races for novice drivers were held, one in each class. A novice driver was defined as one who had never finished higher than fifth in any open road race. The novice races were followed by a 15-mile ladies race that combined both classes. The day was concluded with two 60-mile races for experienced drivers, one in each class. The event was very successful with an estimated 5,000 spectators in attendance.

The 1951 and 1952 races were held on a new 6.5-mile circuit that circumvented the lake and had a much different flavor. The Chicago Region of the SCCA planned, promoted and orchestrated the races and nationwide promotion attracted celebrities and professional race teams from across the country.

When the state legislature banned racing on public roads, a man named Cliff Tufte organized a group of influential local citizens and leaders of the of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans and sold stock to build a permanent racecourse. The overall vision of Road America grew out of the dreams of Tufte, a highway engineer, who chose 525 acres of Wisconsin farmland outside the Village of Elkhart Lake for the track.

Tufte's dream became a reality in April 1955, the natural topography of the glacial Kettle Moraine area was utilized for the track, sweeping around rolling hills and plunging through ravines. By September 10, 1955, the track's first SCCA national race weekend was held. At 4.048 miles in length, with 14 turns, the track is virtually the same today as it was when it was first laid out and is revered the world over as one of the world's finest and most challenging road courses.

From A BRIEF HISTORY OF OPEN ROAD RACING IN ELKHART LAKE.

From the history of Elkhart Lake and the Road America raceway.

More information on Elkhart Lake can be found here. A copy of the 1951 Official Program can be found here.

Giants Despair Hill Climb

The Giants Despair Hillclimb is a hillclimb established in 1906 just outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, United States. The contest was first run in conjunction with Wilkes-Barre's centennial celebration. It is the oldest continuing motorsport event in Pennsylvania. Race drivers from across the nation gather annually on East Northampton Street, the name of the road that winds its way through a 1 mile (1.6 km) section of Pennsylvania's steep mountains. Rising 650 feet (200 m), the course reaches grades up to 20% and has six turns - including the 110 degree "Devil's Elbow" - in the race to the top.

More information from the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association.

You can see video of the 1952 Giants Despair Hill Climb here.

Golden Gate Park

While Pebble Beach was a great success, it was the races in Golden Gate Park that brought sports car racing to the average person and created more local and national publicity than any other sports car race during this period. Over 250,000 spectators attended the races during its run from 1952-54, exposing sports car racing to many who had never seen a race before. The races were promoted by Bill Breeze and Kjell Qvale and were made reality by the Guardsmen, a San Francisco charity that sought donations - $1 a head was the going race rate - to send underprivileged children to summer camp.

Over the period of the three meets, each in 1952, 1953, and 1954, the organizers presented Cooper, Ferrari, Jaguar, OSCA, MG, Porsche, Aston-Martin, Allard, Simca, Singer, Crosley, Jupiter, and even US powered specials with Chrysler, Cadillac, Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln engines. Also, MG TC's and TD's filled many race positions. For instance, in 1952, there were about 20 MG's and 25 other UK cars in the entry list of 100.

"The only crowd control effort, besides course marshals saying, 'Stay back,' was snow fencing," said Gary Horstkorta, co-author, with Art Evans, of "Golden Gate Remembered," a book on the park races. "It was thin wooden slats held together by wires. Lucky they didn't have any accidents."

After a couple of years however, complaints from neighbors and the Society for the Preservation of Golden Gate Park prevailed. The last race held was in 1954.

Grand Central Airport, Glendale

Located at the Grand Central Airport in Glendale California. Glendale was a 2-mile airport course on the abandoned runways of Grand Central Air Terminal used once in 1955. The site is now covered by commercial and industrial development and Disney owns much of the property including the old control tower. The 1955 SCCA National Sports Car Championship's were held here. A total of 9 MGTF's and 6 MGTD's participated and a MGTF won their class.

Racing Sports Cars data for the event.

Marlboro Raceway

Built in 1952 by Eugene Chaney and located on Rt. 301 just south of Rt. 4. The first track was a 1/3 mile dirt oval which opened on 7-21-52. The dirt surface remained throughout 1953 and was then paved for the 1954 season. Also added that season was a road course which utilized part of the oval. After 1954 with the addition of the road course, Marlboro Motor Raceway started to gain national attention with its sports car events.

Marlboro Motor Raceway (MMR) is a now-defunct motorsports park located in Prince George's County, just outside Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

 

 

Mount Equinox

1953 Mt. Equinox Race Winners The Mount Equinox Hill Climb, also known as the "Race to the Clouds", is located in Arlington, Vermont just outside of Manchester. Mount Equinox is the hill climb with the longest road, that has been continuously run, in the world. The length of the road is 5.2 miles and the elevation change is 3,100 feet. It contains more than 40 turns and cars have been clocked at breaking 100 MPH on the long straight ending at "The Saddle". Started in 1950 as an official SCCA event, it continues uninterrupted, as a vintage car race. The races continued into 1953.

Currently being run by the The Vintage Sports Car Club of America.

 

Laguna Seca

The Monterey Peninsula's connection with world-class motorsports traces its beginnings to the running of the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1950. These sports car events quickly outgrew the public roads of the Del Monte Forest and a new road racing facility was born on November 9, 1957.

The track was built in 1957 at a cost of $1.5 million raised from local businesses and individuals on part of the US Army’s Fort Ord (a maneuver area and field artillery target range) after the nearby Pebble Beach Road Races were abandoned for being too dangerous. In 1974, the property was deeded over to the Monterey County Parks Department and continues to be part of the park system to this day.

 

 

Long Beach (Reeves Field) Road Race

Terminal Island is an island located in Los Angeles County, California, between the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor. A sports car road race at Reeves Field, Terminal Island in Long Beach, California. This was the only race held at this venue.

The Long Beach MG Club was the sponsoring organization for the Reeves Field Road Races. The weekend of racing marked two firsts in Southern California road racing history; the first race to be held within the corporate city limits of Los Angeles, and the first race to benefit a charitable organization - Navy Relief.

From the Independent Press Telegram of Long Beach:

Several thousand sports car fans spread themselves around an irregular 2.7-mile course at Reeves Field, Terminal Island, to watch the opening of the two day first annual Long Beach Road Races. A strong turnout is expected for today's races by the sponsoring organizations, the Long Beach MG Club and the Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce... More than 150 competing autos, most of foreign manufacture, churned around the track during the day's six races.

March 10th, 1953 Race Participants

Long Beach Sports Car Road Race (Race 4 - Stock Sports Cars, Classes F & G), Reeves Field, Terminal Island.

Toggle showing entrants table by clicking here.

Palm Beach Shores

The original race, set for downtown West Palm Beach, almost fizzled when city officials abruptly canceled it. That competition was to have run in the streets of West Palm Beach - much the same as the Monte Carlo rally. But a rival promotor who conducted speedway and stock car races on a half-mile track near there reportedly created agitation amongst the city fathers prior to event, telling them there would be "blood in the streets" if the cars were allowed to race there. The effort was rescued by R.O. Edwards, who was developing Singer Island and welcomed the publicity. At the time, A.O. Edwards, who had promoted races in South Africa, was looking to draw attention to Palm Beach Shores, a Singer Island hamlet he had just paved and dotted with five cottages.

On the big day, driving rain almost canceled the Sports Car Club of America race. But the men behind it were determined. The event went forward before about 36,000 roaring fans. The race happened again in 1951 but it was so popular that Edwards sold all of his property and there were too many houses to continue the race after that.

The 1950 and 1951 races were around a 2.1-mile course in Palm Beach Shores on Singer Island. No course map can be found to date.

Pos. Driver/Nationality Car Entrant
4 Ed Barker (USA) MG TD Ed Barker
5 J. P. Swarthout (USA) MG TD J. P. Swarthout
7 Skip Swartley (USA) MG TD Kitty Burton
13 V. C. Andersen (USA) MG TC V. C. Andersen
15 Jim Carroll (USA) MG TD Jim Carroll
16 Bill Johns (USA) MG TD John Pares
17 Jack Watson (USA) MG TD Lee Carpenter
19 John Arnold (USA) MG TD John Arnold
27 Sanford Sinclair (USA) MG TD Sandy Sinclair
29 Walt Stone (USA) MG TD Walt Stone
31 Michael Smith (USA) MG TC Michael Smith
37 Robert Reynolds (USA) MG TD Robert Reynolds
41 Don Speer (USA) MG TD Don Speer
43 Bob McKeon (USA) MG TD Bob McKeon
45 Bill Barbour (USA) MG TD Bill Barbour
48 Gene James (USA) MG TD Gene James
49 Hayward MG TD R. E. Hayward
51 M. O. Miles (USA) MG TD Ken Miles
53 Dennis Peet (USA) MG TD Dennis Peet
54 Irving Bostwick (USA) MG TD Irving Bostwick
58 F. E. Parker (USA) MG TD F. E. Parker
59 Gustave Salmont (USA) MG TC Gus. H. Salmont
61 Bill Thomas (USA) MG Bill Thomas
62 Lewis W. Twohey (USA) MG Lewis W. Twohey
63 Frank Valdez (USA) MG Frank Valdez
68 Robert Snow (USA) MG TD R. B. Snow
69 Mary Davis (USA) MG TD Bob Drake
74 Bob Trennert (USA) MG TD Bob Trennert
75 Bob Oker (USA) MG TD Robert Oker
77 Jim Ahrens (USA) MG TC Jim Ahrens
79 Eleanor Mahon (USA) MG TC Eleanor Mahon
80 Charles Marshall (USA) MG TD Chuck Marshall
85 Margie Parker (USA) MG TD Curt Parker
87 W. A. Bowles (USA) MG TD W. A. Bowles
89 Charles Ducker (USA) MG TD Herb Jeffries
91 H. Johnson (USA) MG TD H. Johnson
93 Jerry Huff (USA) MG TD Jerry Huff
94 Robt. Byrom (USA) MG Lt. Robt. Byrom
97 William Scott (USA) MG TD Bill Scott
98 Bradley MG TD J. M. Bradley
99 Lars Peter Jacobsen (USA) MG NA L. P. Jacobsen
102 Pat Hart (USA) MG TD Patrick Hart
103 V. Kovacevich (USA) MG TD V. Kovacevich
105 John Hart (USA) MG TD John Hart
106 Harlan Hall (USA) MG TC Harlan Hall
108 Kenneth Deeter (USA) MG TD Ken Deeter
109 H. B. Graham (USA) MG TD H. B. Graham
119 Hal Dolden (USA) MG TC Hal Dolden
120 Helen DeOlivera (USA) MG TD Henry DeOlivera
121 Dick Cesmat (USA) MG TC Dick Cesmat
122 Clay Robbins (USA) MG TC Clay Robbins
123 John Collins (USA) MG TD John W. Collins
125 Elaine Brownlee (USA) MG TD Elaine Brownlee
126 Robert Brigham (USA) MG TD Robert Brigham
127 Clive Boyer (USA) MG TD Clive Boyer
129 Fred Anderson (USA) MG TD Fred Anderson
131 Bill Bowering (USA) MG TD Bill Bowering
133 A. S. Long (USA) MG TC A. S. Long
135 Angus Wright (USA) MG TD Angus Wright
136 Stan Brisbin (USA) MG TD Stan Brisbin
138 Jack Wilder (USA) MG TD Jack Wilder
143 Cy Yedor (USA) MG TC Cy Yedor
144 Robert Eckley (USA) MG TD R. Eckley
146 Harry Hanford (USA) MG TD Harry C. Hanford
147 Ernest Massey (USA) MG TD Ernest Massey
148 Joseph Pichette (USA) MG TD Joseph Pichette
149 George Sandberg (USA) MG TD George Sandberg
150 Bert Anakin (USA) MG TD Bert Anakin
151 Bill Leyden (USA) MG TC Gene White

Palm Springs Road Races

The first Palm Springs Road Races were held on hay-bale-lined runways at the Palm Springs Airport from 1950 to 1958. Palm Springs was an airport course run at the Palm Springs Municipal Airport in Palm Springs, California. A number of variations were used over the years. A 2.9 mile course was used from April 16th, 1950 through 1952. A 2 mile course was used on March 21st, 1953. A 2.6 mile course was used on March 22nd, 1953 through 1955. A 2.2 mile course was used from December 3rd, 1956 through late January of 1960.

Paramount Ranch Road Races

Paramount Ranch was located off of the Ventura Freeway (101) at the north end of Los Angeles. It was owned by Paramount Studios and many films were shot there since the 1920's. For several years in the mid-1950's there were sports car races and even a USAC stock car race on its road course. Most of the course was made up from existing roads that were part of the movie lot. There were three fatalities during a sports car race and it might have been another factor in the track no longer holding races. The first Paramount Road Race was held in 1956.

The location in the Santa Monica Mountains ensured that Hollywood stars and starlets made appearances both mixing it up on the course and spectating track side.

Paramount Ranch Road Races - August 1956

Pebble Beach Road Races

Bill Breeze and the SCCA San Francisco Region Board organized the first race held at Pebble Beach on November 5, 1950.The "Del Monte Trophy" was held on the twisty, leafy, and very narrow town roads in Pebble Beach, California from 1950 through 1956. The races were managed under the auspices of the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America), as were most races from that day to this. The route was originally 1.8 miles (2.9 km) long, but was lengthened from 1951 onwards to 2.1 miles (3.4 km). Kjell Qvale was the organizer and race chairman from 1950 to 1956.

The 1950 Pebble Beach course was laid out entirely within the confines of the Property and, because the land is all private including the roads, any laws that might prohibit racing didn't apply. The first course was 1.8 miles in length and was in an irregular rectangle. The Start/Finish was on Portola Road. All of the turns were right-handers. Proceeding in a clock-wise direction, the course turned right on Sombria Lane, right on Drake Road, made a sweeping right onto Stevenson Drive and then a sharp right back onto Portola.

Although the course was always tight and twisty with tall Cypress trees hemming in the track on either side, accidents were scarce and relatively uneventful. The exception came in 1956 when Ernie McAfee (no relation to fellow racer Jack McAfee) fatally crashed his Ferrari into a tree. This spelled the end of the popular Pebble Beach Road Races, although it was the genesis of the Laguna Seca Raceway, its modern-day successor, down the road. By the final race held at Pebble Beach, entries had grown from thirty-five in 1950 to one hundred and forty in 1956.

A copy of the Official Program for the 1951 race can be found here.

Put-in-Bay

Put-in-Bay is a village located on South Bass Island in Put-in-Bay Township, Ottawa County, Ohio, United States. The name "Put-in-Bay" originally only referred to the bay, itself. In the latter-1700s, the schooners sailing on Lake Erie, would "put in" to this bay, to wait out bad weather on the Lake. The first race on the 3.1 mile course at Put-in-Bay was held in 1952 and continued through 1959. Restricted to under 2.0-liter engines for sports cars and under 1.5 liters for dedicated, closed-wheel sports racers, the original events were noted for not a single injury occurring to any competitors despite hay bales being the course's most advanced safety feature.

Today they have annual reunion events and their race history which you can read about here.

Reno Road Races

Track layout for the 1953 race. Terry O'Neil Collection The 1951 SCCA National Sports Car Championship season was the first season of the Sports Car Club of America's National Sports Car Championship. It began May 12, 1951, and ended December 9, 1951, after eight races. Reno was the six race of the circuit that year. The race took place in 1951 on the city streets. The races were sponsored by the Reno Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco chapter of the SCCA.

In the 1953 SCCA National Races, the 2nd Reno Sports Car Road Races were again part of the circuit. The race was the Airman's Cup Race, again at Stead AFB over October 17-18. The proceeds for this race went to the Airmen's Recreational Facilities fund. The weather was so bad that year that the stands were empty for most of the races.

An interesting note was that the SCCA tested a new timing device at the 1953 race. A crystal-controlled, 100 kilohertz oscillator accurate to two parts per million designed by the University of California. Another interesting note is that a Hollywood film crew was at the races filming for a Mickey Rooney picture named The Little Giant. Later it was released in 1954 as Drive a Crooked Mile.

Riverside Raceway

Riverside Raceway was a race track or road course in Riverside, California. The track was in operation from September 22, 1957, to July 2, 1989. The original racetrack had a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) backstretch from 1957 to 1968.

The track was known as a relatively dangerous course, with its long, downhill back straightaway and brake-destroying, relatively slow 180-degree Turn 9 at the end. The first weekend of scheduled races in September 1957, a California Sports Car Club event, John Lawrence of Pasadena, California, lost his life. Lawrence, a former Cal Club, under 1500 cc Production champion, went off at Turn 5 (later designated Turn 8). With no crash barrier in place, and no rollbar on the car, the MGA he was driving went up the sand embankment, then rolled back onto the track.

More from Wikipedia.

1957 MG Entrants Under 1500cc

Toggle showing entrants table by clicking here.

No. Driver Entrant Type Model
0 Jim Honeter Jim Honeter (USA) TF  
00 Loyal Davies Loyale Davis A  
3 Cliff Hensley Cliff Hensley (USA) TD  
25 Jim Chaffee Jim Chaffee A  
30 Bruce Turner Bruce Turner A  
47 Jack Dair Jack Dair (USA) TF  
55 Ed Freutel Ed Freutel A  
62 John Lumkin John Lumkin (USA) A  
65 Skip Vandagriff Skip Vandagriff A  
92 Jack Gleghorn Jack Gleghorn TD Mk II
93 Vernon Stephan Vernon Stephan A  
101 Paul Hart Jack Bleak TF  
103 Ken Roehr Kenneth Roehr (USA) TD  
127 Edward Selover Ed Selover A  
135 William Steube Williams Steube TD  
148 William Davis W. M. Davis TD Mk II
153 Robert Sparks Robert Sparks A  
156 Joe Lynch Fred Newman TD  
160 John Lawrence Robert Brigham (USA) A  
175 Robert Schulman Robert Schulman (USA) A  
198 Donald Caselton (USA) TD  
218 Harold Armes   TD Mk II
234 George Beard   TD  
237 Sam Taylor (USA) TD Mk II
269 George Demetras   A  
710 Harold Dixon   TF  

Sandberg Hillclimb

Jean Burkhard at the Sandberg Hill Climb, April 6, 1952. Photo by FCCA Used in the 1950s. A half-mile unused gradient on the original "Ridge Route" an hour north of Los Angeles. Was 0.6 miles long for the 2nd April 1950 event, but was 0.7 miles long by the event held on the 10th September 1950. Started at the intersection of Pine Canyon Road and the Old Ridge Route to the Sandberg Hotel. Just off route 5 between Bakersfield and Los Angeles (specifically between Gorman and Castaic). Many events were held at the location: April 2 & 20, 1950 and April 15 & September 10, 1950.

Public road rallies and hill climbs like this at Sandberg Ranch were where sports car enthusiasts played, testing engine and chassis modifications. While there were classes for the hill climbs, they did keep overall times and it was amazing to note some small bore, albeit modified cars, actually beat the times of many larger production vehicles up the hill.

 

Santa Ana Blimp Hangars aka Santa Ana Road Race

The Air Station was established in 1942 as Naval Lighter-Than-Air Station Santa Ana, a base for airship operations in support of the United States Navy's coastal patrol efforts during World War II. NLTAS Santa Ana was decommissioned in 1949. In 1951, the facility was reactivated as Marine Corps Air Facility Santa Ana to support the Korean War. During 1950 it was used as a sports car track for the Santa Ana Road Race.

Roy Richter also became the Southern California distributor for Sydney Allard's British sports cars, designed to accept American hot-rod engines. He fitted one with a full-race Mercury flathead and, in 1950, led a Santa Ana road race from flag to flag, drubbing Jaguar driver Phil Hill, who would later become the only American-born Formula 1 world champion.

Santa Barbara Road Race

Santa Barbara Airport, Goleta, California. This event was sponsored by the city's Junior Chamber of Commerce and California Sports Car Club, whose president then was Bill Pollack. Held over the Labor Day weekend, 16 races were run the with the cooperation of the Long Beach MG Club. The program stated: "All the drivers are amateurs who receive no compensation for their efforts. Most of them own their own cars and use them in their daily work." A boisterous, standing crowd of 15,000 lined the 2.2-mile 9-turn airport course that weekend.

At this event the race participants were anything but common. Santa Barbara, and neighboring Montecito, was (and is today) a very popular beach town north of Los Angeles populated by the rich and famous. On this particular weekend the race was attended by many of the Hollywood celebrities and the entire town was overwhelmed by exotic sports cars, races, car shows and various public and private parties celebrating sports cars and race drivers.

September 9th, 1953 Participants

1st Annual Santa Barbara Road Race (Race 4 - Stock MGs), Santa Barbara Airport.

Second race for MG TCs and TDs, not for Mark II.

Toggle showing entrants table by clicking here.

No. Driver / Nationality Car Entrant
112 Ces Critchlow (USA) MG TD Ces Critchlow
6 Kenneth Deeter (USA) MG TD Kenneth Deeter
9 Sanford Sinclair (USA) MG TD S. L. Sinclair
10 Joseph Pichette (USA) MG TD Joseph Pichette
11 John Arnold (USA) MG TD John Arnold
14 Jim McCarthy MG TD Jim McCarthy
39 Walt Stone (USA) MG TD Walt Stone
45 Bill Barbour (USA) MG TD William R. Barbour
60 Jack Anderson (USA) MG TD Jack Anderson
79 Dennis Peet (USA) MG TD Dennis Peet
86 Hal Dolden (USA) MG TC Hal Dolden
92 Doug Ward MG TD William Kinsley
98 Charles Ducker (USA) MG TD Mrs. Herb Jeffries
150 Bert Anakin (USA) MG TD Burt Anakin

Sebring International Grand Prix of Endurance

Sebring International Raceway is America's oldest road racing track, with over six decades of storied history. The legendary circuit evolved from Hendricks Field, a World War II airbase used to train B-17 combat crews. On December 31, 1950, aviation and racing enthusiast Alec Ulmann promoted a six-hour race using the runways of the old airbase. In its early years, the Sebring circuit combined former airport runways with narrow two-lane service roads. Sebring is renowned for its rough surface. The course still runs on old sections of World War II-era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams.

The selection of the Sebring air terminal as a race site may actually have stemmed from a 1950 race at Palm Beach Shores. However, there are indications the members of the newly-formed Sports Car Club of America already had been looking for another site, even before they were forced away from the planned West Palm Beach locale.

An interesting side note about the origin of Sebring.

From the Origins.

Longtime resident and Sebring fireman Allen Altvader was the manager at the Sebring Air Terminal in the late 40s and early 50s. As he tells the story - it was one day in 1949, that a plane sat down and two men asked to see the person in charge. One was Sam Collier, the other apparently was Bob Gegen. They said that they had flown over, viewed the site from the air, and asked if it would be possible to hold a race on the grounds there.

"They gave me the impression that they were a couple of millionaire playboys that had been associated with a lot of other men of their stripe," said Altvader, "They had raced at Watkins Glen, New York and what they wanted to do was to compete against each other."

Apparently the two did not have plans to hold a race for the public, but they had asked about setting up a circuit for practice road races. The three men took a ride around the facility by car, asking questions and talking about the possibilities. Altvader recalled that it did not appear that the two had reached any kind of planning phase, but was more in the nature of something they would like to get organized. When asked if the field would be available, Altvader informed them that the decision would be up to Sebring's city council, who had the final say over activities at the air terminal. "Well, the two got in their plane and left," he said, "and that's the last I ever saw of Sam Collier.

About Sebring International Raceway

Thompson Speedway

Connecticut's Thompson Speedway was the only purpose-built road racing track in the 1951 series, and the first such track used by SCCA. The 1951 track utilized a quarter-mile oval inside of a half-mile oval. The event consisted of two-lap time trials around the large oval followed by four-car match races in which cars ran clockwise around the outer oval, then made a sharp turn onto the inner oval and ran three quarters of a lap before making another sharp turn onto the outer oval again. This formed a sort of mini road course that included a pair of quite challenging corners. From 1952-1967, the oval track and an adjacent section of the Speedway property were leased to owners of the neighboring sports car track, the Thompson Raceway.

Torrey Pines

The Torrey Pines track was formed almost by accident. A 1951 race was scheduled to be held at Del Mar, but a last minute disagreement among organizers left racers without a venue. The suggestion was made to run on the blacktop service roads of the disused Army base, Torrey Pines. The 2.7 mile track proved to be a huge success, drawing 35,000 spectators to some races, and hosting several California Sports Car Club races as well as three West Coast 6-Hour Endurance Races. The races were first organized by the San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce and the California Sports Car Club.

In 1955 it was decided to convert the raceway into 36 golf holes. Its last race was conducted in January 1956, an endurance contest of six hours.

UNSEEN 50S RACING FOOTAGE: TORREY PINES OCT. 1955 It's the 6th running of the Torrey Pines Road Races held on October 22-23, 1955. There are some pretty hairy TD slide outs and one deadly looking TC rollover in this clip.

Watkins Glenn

The first road race after WWII was held in the small town of Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes Region of New York on October 2, 1948. Law student Cameron Argetsinger dreamed of bringing European style competition to the village where he spent his summer vacations and he drew up a challenging course that encompassed asphalt, cement and dirt roads in and around the village of Watkins Glen. Argetsinger, an early member of the SCCA, proposed an amateur Road Race to be called the "Watkins Glen Grand Prix" to the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was enthusiastic; Argetsinger selected a 6.6 mile course using mostly paved roads with a short dirt and gravel stretch, permissions were obtained to close a NYC railroad track and the roads needed, and SCCA sanction was obtained.

In 1951 they implemented a real communication system to coordinate the race and to better control the spectators. 1952 was the last year of the original circuit that passed through the center of town. During the Grand Prix, tragedy struck at Watkins Glen for the second time: a car left the course on the start-finish straight in town, entering the crowd. 12 spectators were injured and 1 died. The day's race schedule was abruptly halted, and never completed; the race would never pass through town again. Competition moved to a temporary course in 1953, and a 2.3-mile permanent circuit was built in 1956.

A copy of the September 14-15, 1951 program shown above can be found here.

Watkins Glen is still being used today. You can read their history at this site.

Willow Springs

Willow Springs International Motorsports Park is located in Willow Springs near Rosamond and Lancaster, California, and is about an hour north of Los Angeles. It is a historic race track, in existence more than fifty years. Construction of the track began in 1952, with the inaugural first race held on November 23, 1953. The main track is a challenging 2.5-mile (4.0 km) long road course that is unchanged from its original 1953 configuration. The interesting elevation changes and high average speeds make it a favorite of many road racing drivers.  

Link to the current Willow Springs International Raceway.

Rallies and Tours

Besides racing, another popular pastime for the less death defying set of sports car enthusiasts was the road rally or rallye. A road rally is not a contest of speed or racing. The challenge is to follow a prescribed course at legal speeds and to read signs and landmarks along the route to find answers to questions supplied by the organizers. These events were often promoted by a club or a geographic location and had a theme or subject associated with them. It might have been associated with an event, season, historical happening or a geologic feature. Often the rallies were something that was intended to repeat itself, often yearly, so participants could look forward to the event and plan to attend over and over again. Some were about the scenery and location while others might have been about a historical event. But they all included driving in interesting situations. They were generally preceded by some form of car display, even if informal. These events were very popular in the early 1950's and a few of them continue to this day, albeit with a lot less T types in attendance.

What is a Rally?

From the 1954 program guide of the Continental Divide Rally.

Continental Divide Rally

The Colorado Region held their first SCCA National Rally in October of 1953. This rally was called the Continental Divide Rally and ran over a three day period with full hospitality on each day. In addition to the rally, there were performance tests and a full Concurs d'Comfort which were a required part of the rally and required mandatory extra equipment to deal with the expected harsh weather of the mountain passes. The rally also included a Concours d'Elegance in Durango in which each car was invited to participant in.

The 1954 rally started with a Monte Carlo section where contestants predicted their distance and average speed needed to travel from their address of record to the starting line. The rally itself was over 500 miles and included several passes which would normally be closed this late in the year. The entry fee was $10, which was an large sum of money for 1954. That would be equivalent to a $500 entry fee today. The event seemed to be dominated by Jaguars, Porsches and MGs.

See the entire 1954 program here.

View automobile memorabilia / collectibles from the 1958 6TH ANNUAL CONTINENTAL DIVIDE RALLY (SCCA).

The MG Car Club Road Rallye in Glenwood Springs

The event grew out of the 1952 founding of the MG Car Club - Rocky Mountain Centre by former Glenwood Springs residents and MG enthusiasts Hazel Hopkins Marble and Dr. Robert Livingston. The MG Car Club Road Rallye in Glenwood Springs Colorado is the oldest continually-held time-speed-distance rallye in the United States. The first Rallye Glenwood Springs began with a hardy group of MGCC-RMC sports car owners who discovered the joys of top-down motoring in Colorado when MGs still had running boards and the new TR2 and powerful XK-120 were just beginning to be sold by Colorado car dealers. Imagine what Colorado mountain roads were like during that 1953 Rally - gravel (some pavement!), no guardrails, single-lane bridges, hairpin curves, sheer cliffs, and thin air.

1955 Rallye picture.

Press On Regardless Rally

In 1957 nearly no one had heard of a performance rally in the United States. SCCA conducted a National Rally Championship but it was exclusively for time-speed-distance, route following events, a "gentleman's" social gathering on sunny Sunday afternoons. But the Press On Regardless (POR), which had been run beginning in the early '50's, was another country heard from. Press-on-Regardless Rally is a road rally organized by the Detroit Region of the Sports Car Club of America. The Press-on-Regardless was first run in 1949 as a 24 hour Time-Speed-Distance rally. MG T's won the rally in 1950, 1951 and 1952.

Detroit Region of SCCA kept this initial U.S. Performance rally alive and in 1958, for the first time SCCA's involvement became more than superficial. The 1958 POR was run with full SCCA sanction and used the Time Speed Distance (TSD's) National Rally Regulations wherever applicable.

From the Rally Racing News.

Windam Mountain Top Rallye

Windam, NY. Mohawk-Hudson Region of the SCCA. Started in 1955. Sponsored by the Windam Chamber of Commerce.

Importers/Distributors

Nuffield and later BMC did not sell directly to dealers in the Unites States and Canada. They exported cars through to a US based importer Hambro Trading Company of America. Hambro had a series of distributors (who would act on behalf of Hambro as importers) to specific areas of the country. Hambro offered them credit and promised the factory they would get paid. The distributor would receive the cars from the factory to Hambro's entry points and then allocate them, usually based on pre orders, to the regional dealer.

Each regional distributor had a number of dealers they supported. In most cases the dealers were independent of the distributor. You will find that many MG dealers sold not only MG's but other Nuffield automobiles and foreign cars in general. In fact many dealers sold Nash, VW and Studebaker and other American cars too.

In the early days of the MG TD the distributor also supplied spare parts for the dealers and did general promotions and advertising. Later, as the cars became more popular and widespread, independent parts organizations sprang up to sell factory or OEM parts for the cars, eliminating the distributors role here. Often the distributors sponsored racing teams to help promote the cars. Hambro would also provide advertising resources, money and assistance to help in promotions and events. Later Hambro would take responsibility for parts and training dealers away from the distributors. Eventually, after the MG TD and TF BMC would take over import responsibilities too thus regulating Hambro to parts supply and finally eliminating them all together.

Hambro Trading Company of America, Inc.

Other Offices

A division of Hambros Bank Limited, London England. The exclusive importer for MG's during the late 40's and 1950's into the United States. Hambro supported all of the United States distributors for MG from 1949 through 1957 and was the sole concessionaires for Nuffield Exports. Later they were the importers for BMC. Hambro's role was the financial security or guarantee company supporting regional distributors such as Gough, Arnolt and Inskip. You will see their name listed on the import cards of the cars as Hambro Trading Company of America A/C. The A/C standing for allocating costs, a financial term to describe who's responsible financially. In 1957 they renamed the import company the Hambro Automotive Corporation in the United States. Hambro was the true importer of the cars and bore responsibility for their shipment and import to the United States. Later there were lawsuits with US Customs and Hambro because of some clerical errors and the changeover from Nuffield to BMC. The US Government seemed to want to double the duty fees for MGs in the late 1950's for this reason. Around 1963 BMC took control of all imports from Hambro.

The following distributor and dealer lists were compiled from period advertisements and from a book of Nuffield Distributors and Dealers in North America in January of 1953. The images of the 32 page book was supplied to me by John F. Quilter of Eugene Oregon who is an automobile historian and a 32 year employee of British Leyland, Jaguar Rover Triumph, Jaguar Cars Land Rover North America.

^They were also responsible it appears for stocking parts, at least in the late 1950's. They had an eastern (Bronx, NY) and western (Burlingame, CA) parts warehouses.

S. H. Arnolt, Division of Climax Machinery Corp.

Arnolt Corporation was founded in 1932 by Stanley H. Arnolt II (1907-1963) in Chicago with three employees, manufacturing automobile lubricating devices. During that time Arnolt developed an inboard marine engine called the Sea-Mite, which was one-third lighter than other engines of equal horsepower. On the thick foggy morning of September 26, 1938, with one of his engines affixed to a 13-foot boat, Arnolt left St. Joseph, Michigan and headed for Chicago.

During the war years of 1941-1945, a North Manchester plant was established to produce precision-machined parts for bombers and other war items. Arnolt Corporation also had a plant in Pierceton that required tight security due to its production of a variety of defense items for government contracts. Among its many other products, the company made boat trailers, fold-out travel campers, row boats and other marine items, in addition to the parts for B-47 bombers and other aircraft items. Later, primary business came from the Department of Defense when Arnolt was making the landing gear components and pilot ejection mechanisms for carrier-based aircraft.

Production had expanded by 1948 to include the Rol-R-Lift and Rol-R-Dolly, one-man material handling tools. Arnolt Corporation further diversified in 1950 by acquiring the Climax Machinery Company, a manufacturer of slicing machines and club smokers - an all-metal chromed ash receiver (some with glass holders) - which could be found in dining club cars or in Pullman accommodations on trains and in theatre lobbies.

S. H. Arnolt, Inc., an importer and distributor of foreign cars, was established in 1953 in Chicago. S.H. Arnolt was headquartered on 415 East Erie Street near Outer Drive in Chicago, Illinois. Arnolt obtained the Midwest distributorship for Nuffield Exports, Ltd. of England. His first order was for 25 MG cars and 20 Morris Minors, as well as six Riley cars. As the business grew to 30 dealers throughout the Midwest, other makes of cars were added to the line, including Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston-Martin.

Arnolt described his company as a "job shop". However, with such manufacturing diversification with products for the marine, automotive, aircraft, and furniture industries, in addition to focusing on production of numerous items for World War II, by 1955 Arnolt's job shop had reached sales of nearly $8 million.

Territory Covered

Wisconsin - Illinois - Ohio - Indiana - Michigan - Iowa - Eastern half of Nebraska (East of a line between Keyapaha and Furnas Counties) - Missouri - East portion of Kansas (East of a north/south line running from Washington County in the north to Cowley County in the south. Trading area of Covington in Kentucky (made up of Boone - Kenton - Campbell - Gallatin - Grant and Pendleton Counties).

Dealers of S.H. Arnolt

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
ILLINOIS Alton Pissa Sports Car Company 700 West Broadway 38.890949 -90.190868
Dealer
  Arlington Heights Anderson Motors, Inc. 1410 E. Northwest Highway 42.07651 -87.965138
Dealer
  Chicago S.H. Arnolt 415 East Erie Street 41.894052 -87.617224
Dealer
  Decatur Kilborns 235 W. Wood Street 39.840424 -88.957867
Dealer
  Glen Ellyn Bill's Car-Ral 344 Pennsylvania Street 41.877214 -88.075216
Dealer
  Hoopeston Imported Motor Car Co. 214 E. Penn Street 40.466189 -87.669774
Dealer
  Joliet Antonio Auto Sales 320 So. Chicago Ave. 41.518121 -88.081042
Dealer
  Macomb Foster Auto Sales 1140 E. Jackson Street 40.458662 -90.657465
Dealer
  McHenry

Foreign Car Sales
Division of Switzer-Craft, Inc.

203 South Green Street 42.326879 -88.26782
Dealer
  Moline German Motors 412 14th Street 41.506753 -90.517561
Dealer
  Mount Carmel Wabash Sales & Service Co. 123 W. Fourth Street 38.409406 -87.761484
Dealer
  Oak Park Lilly Truck Service, Inc. 6249 W. North Ave. 41.909208 -87.782469
Dealer
  Rockford Auto Imports 415 Chestnut Street 42.270156 -89.097342
Dealer
  Springfield Capital Cycle Sales & Service 312 No. Fifth Street 39.804168 -89.649201
Dealer
INDIANA Elkhart Zillmer Motor Cars, Inc. Hwy. 33 West (Rt. 3) 38.670098 -88.485802
Dealer
  Flora Cripe Motors Inc.   40.547396 -86.524557
Dealer
  Goshen Bauman's Auto Service 1500 E. Lincoln Ave. 41.590171 -85.813268
Dealer
  Huntington Poehler-Von Holten U.S. 24, East 40.907545 -85.487763
Dealer
  Indianapolis American & Foreign Motor Car Service 2215 College Ave. 39.798079 -86.144695
Dealer
  Indianapolis Auto Imports Ltd. 4555 S. Meridian Street 39.698462 -86.158188
Dealer
  Petersburg Jake Wellman Route 4 38.492126 -87.278916
Dealer
  Richmond Gennelt & Son's, Inc. 1 Main Street 39.828421 -84.9002
Dealer
  South Bend Newman & Altman, Inc. 613 S. Michigan Avenue 41.669486 -86.250245
Dealer
  Warsaw Menzie Motor Sales 210 East Main Street 41.239101 -85.855856
Dealer
  West Lafayette Levoe Motor Sales 210 Brown Street 40.422122 -86.903477
Dealer
IOWA Cedar Rapids Empire Motors 1225 1st Avenue 41.985159 -91.656802
Dealer
  Sioux City C. J. Murray & Company 100 W. Seventh Street 42.498507 -96.407927
Dealer
MICHIGAN Battle Creek John H. Bailey Company 373 W. Michigan Avenue 42.325515 -85.195103
Dealer
  Detroit Falvey Sales & Service 22524 Woodward Ave. 42.458737 -83.132517
Dealer
  Detroit Sports Cars Detroit

5201 Kercheval Street (Grosse Point)

42.352621 -83.015716
Dealer
  Detroit Wood Motors 19770 Mack Avenue (Grosse Point Woods, 30) 42.428351 -82.908842
Dealer
  Grand Rapids Import Motors, Inc. 644 Lovett Street, S.E. 42.950934 -85.616328
Dealer
  Holland Jerry Cook, Inc. 25 W. 7th Street 42.791228 -86.108481
Dealer
  Kalamazoo The Car Bazaar 219 W. Water Street 42.29258 -85.585053
Dealer
  Lansing Brooks Engineering 5026 No. Grand River 42.769085 -84.597314
Dealer
  Pontiac Falvey Sales & Service 85 W. Lawrence Street 42.637108 -83.29523
Dealer
  Spring Lake Carpenter Automobile Imports 807 W Savidge Street 43.077133 -86.207455
Dealer
  Ypsilanti Davis Motor Sales 24 E. Michigan Ave. 42.241068 -83.610722
Dealer
MISSOURI Joplin Grider Motor Co. 806-808 East 7th Street 37.083949 -94.505426
Dealer
  Kansas City Hollywood Motors 2743 McGee 39.076651 -94.579992
Dealer
  St. Louis Town and Country 6498 Chippewa 38.592405 -90.302029
Dealer
NEBRASKA Lincoln Simpson Motors Imports 2242 Van Dorn Street 40.784701 -96.688476
Dealer
  Omaha Loyal's Auto Exchange 2204 Farnham Street 41.257686 -95.944667
Dealer
OHIO Alliance Imported Support & Utility Motor Cars 2115 South Union Avenue 40.900417 -81.106215
Dealer
  Barberton Jordan & Sons Auto Imports 108 Third Street, NW 41.013369 -81.608742
Dealer
  Brookfield Davis Sales & Service Box J, Route No. 1 41.236214 -80.605873
Dealer
  Cincinnati Raymond Motors Shawnee Run Road & Miami St. 39.180136 -84.364187
Dealer
  Cleveland Jaguar-Cleveland Motors, Inc. 20124 Kinsman Rd. (Shaker Heights) 41.464614 -81.572018
Dealer
  Cleveland M.G. Auto Sales 13124 Lorain Avenue 41.458287 -81.781005
Dealer
  Cleveland Sports Cars Ltd. 4501 Euclid Avenue 41.503957 -81.65566
Dealer
  Columbus British Motor Mart 2451 N. Star Rd. at Lane 40.006843 -83.048027
Dealer
  Columbus Columbus Sports Car Co.^ 1855 Northwest Blvd. 39.995805 -83.047362
Dealer
  East Liverpool Chuck Kennedy's 610 Walnut Street 40.620003 -80.576704
Dealer
  Lima Lima-Hudson Co. 600 N. Main Street 40.74668 -84.104506
Dealer
  Mansfield Bookwater Motor Sales 330 Ashland Avenue 40.763089 -82.495846
Dealer
  Marion Glenn Walraven Motors 1111 No. Main Street 40.609554 -83.130543
Dealer
  Massillon Stark Sports Cars, Inc. 1930 Lincoln Way, East 40.799768 -81.498601
Dealer
  Newark Gibbs Motor Co. 20 South 1st Street 40.058284 -82.398814
Dealer
  Tiffin Coppus Motor Sales 145 Madison Street 41.113568 -83.17467
Dealer
  Toledo Kalmbach Motor Sales 1514 West Bancroft Street 41.663655 -83.579458
Dealer
  Urbana Dorsey Motor Sales, Inc. 219 Miami Street 40.108242 -83.754467
Dealer
  Youngstown Davis Imported Motors 1605 Belmont Street 41.121174 -80.659166
Dealer
  Zanesville Zane Sports Sales 615 Adair Avenue 39.953076 -82.010892
Dealer
WISCONSIN Appleton Appleton Renault Sales Co. 1850 W. Wisconsin Avenue 44.273721 -88.435598
Dealer
  Fond du Lac ABC Motors 180 N. Main Street 43.784007 -88.448365
Dealer
  Janesville Harder Cycle Sales 102 W. Eastern Avenue 42.492321 -89.03741
Dealer
  La Crosse Auto Imports Company 330 State Street 43.813635 -91.251516
Dealer
  Madison Bruns Sherman Avenue Garage 2501 Sherman Avenue 43.102471 -89.364522
Dealer
  Milwaukee Wisconsin Auto Sales 642 No. Seventh Street 43.043127 -87.920174
Dealer
  Sheboygan Roewardt-Thomson, Inc. 8th and Clara Streets 43.738391 -87.712957
Dealer

^ Bob Fergus had quit selling Cadillacs and obtained the MG, Jaguar, Austin, etc. dealerships. Initially he had no cars to sell, just literature to show what was available. When you bought a car, you had the choice of going to New York to pick it up, or pay for delivery. Shortly there was a TD and then an XK 120 demonstrator. Bob Fergus and Harley Watts and others made numerous trips to New York to drive new cars back. This quickly included Porsches. "The Columbus Sports Car Co." moved from several apartment garages on Auburn Ave. to a garage with a one car show room on Livingston Ave. to a new showroom on Northwest Blvd. When new cars for display were not in hand, Bob's TC and 35B Bugatti were there to see. From the Fast Ones.

British Cars & Parts, Inc.

British Cars & Parts was located at 610 Colman Building, Seattle 4, Washington.

Territory Covered

Washington and Oregon.

Dealers of British Cars & Parts, Inc.

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
OREGON Eugene Sheppard Motors 10th & Oak Streets 44.048879, -123.09123
Dealer
  Klamath Falls Parker-Pontiac Company 4th & Klamath 42.222861 -121.783191
Dealer
  Medford Miles Motors 1201 N. Riverside Avenue 42.338277 -122.876546
Dealer
  Portland Armstrong & Goetz Motors 1545 S. E. Union Avenue 45.511836 -122.661819
Dealer
WASHINGTON Aberdeen Grays Harbor Motors
Joe Trohimovich~
1st & G Streets 46.977611 -123.816209
Dealer
  Everett Olsen Motor Service 2417 Broadway 47.985053 -122.200953
Dealer
  Port Orchard Cedar Cove Motors~ Route 4 47.534523 -122.627148
Dealer
  Seattle Ravenna Motors~ 2715 E. 55th St. 47.668426 -122.297966
Dealer
  Seattle Rowland Motors
British Car Sales of Seattle
511 East Pike Street 47.61396 -122.324999
Dealer
  Spokane Jaremko Motors^ 2020 North Monroe 47.613801 -122.325192
Dealer
  Tacoma British Car Sales of Tacoma 1325 S. Tacoma Wy 47.23159 -122.452522
Dealer
  Tacoma Henderson Auto Sales~ 7030 S. Tacoma Way 47.192802 -122.484226
Dealer
  Yakima Caraway Motors~
Archie Caraway
213 S. Third Ave. 46.597229 -120.510408
Dealer
  Walla Walla Dawson Motors~ Walla Walla Ave. at Wellington 46.077288 -118.309700
Dealer

~ Noted as a 1950 MG dealer

^ Still in business today selling Nissan-Saab. The oldest import dealer west of the Mississippi. They have been in the Spokane area for over 75 years.

British Motor Car Distributors, Ltd.

The Northern California distributor for Nuffield and later BMC. Located at 214 Van Ness Avenue and at 1540 Market Street, San Francisco, California. Originally started by Kjell Qvale as a car dealership selling MG's in Alameda, CA in 1948.

Al Moss also bought all the remaining inventory from BMCD when they no longer wanted to sell MG T parts.

Territory Covered

California (North of a line drawn above Fresno, but including Modesto) - Nevada (North of a line drawn above Las Vegas to Utah state line) - Guam - Okinawa.

Dealers of British Motor Car Distributors, Ltd.

It is largely assumed that each of dealers was holey owned by Kjell Qvale.

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
CALIFORNIA Berkeley Norwitt British Cars 2567 Shattuck Avenue
Note: Sometime around 1954 the showroom moved to 2655 Shattuck.
37.86281 -122.267126
Dealer
  Burlingame Kingdom Motors 1321 Howard Avenue 37.576819 -122.345973
Dealer
  Daly City Cardinal Motor Sales 6565 Minion Street 37.70372 -122.46252
Dealer
  Hayward Allied Sports Car 20525 E. 14th Street 37.689679 -122.106215
Dealer
  Los Gatos S. M. Drake Foreign Cars 16233 San Jose Avenue 37.233036 -121.964412
Dealer
  Modesto Garrett Motor Sales 931 McHenry Avenue 37.656475 -120.994173
Dealer
  Monterey Lacey British Cars
Lorin D. Lacey
298 Pearl Street 36.597829 -121.893377
Dealer
  Oakland Norwitt British Cars 3068 Broadway 37.819972 -122.261247
Dealer
  Palo Alto Continental Car Company 439 Alma Street 37.443901 -122.164612
Dealer
  Redwood City C & M Motors, Inc. 1612 El Camino Real 37.479643 -122.226239
Dealer
  Sacramento Oxford Motors, Ltd.
Sammy Weiss
1831 J Street 38.577158 -121.48155
Dealer
  Salinas CuIwell British Cars 510 Alisal Street 36.672128 -121.667749
Dealer
  San Anselmo E. F. Sweeney British Cars 610 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard 37.977069 -122.561676
Dealer
  San Jose Tip Blume Foreign Cars 352 W. San Carlos Street 37.328698 -121.892872
Dealer
  San Leandro Lea Harkins Motor Sales 355 E. 14th Street 37.733296 -122.162595
Dealer
  Santa Cruz Fry's Garage 644 Ocean Avenue 36.97651 -122.016844
Dealer
  Santa Rosa Ken's British Cars 2424 Sonoma Avenue, Montgomery Village 38.444649 -122.687268
Dealer
  Stockton Crown Motor Company 1847 North Wilson Way 37.974777 -121.276565
Dealer
  Turlock Joe Saso 520 North Center 37.491332 -120.840588
Dealer
  Ukiah Mark King's Garage 903 South State Street 39.138066 -123.20561
Dealer
  Vallejo Bonded British Car Co. 1826 Sonoma Boulevard 38.102904 -122.254627
Dealer
  Willits C & H Automotive & Chain Saw Service 233 South Main Street 39.410211 -123.354247
Dealer
NEVADA Reno Oden British Cars 119 East 4th Street 39.530236 -119.812669
Dealer

Denver Imported Motors, Inc.

2610 West Alameda Avenue, Denver 19, Colorado.

Territory Covered

Colorado - New Mexico (North of east/west line below Albuquerque natural trading area to take in south eastern quarter of Wyoming, and western half of Nebraska) - (West of n line from Keyapaha County to Furnas County) Western portion of Kansas (West of a north/south line running from Washington County in the north to Cowley County in the south, including Washington and Cowley Counties.

Dealers of Denver Imported Motors, Inc

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
COLORADO Boulder Rush Motors 1500 Pearl Street 40.018577 -105.275311
Dealer
  Colorado Springs Import Motors 1608 S. Nevada 38.811339 -104.82264
Dealer
  Denver Collins Company 1029 Broadway 39.732761 -104.987456
Dealer
  Denver Denver Imported Motors 2610 W. Alameda 39.711198 -105.018033
Dealer
  Denver Lowen-Thomson-Brown 1300 Lincoln Street 39.736919 -104.986104
Dealer
  Grand Junction World Motors 2848 North Avenue 39.077967 -108.524818
Dealer
KANSAS Manhattan Miller Auto Exchange, Inc. 306 Houston 39.178298 -96.560524
Dealer
  Wichita Aircraft and Automotive Specialties 1328 East Kellog 37.67887 -97.321874
Dealer
NEW MEXICO Albuquerque S-P Motors 5200 W. Central Avenue 35.083201 -106.695487
Dealer
  Santa Fe S-P Motors 2700 Cerrillos Road 35.65829 -105.985184
Dealer
WYOMING Cheyenne Trail Motors 1715 Pioneer Avenue 41.133013 -104.818101
Dealer

Foreign Motor Car Company

843 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

Territory Covered

Utah - natural trading area consisting of south eastern section of Idaho - south western quarter of Wyoming.

Dealers of Foreign Motor Car Company

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
IDAHO Boise Import Motors 1600 Front Street 43.61913 -116.214743
Dealer
  Idaho Falls Blair Hammon Garage 525 Highland Drive 43.50318 -112.035583
Dealer
  Pocatello John P. Harris Company 151 North 2nd Street 42.864279 -112.446186
Dealer
  Rexburg Enterprises, Eldon C. Hart 151 N 1st E 43.829504 -111.781631
Dealer
UTAH Provo L. H. Strong Motors 461 West 3rd South 40.229497 -111.666747
Dealer
  Salt Lake City Foreign Motor Car Co. 343 South Main Street 40.761723 -111.890958
Dealer
WYOMING Afton Call Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ruell Call 42.7252 -110.932072
Dealer
  Jackson Studebaker Sales & Service c/o L. Willard 43.479768 -110.762364
Dealer
  Rock Springs Stuart Lee Box 392 41.591342 -109.223721
Dealer

Gough Industries

Gough Industries at 819 East 1st Street, Los Angeles 54, California and at 201 North Avenue, Los Angeles 19, California.

Gough Industries also represented Philco radios, refrigerators and TV sets. They ran a contest: In 25 words or less let us know "Why I like a Philco TV". The first prize winner would get the keys to a new MG TC. A young married woman with two children won the contest but had no use for the car and she immediately put the MG up for sale with an ad in the Los Angeles Times. Al Moss responded to her ad and bought the car, a red MG TC with tan upholstery, on September 13, 1948. She hadn't registered the car, so Al became the first registered owner and owned this same MG TC until just prior to his death. In August 2012, by Al's request, the car was auctioned off in Montery, CA for $66,000. The high bidder was Moss Motors, who owns the car to this day.

Al Moss also bought all the remaining inventory from Gough Industries when they no longer wanted to sell MG T parts.

Processing of Cars at Gough

A very interesting article appeared in the January 1954 issue of Road & Track magazine on how Gough Industries prepared the MG's from the factory.

In this article the author witnessed the process of bringing a car into Los Angeles from the ship to the dealer. He even climbed inside the hold of the ship. The importer was Gough Industries and their 'processing plant' was 'as large as the MG factory' according to the author.

Some interesting tidbits:

Another article in the same issue talks about the MG factory side. Equally interesting.

Territory Covered

California (South of a line drawn above Fresno but excluding Modesto) also lower (Baja) California - Arizona - Southern corner of Nevada to include Las Vegas - Hawaii.

Dealers of Gough Industries

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
ARIZONA Phoenix Thomas Brothers 917 East Van Buren St. 33.451323 -112.060824
Dealer
  Tucson World Wide Motors 240 North Stone Avenue 32.224664 -110.971625
Dealer
CALIFORNIA Beaumont British Motors (Chuck Miller) 402 W. Sixth Street 33.930605 -116.983647  
  Bellflower Triangle Motors 17439 S. Clark Ave. 33.87393 -118.133919
Dealer
  Beverly Hills International Motors 8670 Wilshire Blvd. 34.06609 -118.380766
Dealer
  Burbank Mack Motor Company 507 S. San Fernando Blvd. 34.177761 -118.304817
Dealer
  Burbank Mack Motor Company (1953) 430 South Victory Boulevard 34.170154 -118.313754
Dealer
  Compton Lee Carpenter 828 E. Compton Blvd. 33.8958 -118.21418
Dealer
  Coronado Coronado Motor Imports 929 Orange Ave. 32.686848 -117.179169
Dealer
  Culver City Rabuzzi Motors 8951 Venice Blvd. 34.028664 -118.390219
Dealer
  El Centro Ray Miller 426 N. Imperial Ave. 32.796041 -115.570208
Dealer
  Fresno Brittsan Motors 701 Fulton Ave. 36.73106 -119.787456
Dealer
  Fullerton Commonwealth Motors Ltd. 748 W. Commonwealth Ave 33.869926 -117.939575
Dealer
  Hermosa Beach B.B. Car Sales 700 Pacific Coast Hwy. 33.860616 -118.391506
Dealer
  Huntington Park Richter Motors 2818 E. Gage Ave. 33.981677 -118.219609
Dealer
  La Jolla La Jolla Motor Imports 6798 La Jolla Blvd. 32.83068 -117.276699
Dealer
  Long Beach General Motor Finance (Brewster Gray) 1100 American Ave. 33.780717 -118.189642
Dealer
  Los Angeles International Motors 5670 Sunset Blvd. 34.097982 -118.313282
Dealer
  Los Angeles Bob Roberts 4301 Crenshaw Blvd. 34.005081 -118.333946
Dealer
  Los Angeles Peter Satori Motors, Inc. 2301 W. Colorado Blvd. 34.139834 -118.216465
Dealer
  Monrovia Clifford T. Nutt~ 245 W. Foothill Blvd. 34.151654 -118.004756
Dealer
  Monrovia Huntington Motors 1002 S. Myrtle Ave. 34.141761 -118.000697
Dealer
  Monterey Park Import Motors, Ltd. (Ted Tapler) 218 W. Garvey Blvd. 34.062401 -118.124755
Dealer
  Newport Beach British Motors Inc. 1209 Coast Highway 33.611975 -117.887444
Dealer
  Oxnard Hinkley Motor Sales
Crawford Motor Co. (1953)
1217 S. Oxnard Blvd. 34.18803 -119.17529
Dealer
  Pasadena Peter Satori - British Motor Cars 297 W. Colorado Blvd. 34.14581 -118.156577
Dealer
  Pomona Macy Motors 999 W. Holt Ave. 34.062259 -117.766927
Dealer
  Riverside Al Pernett Imported Cars 1651 8th Street 33.951352 -117.529424
Dealer
  Riverside Al Pernett Imported Cars (1953) 1209 8th Street 33.947258 -117.547577
Dealer
  San Bernardino Bering Monroe Motors 1000 E. Baseline 34.121371 -117.265493
Dealer
  San Diego San Diego Motor Imports 303 West "A" Street 32.718853 -117.165758
Dealer
  Santa Ana British Motors Inc. 1219 S. Main 33.732781 -117.867359
Dealer
  Santa Barbara Phipps Motors 233 W. Carillo St. 34.418345 -119.704876
Dealer
  Santa Monica Brentwood Motor Co. 2610 Wilshire Blvd. 34.036204 -118.477154
Dealer
  Studio City John C. Mehan Co. Inc. 12001 Ventura Blvd. 34.143866 -118.393491
Dealer
  Van Nuys Wells Motors^ 14550 Sherman Way 34.201004 -118.4506
Dealer
HAWAII Honolulu British Motor Imports 1551 Kapiolani Blvd. 21.292393 -157.842649
Dealer
NEVADA Las Vegas George L. Holland, Inc. 1600 Freemont St. 36.163483 -115.128116
Dealer

~ Not listed in the 1953 Hambro catalog but identified as being in business selling MG's in 1954

^ Wells Motors was the dealership that TD19629 was sold by new. It was a converted gas station at the time.

Imperial Car Distributors, Inc.

Located at 215 Academy Street, Hampton, Virginia.

Territory Covered

North Carolina - South Carolina - Virginia - West Virginia - Maryland - Delaware - Eastern portion of Kentucky east of a line drawn between Hancock and Logan Counties but excluding the trading area of Covington (Made up of Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, and Pendleton Counties) - Eastern portion of Tennessee east of a line between Robertson and Lincoln Counties.

Dealers of Imperial Car Distributors, Inc.

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
DELAWARE Wilmington Standard Motors, Inc. 42nd & Market 39.76113 -75.521373
Dealer
KENTUCKY Danville Crook-Harmon Buick Company 117 N. Second Street 37.64601 -84.770842
Dealer
  Lexington Harry Aldridge Motors 133 Midland Avenue 38.041737 -84.489564
Dealer
  Louisville Thurston Cook Motor Co. 900 S. 4th Street 38.241585 -85.759515
Dealer
  Pikeville Bowling Motor Sales 154 College Street 37.477157 -82.520372
Dealer
MARYLAND Baltimore Bittorf Motor Co., Inc. 1001 Cathedral Street 39.301171 -76.617324
Dealer
  Baltimore Jack Pry Ltd. 1601 Mount Royal Avenue 39.31022 -76.62375
Dealer
  Silver Springs Auto City Inc. 7990 Georgia Avenue 38.986809 -77.027208
Dealer
NORTH CAROLINA Durham Center Motor Co. 311 Rigsbee Avenue 35.99832 -78.89998
Dealer
  Fayetteville Bryan Pontiac Cadillac Co. 410-412 W. Russell Street 35.052229 -78.883833
Dealer
  Greensboro Alexander & Mann Motor Co. 234 Commerce Place 36.074771 -79.792169
Dealer
  Havelock Robert L. Rose Motor Co., Inc.   34.879101 -76.901403
Dealer
  Wilmington Eastern Motors Inc. 217 N. 3rd Street 34.238016 -77.946315
Dealer
  Winston-Salem Stevens Motor Co. 100 Burke Street 36.095424 -80.257349
Dealer
SOUTH CAROLINA Aiken Cullum Motors 1933 Hayme Avenue 33.564901 -81.746555
Dealer
  Charleston Wittschen Motor Company 662-664 King Street 32.796627 -79.944389
Dealer
  Columbia W. Perry Smith Motors 1720 Gervais Street 34.003818 -81.024729
Dealer
  Greenville Bridge Motor Company 225 Buncombe St. 34.854339 -82.401186
Dealer
  Mullins Jones Motor Company   34.206053 -79.254612
Dealer
  Sumter Service Motor Company   33.921711 -80.341355
Dealer
SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls Sports Car Motor Sales   43.551783 -96.700341
Dealer
TENNESSEE Chattanooga Baldwin Motors Inc. 410 Broad Street 35.05186 -85.310524
Dealer
  Johnson City Custom Motors c/o Equipment Sales Co. Siever & Walnut Street 36.311326 -82.355432
Dealer
  Knoxville N. E. Snider Motors Inc. 2022 N. Broadway 35.990968 -83.920002
Dealer
  Nashville Hillsboro Motors Inc. 210 Woodland Street 36.170256, -86.768873
Dealer
  Shelbyville Darnell-Benson Buick Company   35.482269 -86.457857
Dealer
VIRGINIA Arlington John Gifford Motors 3618 Lee Highway 38.895901 -77.104767
Dealer
  Danville Greenberg Motor Sales 542 Craghead Street 36.585106 -79.386704
Dealer
  Hopewell J. R. Harper Inc. 401 E. Broadway 37.30613 -77.282694
Dealer
  Norfolk Mid-town Motor Co. 2400 Granby Street 36.869811 -76.283914
Dealer
  Petersburg Beck Motor Co., Inc. Washington & Perry Street 37.226595 -77.409122
Dealer
  Richmond Tran-Sport Sales & Service 1010 N. Boulevard 37.564174 -77.469751
Dealer
  Roanoke Sink & Lovell Auto Sales Co. 4503 Williamson Road 37.313059 -79.951921
Dealer
  Virginia Beach Coates Motor Co., Inc. 31st & Pacific Avenue 36.859141 -75.979269
Dealer
  Winchester Whiting Motor Co. 1516 Valley Avenue 39.1727 -78.174593
Dealer
WEST VIRGINIA Bluefield Bluefield Auto & Body Co. 809 Bluefield Avenue 37.265651 -81.233963
Dealer
  Charleston Lucenti Motor Sales 617 Washington Street 38.364953 -81.645157
Dealer
  Clarksburg Quinn-Cooper Cadillac Co. Route 50, Bridgeport Road 39.278768 -80.309256
Dealer
  Huntington Irwin's Foreign Cars 1120 Third Avenue 38.422588 -82.440432
Dealer
  Vienna Vienna Motors, Inc. 605-7 Grand Central Avenue 39.304542 -81.550303
Dealer
  Wheeling Leech K. Cracraft 1165 National Road 40.074845 -80.683746
Dealer

J. S. Inskip Inc.

Headquarters at 304 East 64th Street, New York, NY. Co-located with Rolls Royce distributorship. Dealerships in Southern New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Made a custom body four passenger MG TD.

In addition to functioning as an importer and distributor of automobiles and spare parts, Inskip had retail dealerships in mid-Manhattan and in Providence, Rhode Island. Inskip's clientele included the elite of American industry, entertainment and society. Supporting the company's dealers, Inskip's New York headquarters also fielded a competition MG driven by David Ash, AKA "Mr. MG", who then headed the distributor sales operation. Also working for Inskip was Gus Ehrman of racing fame, the Providence service manager.

Territory Covered

Maine - New Hampshire - Rhode Island - Vermont - New York - Massachusetts - New Jersey - Connecticut - Pennsylvania - Washington, D. C.

Dealers of J. S. Inskip Inc.

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
CONNECTICUT Darien Tolm Motors, Inc. 266 Post Rd 41.087608 -73.459538
Dealer
  Essex Essex Motors Novelty Lane 41.350961 -72.385903
Dealer
  Fairfield Fairfield Motors. Inc. 2120 Post Road 41.140472 -73.269251
Dealer
  Greenwich Master Motors, Inc. 213 West Putnam Avenue 41.025847 -73.63416
Dealer
  Hartford Pallotti Poole, Inc. 549 Wetherafield Avenue 41.740826 -72.672148
Dealer
  Hartford R. G. Sceli & Co., Inc. 1249 Main Street 41.7716 -72.675453
Dealer
  Lakeville Lakeland Motors   41.964532 -73.440826
Dealer
  Meriden Meriden Motor Sales 285 West Main Street 41.539518 -72.812599
Dealer
  New Haven Beatson & McDonald Motors 183 Grand Avenue 41.309285 -72.894578
Dealer
  New Haven Gimbel Motors, Inc. 143 Whalley Avenue 41.315151 -72.936979
Dealer
  New London A & C Motors 195 Howard Street 41.34459 -72.099368
Dealer
  New Milford W.D. Worden Garage 894 Bridge Street 41.575967 -73.41321
Dealer
  Norwalk H. W. Karstens, Jr. 540 West Avenue 41.112655 -73.416032
Dealer
  Saugatuck Bridge Garage Service Riverside Avenue & Bridge Street 41.122435 -73.370338
Dealer
  Sharon Sharon Garage   41.879323 -73.476909
Dealer
  Waterford Fay-Mar Motors 37 Boston Post Road 41.342673 -72.116094
Dealer
  Westport George Motor Sales 626 Riverside Avenue 41.119347 -73.370381
Dealer
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington Jack Pry 1507 Fourteenth Street, N.W. 38.910137 -77.031929
Dealer
MAINE Bangor Norris Brothers, Inc. 15 Oak Street 44.80017 -68.765779
Dealer
  Portland Morong Brothers, Inc. 169 Front Street, South Portland 43.650252 -70.239503
Dealer
MASSACHUSETTS Abington Skyway Motors 336 Centre Avenue (Junction of Routes 58 & 123) 42.11064 -70.931234
Dealer
  Athol Athol Motors 220 Main Street 42.593588 -72.234959
Dealer
  Attleboro Attleboro Kaiser-Frazer Co. 63 Washington St., South Attleboro 41.929645 -71.353692
Dealer
  Bedford Hansen-MacPhee Engineering Inc. 314 Great Road (Route 4) 42.486664 -71.262883
Dealer
  Beverly Tucker Motors 469 Rantoul Street 42.555586 -70.881087
Dealer
  Boston Foreign Motors Inc. 1686 Commonwealth Avenue 42.341298 -71.145875
Dealer
  Easthampton Russell Motor Sales 322 Main Street 42.260533 -72.684604
Dealer
  Falmouth William F. Gallagher East Main Street 41.55243 -70.610339
Dealer
  Harwich Harwich Motor Sales   41.69791 -70.097458
Dealer
  Hingham Harbor Bob Howlett, Inc. 10-12 Summer Street 42.245421 -70.883394
Dealer
  Holyoke Packard-Holyoke Motors. Inc. 155 Elm Street 42.207127 -72.612013
Dealer
  Lowell Merrimac Aircraft, Inc. 1600 Lakeview Avenue, Dracut 42.676906 -71.337224
Dealer
  Malden Centre Auto Sala 15 Centre Street 42.425365 -71.068144
Dealer
  New Bedford Joseph Goodman. Inc. 528 Ashley Boulevard 41.67284 -70.931899
Dealer
  Northampton Packard-Northampton, Inc. 141 King Street 42.324809 -72.632419
Dealer
  Pittsfield Milton Motors, Inc. 184 South Street 42.444076 -73.255861
Dealer
  Plymouth Plymouth Motors, Inc. Water Street 41.960719 -70.666791
Dealer
  Springfield Sports Cars Ltd. 579 Main Street 42.094122 -72.581039
Dealer
  Waltham Waltham-Packard 90 Linden Street 42.37951 -71.22235
Dealer
  Worcester B. V. Motors 4 May Street 42.254855 -71.814689
Dealer
  Worcester Coventry Motors 863 West Boyleston Street 42.323564 -71.794122
Dealer
  Yarmouth Wilson Motors Route 28. West Yarmouth 41.650597 -70.242058
Dealer
NEW HAMPSHIRE Concord Main Street Motors. Inc. 84 South Main Street 43.19784 -71.531941
Dealer
  Manchester Lynch Brothers   42.996361 -71.454788
Dealer
NEW JERSEY Atlantic City Colonial Motor Co. 3500 Atlantic Avenue 39.351572 -74.452191
Dealer
  Burlington Sports Car Center Route 25 40.071307 -74.864966
Dealer
  Cranford Platt's Service Center Raritan Rd. & Walnut Ave., Clark 40.634261 -74.303478
Dealer
  East Orange Bekrag Auto Sales Corp. 373 Central Avenue 40.750687 -74.202188
Dealer
  East Paterson Steiker Motors 10-12 Broadway 40.919115 -74.174947
Dealer
  Elizabeth Edward K. Cumming & Co., Inc. 414-416 Morris Avenue 40.671094 -74.221242
Dealer
  Englewood Block Motor Sales 554 Grand Avenue 40.876214 -73.983995
Dealer
  Franklin Duckie's Garage North Church Rd. 41.120608 -74.590292
Dealer
  Hakensack Havell Motors Company 175 Essex Street 40.879467 -74.051855
Dealer
  Highland Park T & T Motors Inc. 210 Woodbridge Avenue 40.501212 -74.412557
Dealer
  Long Branch Mathews Brothers 350 Broadway 40.303618 -73.993782
Dealer
  Merchantsville Zenith Sport Car Corp. Route 38 & Haddonfield Road 39.938287 -75.030015
Dealer
  Montclair Kingsfield Motor Sales 636 Bloomfield Avenue 40.832913 -74.247731
Dealer
  Morristown Havell Motor Sales 159 South Street 40.792255 -74.476299
Dealer
  New Brunswick Handy Motors 321 Handy Street 40.490598 -74.453092
Dealer
  Paterson Steiker Motors 77 River Street 40.921109 -74.173627
Dealer
  Perth Amboy Royal of Amboy 350 Maple Street 40.511564 -74.271077
Dealer
  Plainfield Suburban Motors 630 South Avenue 40.623554 -74.410316
Dealer
  Point Pleasant Van Culin Motors. Inc. 609 Bay Avenue 40.090368 -74.05178
Dealer
  Princeton Brook Motors 198 Witherspoon Street 40.354958 -74.662154
Dealer
  Red Bank Mathews Brothers Newman Springs Road 40.336797 -74.082319
Dealer
  Ridgewood Monogram Motors 48 North Maple Avenue 40.979606 -74.112741
Dealer
  Somerville Park Motor Sales 144 East Main Street 40.566266 -74.606439
Dealer
  South River Wagner-Hetman Auto Sales Bridge Road 40.445902 -74.386295
Dealer
  Summit Mayfair Motors 233 Broad Street 40.713793 -74.3509
Dealer
  Trenton Hoper Motors 300 Homan and Maple Avenue 40.241225 -74.783491
Dealer
  Trenton O'Keefe Motors. Inc. 403 Samuel Street 40.202911 -74.731623
Dealer
NEW YORK Albany Kaye's Auto Exchange, Inc. 515 Central Avenue 42.669988 -73.778227
Dealer
  Amityville Venetian Auto Sales 340 Merrick Road 40.669328 -73.408447
Dealer
  Auburn Brigge Motors 7 Franklin Street 42.935108 -76.558755
Dealer
  Babylon Babylon Motors 345 Little East Neck Road 40.702082 -73.341091
Dealer
  Banksville Sports Car Enterprises (RFD 1, Greenwich, Ct. P.O.) 41.141538 -73.639782
Dealer
  Bay Shore Degen Motor Sales. Inc. 249 West Main Street 40.7162 -73.256838
Dealer
  Binghamton George S. Carver 207 Water Street 42.100308 -75.914199
Dealer
  Buchanan Buchanan Garage, Inc. 179 Lindsey Avenue 41.261848 -73.937818
Dealer
  Buffalo Lens Delaware at Mohawk Avenue 42.887969 -78.877664
Dealer
  Corinth Rogers Motors 2 Saratoga Avenue 43.245312 -73.839971
Dealer
  Dansville Molyneaux Motor Sales 1 Milton Street 42.561528 -77.697449
Dealer
  Fayetteville M. G. Sales & Service Montgomery Road, Dewitt 43.030659 -76.05488
Dealer
  Fulton Oswegy County Motors, Inc. Hannibal Road 43.326083 -76.434957
Dealer
  Geneva Mohawk Motors Co., Inc. West Hamilton Street 42.858853 -76.994895
Dealer
  Glens Falls Bromley Auto Sales, Inc. Warren Street 43.309753 -73.643485
Dealer
  Great Neck European Car Distributors, Ltd. 363 Great Neck Road 40.778673 -73.732093
Dealer
  Greenvale North Shore Sports Cars Northern Boulevard 40.809635 -73.62825
Dealer
  Hempstead Hempstead Auto Co. 46 Fulton Avenue 40.705254 -73.63504
Dealer
  Horseheads E. & F. Motorcar Sales & Service Sayre Street 42.16163 -76.817481
Dealer
  Huntington Lads British Auto Sales Company 618 New York Avenue 40.862665 -73.422083
Dealer
  Katonah Craven & Hedrick, Inc. Bedford Road 41.258743 -73.685208
Dealer
  Latham Nemith Auto Co. Traffic Circle, Route 9 42.747556 -73.760707
Dealer
  Lindenhurst Venetian Auto Sales Company 222 Merrick Road 40.684348 -73.371969
Dealer
  Mahopac Ridgeview Pontiac Co. Route 6 41.372546 -73.733562
Dealer
  Malone Dufrane's Motor Sales 417 East Main Street 44.848985 -74.29232
Dealer
  Mamaroneck Sports & Utility Motors. Inc. 816 East Post Road 40.953828 -73.72455
Dealer
  Manhasset Grand Prix Motors 537 Plandome Road 40.799817 -73.701087
Dealer
  Margaretville Lukow Motors   42.148737 -74.648185
Dealer
  Maryland Morris Garage   42.536489 -74.887889
Dealer
  Middleburgh Imported Motors Valley Air Park 42.647533 -74.38724
Dealer
  Mineola M. V. Motors, Ltd. 360 Jericho Turnpike 40.746428 -73.650307
Dealer
  Newark McDougall's Sales & Service 2 East Avenue 43.048933 -77.092642
Dealer
  Newburgh Kelly Motors Lake Street 41.499956 -74.026471
Dealer
  New Rochelle Imported Car Sales & Service 93 Huguenot Street 40.913407 -73.776671
Dealer
  New York City J. S. Inskip. Inc. 24 East 54th Street 40.760545 -73.974146
Dealer
  Niagra Falls Lenz 1110 Main Street 43.09951 -79.05396
Dealer
  Norwich S. A. Jones 94 South Broad Street 42.525523 -75.523808
Dealer
  Nyack Small Cars of Rockland Route 59, West Nyack 41.09195 -73.973011
Dealer
  Oceanside Elliott Sales & Service 3274 Long Beach Road 40.631754 -73.641155
Dealer
  Ogdensburg Ricketts Sales & Service 116-124 Lake Street 44.693451 -75.496001
Dealer
  Oyster Bay Brewster Automobile Corp. Berry Hill Road, South Street 40.865684 -73.532365
Dealer
  Port Washington Johnson Motors 122 Main Street 40.830437 -73.691001
Dealer
  Rochester Sport Car Sales, Inc. 2 Henion Street 43.150699 -77.634246
Dealer
  Rochester Two Brothers Motors. Inc. 1755 Monroe Street 43.129138 -77.568242
Dealer
  Rockville Centre Bill Frick Motors~ 1000 Sunrise Highway 40.656532 -73.623272
Dealer
  St. James Lake Avenue Garage   40.879974 -73.157289
Dealer
  Schnectady Dillard Motor Corp. 1851 State Street 42.779157 -73.902542
Dealer
  Sea Cliff Roy A. Hendrickson & Son 212 Sea Cliff Avenue 40.849162 -73.644546
Dealer
  Skaneateles Skaneateles Car Distributors Inc. 1321 East Genesee St. 42.944761 -76.412671
Dealer
  Southampton Doering Brothers 32 Windmill Lane 40.884375 -72.392619
Dealer
  Wellsville P. B. & B. English Auto Sales 6 West Hanover Street (Box 223) 42.115789 -77.939202
Dealer
  White Plains Shamrock Motors, Inc. 19 East Post Road 41.025928 -73.77033
Dealer
  Yonkers Fair Trade Service Corp. 51 Central Park Avenue 40.908145 -73.878155
Dealer
PENNSYLVANIA Allentown Gordon Motor Sales 26 North Fifth Street 40.603779 -75.468137
Dealer
  Bryn Mawr Sport Cars, Inc. 572 Lancaster Avenue 40.017451 -75.310239
Dealer
  Doylestown George K. Maginniss Route 611 40.310491 -75.129847
Dealer
  Erie A. Louis Straus 1315 Peach Street 42.121702 -80.081697
Dealer
  Exton Speedcraft Enterprises 1 Route W (PO Box 15) 40.02814 -75.628265
Dealer
  Ford City Reed Motor Sales 825 Seventh Avenue 40.768119 -79.529398
Dealer
  Glenside Sampson Motors Easton & Castlewood Road 40.114454 -75.14007
Dealer
  Greensburg County Auto Sales Route 30 (Box 218A, R.D. 6) 40.303798 -79.544431
Dealer
  Harrisburg Foreign Motor Sales 436 So. Cameron Street 40.25834 -76.871458
Dealer
  Hazelton Hazelton Sport Car Co. 29th & North Church Street 40.981048 -75.980204
Dealer
  Horsham George K. Maginniss 2936 Easton Road 40.171651 -75.127904
Dealer
  Johnstown Sell Motor Company 400 Franklin Street 40.321984 -78.919228
Dealer
  Kingston Goodwin Auto Co. 651 Wyoming Avenue 41.271066 -75.886572
Dealer
  Kutztown Nick Ciliberti Motors 601 East Main Street 40.527672 -75.767632
Dealer
  Lancaster Guy Gilgore 1408 Lititz Pike 40.061298 -76.306799
Dealer
  Lansdale George K. Maginniss Route 463 (PO Box 68) 40.246548 -75.242321
Dealer
  Larchmont YBH Sales & Service 3105 West Chester Pike (Newtown Square P.O.) 39.984396 -75.378508
Dealer
  Meadville Brooks Brothers 377-381 North Street 41.640391 -80.147121
Dealer
  Montgomeryville Taylor Motors Bethlehem Pike (Route 309) 40.247728, -75.244081
Dealer
  New Hope (Bucks County) Hooper Motors, Ltd. Highway 202 40.346356 -75.03305
Dealer
  Norristown Fred H. Kopenhaver Butchers Lane, Washington Square 40.144953 -75.309843
Dealer
  Philadelphia Royston Motors, Inc. Chestnut at 20th Street 39.952056 -75.173497
Dealer
  Phillipsburg Tex Arnold Motors   40.896679 -78.22056
Dealer
  Pittsburgh Motor Sport. Inc. 5438 Centre Avenue 40.456115 -79.938016
Dealer
  Pittsburgh York Motors 5866 Baum Boulevard 40.459903 -79.928672
Dealer
  Reading Nick Ciliberti Motors 1204 Old Wyomissing Road 40.324111 -75.952415
Dealer
  Scenery Hill Frank W. Huffman 2179 U.S. 40 40.086001 -80.069779
Dealer
  Trooper Dependable Autos Ridge Pike 40.149882 -75.397306
Dealer
  Washington Bob Provins Imported Motor Cars 57 West Strawberry Avenue 40.168405 -80.246192
Dealer
RHODE ISLAND Coventry Webber Motor Sales Route 3, Tiogue Road 41.680813 -71.526566
Dealer
  Hillsgrove Marley Motors 1776 Post Road 41.732892 -71.435854
Dealer
  Providence Economy Auto Sales 1224 Broad Street 41.793137 -71.408248
Dealer
  Riverside Savard Motors 33 Maple Avenue 41.770407 -71.362587
Dealer
VERMONT Brattleboro Fisher Motors, Inc. 225 Main Street 42.855448 -72.559538
Dealer
  Burlington F. H. Taplin, Inc. 51 Elmwood Avenue 44.48191 -73.213729
Dealer
  Manchester Centre John Hayes Route 7 43.176907 -73.056789
Dealer
  Rutland Burke's Garage 102 Willow Street 43.607334 -72.978145
Dealer
  St. Johnsbury C. H. Goss Company 17 Central Street 44.419222 -72.02124
Dealer
  Stowe Stowe Auto Service, Inc.   44.465373 -72.68631
Dealer

~ Not listed in the 1953 Hambro catalog but identified as being in business selling MG's in 1954

Nueces Garage

617 North Water Street. Corpus Christi, Texas.

Territory Covered

Texas (south of line drawn through El Paso due east to Louisiana border including El Paso and San Antonio).

Dealers of Nueces Garage

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
LOUISIANA New Orleans British Motors 1400 St. Charles Avenue 29.93953 -90.074717
Dealer
  Shreveport Sports Car Sales 3831 Dilg League Drive 32.489429 -93.801389
Dealer
TEXAS Beeville Deer Motor Company   28.401065 -97.747963
Dealer
  El Paso John Bull Motor Company 501 Montana 31.76561 -106.489085
Dealer
  Houston Continental Motors, Ltd. 3919 Winkler Drive 29.732502 -95.342427
Dealer
  Houston Sports Cars, Inc. 3705 Buffalo 29.760023 -95.38962
Dealer
  Kingsville Sleight Motors 3rd & Santa Gertrudes 27.522649 -97.872146
Dealer
  Odessa Odessa Sport Car Company 1115 North Grant 31.854286 -102.374158
Dealer
  Pecos Nash Pecos Motors 520 West 3rd Street 31.424177 -103.499592
Dealer
  San Antonio Osborn Motors 2103 Broadway 29.444764 -98.476415
Dealer
  Victoria Webb Garage 404 West Constitution 28.800307 -97.009408
Dealer
  Waco Hub City Motors 4317 North 19th Street 31.58592 -97.17637
Dealer
  Waco Inmons M/C Sales~ 25th & Franklin Ave. 31.539735 -97.149315
Dealer

~ Not listed in the 1953 Hambro catalog but identified as being in business selling MG's in 1954

Clarence Talley Auto Company

(Sales) 2146 North Harwood Street, Dallas, Texas Telephone: Riverside 3637

(Service) 2308 Main Street, Dallas, Texas Telephone: ST 3931

Territory Covered

Texas (North of line drawn through El Paso due east to Louisiana border excluding El Paso and San Antonio) - Oklahoma.

Dealers of Clarence Talley Auto Company

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City Thoroughbred Car Company 4608 No. Western 35.517801 -97.529649
Dealer
  Pauls Valley Knott's Motor Company   34.740167 -97.222205
Dealer
  Ponca City John L. Corlett 1002 No. Third 36.715391 -97.081345
Dealer
  Stillwater Lucky Sam Imperial Cars 1101 Main Street 36.1099 -97.058213
Dealer
  Tulsa Tom Gray Motor Company 750 So. Lewis 36.150022 -95.958207
Dealer
TEXAS Abilene Quality Body Works 5th and Walnut Streets 32.418008 -99.71772
Dealer
  Amarillo Amarillo Sport Car Co. 2142 Fourth Street 32.418008 -99.71772
Dealer
  Lubbock Pup Thomas. Inc. Main at Avenue "Que" 33.585496 -101.855226
Dealer
  Mineral Wells Shirley Johnson Motor Co. 409 East Hubbard Street 32.809235 -98.110272
Dealer
  Tyler Al Towns Motor Co. 425 Poplar-Bakham 32.353863 -95.295144
Dealer
  Witchita Falls Lone Star Motor Co. 409 Scott Street 33.900992 -98.48237
Dealer

Waco Motors

Waco Motors at 1779-1799-1800-1801 West Flagler Street, Miami 35, Florida was an importer for many imported cars during the 1950's.

Territory Covered

Florida-Alabama-Mississippi

Dealers of Waco Motors

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
ALABAMA Athens Magnussons Harley Davidson S&S U. S. Highway North 34.803232 -86.971649
Dealer
  Mobile Magnolia Marine Service 11 So. Water Street 30.693015 -88.03921
Dealer
FLORIDA Daytona Beach Ted Cash Motors 112 N. Ridgewood Avenue 29.211193 -81.023689
Dealer
  Delray Beach Ludington Motors, Inc. Box 2115 26.461622 -80.072872
Dealer
  Ft. Lauderdale Import Motors Inc., of Florida 2608 S. Federal Highway 26.090165 -80.135695
Dealer
  Ft. Meyers Ft. Myers Hudson Co. 1959 Lee Street 26.641628 -81.865731
Dealer
  Lakeland Warren A. Nunn Motor Co.   28.039865 -81.949867
Dealer
  Leesburg Briles Motor Co. 216 S. Sixth St. 28.809718 -81.877822
Dealer
  Melbourne Logan Motors 700 Dixie Highway 28.201274 -80.663672
Dealer
  Miami Imported Motors 829 N.E. 79th St. 25.848217 -80.179716
Dealer
  Orlando Foreign Cars, Inc. 300 Orange St. 28.616954 -81.381431
Dealer
  Palatka Bob Lee Motors 1st & Lemon Streets 29.64606 -81.628515
Dealer
  Pensacola Sports Motors, Inc. 900 E. Cervantes 30.423531 -87.206234
Dealer
  Sarasota Cutler Motors 9th & Broadway 27.344019 -82.546641
Dealer
  St. Petersburg Nichols Bros. Inc. 424 Ninth St. South 27.766608 -82.646597
Dealer
  Tampa Import Motor Cars 418 E. Platt St. 27.943446 -82.452898
Dealer
  Vero Beach J.R. Furlong & Co. U.S. 1 at 24th 27.643209 -80.398487
Dealer
  West Palm Beach Taylor Motors 821 So. Dixie Highway 26.706044 -80.053748
Dealer
  Winter Haven George W. Price Motors Box 511 28.022364 -81.732924
Dealer
  Winter Park Schmidt Motors Box 316 28.600291 -81.328035
Dealer
GEORGIA Albany Foreign Car Sales 128 Broad Street 31.576378 -84.105817
Dealer
  Augusta Foreign Motor Inc. 921 Reynolds 33.478015 -81.967515
Dealer
  Columbus Harris Motor Co.   32.468061 -84.990449
Dealer
  Savannah Jolley Motors 122 E. Broad Street 32.076566 -81.084822
Dealer

Walker, Archie Jr., Imported Motors

4317 Excelsior Boulevard, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Territory Covered

Minnesota - North Dakota - South Dakota

Dealers of Walker, Archie Jr., Imported Motors

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
MINNESOTA Fergus Falls Dudgeon Motors   46.283555 -96.077782
Dealer
 

Moorhead

Moorhead Direct Service N. Fourth Ave. at Fifth St. 46.284571 -96.094678
Dealer
  Owatanna Pegg-Sona Motor Company   44.083778 -93.228589
Dealer
  Rochester Herb's Auto Sales   44.023403 -92.463004
Dealer

Miscellaneous US Dealers

Territory Covered

Montana - Tennessee

Miscellaneous Dealers

State City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
MONTANA Great Falls Foreign Motors 622 Central Avenue 47.504997 -111.295958
Dealer
TENNESSEE Clarksville Lewis Motors E. College Street 36.532966 -87.344004
Dealer
  Columbia B&B Motors   35.615060 -87.036174
Dealer
  Memphis Memphis Packard Inc. 938 Union Avenue 35.138323 -90.029997
Dealer

James L. Cooke Motors, Ltd.

2489 Bloor Street, West, Toronto 9, Ontario

676 Bay Street. West, Toronto. (Jame, L. Cooke Motors (Downtown) Ltd.)

Territory Covered

Ontario

Dealers of James L. Cooke Motors, Ltd.

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
ONTARIO Aurora F.C. Davis & Son Yonge Street 43.982314 -79.463658
Dealer
  Aylmer Aylmer Motor Sales Box 18 42.773286 -80.983345
Dealer
  Barrie Graves & Allen Highway No. 27 44.386481 -79.694203
Dealer
  Brampton Graham Motors   43.688451 -79.763664
Dealer
  Brantford Evans & Clark Motor Sales 140 West Street 43.145419 -80.265397
Dealer
  Brighton Bert Hennessey & Son   44.039970 -77.738613
Dealer
  Burlington Watson Motor Sales 47 Beach Blvd., Station 28, Hamilton Beach 43.265112 -79.772621
Dealer
  Chatham George Greven Automotive Service Ltd. 385 Richmond Street 42.595209 -82.182944
Dealer
  Coburg Thomas Motor Sales 105 University Street 43.963143 -78.171565
Dealer
  Collingwood Girdwood's Garage Hume Street 44.497720 -80.204633
Dealer
  Cooksville Russell's Garage Box 155 43.580140 -79.616461
Dealer
  Dunnville L. M. Root Mille Street 42.903710 -79.617622
Dealer
  Essex William Bridgen & Son   42.173121 -82.820390
Dealer
  Port Frances Reid's Garage Ltd. Portage & 1st Streets 48.611051 -93.395636
Dealer
  Port William Danis Motors Brock & Sprague 45.097971 -64.410147
Dealer
  Goderich William A. Craig & Son Box 432 43.743128 -81.707887
Dealer
  Guelph Reinhart Motors 12 Gordon Street 43.541956 -80.247789
Dealer
  Hagersville Nottingham's Garage Howard Street 42.960919 -80.054395
Dealer
  Haliburton Boice Motor Sales   45.046452 -78.508743
Dealer
  Hamilton King West Motors 235 King Street, West 43.258736 -79.876540
Dealer
  Hamilton Szabo Motors Ltd. 690 King Street, East 43.252011 -79.848113
Dealer
  Hanover Ted Zister Durham Street, East 44.151672 -81.030830
Dealer
  Kingston Harvie-Gardiner Ltd. 314 Montreal Street 44.240140 -76.486507
Dealer
  Kitchener Central Motors Kitchener 331 King Street, East 43.447471 -80.483744
Dealer
  Leaksdale British Ontario Motors   44.204927 -79.161483
Dealer
  Markham Markham Motors Highway No. 7 43.855629 -79.334142
Dealer
  Mount Forest Robert A. Anderson Box 309 43.979401 -80.732176
Dealer
  Niagra Falls Falls Motor Sales 1210 Ferry Street 43.089626 -79.086490
Dealer
  Noranda Noranda Auto Service 401 Murdoch Street 48.248059 -79.028555
Dealer
  North Bay Barker & Holmes Motors 1205 Fisher Street 46.311140 -79.447925
Dealer
  Oakville McDertnott's Garage 83 Colborne Street 43.464370 -79.658834
Dealer
  Orangeville Walker & Brown Motor Service 10 First Street 43.919710 -80.097736
Dealer
  Orilla Highway Garage 179 Memorial Avenue 44.599152 -79.424849
Dealer
  Oshawa Cranfield Motor Sales 610 Simcoe Street, South 43.881723 -78.856415
Dealer
  Owen Sound Binns Garage R. R. No. 5 44.567533 -80.943011
Dealer
  Parry Sound Watson's Garage 54 Bowes Street 45.343385 -80.021596
Dealer
  Peterboro Reuben N. Wilson Motors Reid & McDonnell Streets 44.309374 -78.328198
Dealer
  Pickering Disney Motors   43.835867 -79.090600
Dealer
  Picton Haddon Motor Sales Main Street 44.006868 -77.142710
Dealer
  Sarnia Edgewater Motors Ltd. 287 Front Street 42.976120 -82.406818
Dealer
  Sault Ste. Marie Northland Motors 114 March Street 46.511115 -84.331683
Dealer
  St. Catharines Lu Russell Motor Sales 250 Welland Avenue 43.167774 -79.234462
Dealer
  St. Thomas Butterworth Motors 240 Talbot Street 42.779124 -81.202159
Dealer
  Stratford Riehl Motors 180 Erie Street 43.368010 -80.985767
Dealer
  Sudbury Kingsway Motors 507 Kingsway 46.494935 -80.980470
Dealer
  Sundridge Black Motor Sales   45.769087 -79.396446
Dealer
  Timmins Daigneault Motor Sale 71 Algonquin Boulevard 48.476142 -81.334398
Dealer
  Toronto Car Sales & Service Ltd. 880 Bay Street 43.662797 -79.386708
Dealer
  Toronto Corbett Motors 1417 Gerrard Street, East 43.671979 -79.322776
Dealer
  Toronto Davisville Motors 1853 Yonge Street 43.697050 -79.396340
Dealer
  Toronto Elward Sales & Battery Co., Ltd. 565 Dupont Street 43.672129 -79.419002
Dealer
  Toronto Gene Lewis Motors 1380 Eglinton Avenue, West 43.698519 -79.437849
Dealer
  Toronto Matson Motors Ltd. 355 Keel Street 43.664981 -79.464224
Dealer
  Toronto Scarboro Beach Garage 2301 Queen Street, East 43.671592 -79.292176
Dealer
  Toronto Wilson & Hargrave Ltd. 2 Teddington Park 43.733128 -79.404187
Dealer
  Welland County Motors Ltd. Niagara Street, North 43.011514 -79.249924
Dealer
  Weston Scale's Garage 1910 Jane Street 43.710132 -79.505774
Dealer
  Windsor H. D. Thomson Motors, 840 Wynndotte Street 42.318510 -83.024794
Dealer
  Woodstock Parker's West End Motors 105 Ingersoll Road 43.125532 -80.772506
Dealer

James L. Cooke (Western) Ltd.

2345 Marion Street. St. Boniface, Winnipeg

Territory Covered

Manitoba - Saskatchewan

Dealers of James L. Cooke (Western) Ltd.

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
MANITOBA Altona Edward H. Epp   49.103381 -97.557784
Dealer
  Austin Austin Motors   49.950346 -98.936283
Dealer
  Baldur Lloyd W. Gordon   49.385508 -99.243926
Dealer
  Brandon C. & C. Motors 5th St. & Rosser Avenue 49.848449 -99.944627
Dealer
  Brandon Wheat City Motors 12 St. & Rosser Avenue 49.848445 -99.954149
Dealer
  Carmon McCallum & Shaw   49.508547 -98.001779
Dealer
  Cypress River Dick's Garage   49.556122 -99.090903
Dealer
  Dauphin Vermillion Transfer   51.150388 -100.049189
Dealer
  Ethelbert Hiway Service Garage   51.525787 -100.393465
Dealer
  Flin Flon Morris Motors 98 First Avenue, East 54.770705 -101.869962
Dealer
  Hamiota G.J. Smith   50.181702 -100.599912
Dealer
  Kelwood F. William & Son   50.624196 -99.461769
Dealer
  Killarney W.H. Davies   49.186015 -99.662544
Dealer
  Manitou Pembina Consumers Co-Op Ltd.   49.242660 -98.536082
Dealer
  Melita J.W. McKinney   49.272074 -100.993141
Dealer
  Minitonas Robb Motors   52.086233 -101.037435
Dealer
  Morden Mid-Town Service   49.192430 -98.097925
Dealer
  Neepawa H. W. Cleland & Son   50.227622 -99.467046
Dealer
  Norte Dame De Lourdes Josaphat Le Neal   49.532732 -98.557996
Dealer
  Pierson Charles Durward   49.179657 -101.262232
Dealer
  Portage La Prarie East End Service Station   49.972492 -98.283194
Dealer
  Reston W. M. Lockhart & Sons   49.557597 -101.093376
Dealer
  Roblin Sorbo Motors   51.228264 -101.352385
Dealer
  Russell Russel Motors   50.780393 -101.285070
Dealer
  Ste. Anne H. Dusessoy & Son   49.671329 -96.654086
Dealer
  Ste. Claude G.L. Bernard   49.657938 -98.346494
Dealer
  Selkirk Selkirk Sales & Service   50.144949 -96.873103
Dealer
  Shoal Lake Byram's Service Station   50.438043 -100.590835
Dealer
  Somerset G.N.Lussier   49.413239 -98.659020
Dealer
  Steinbach Johnny's Service Station   49.525098 -96.683277
Dealer
  Swan River George E. Scalf   52.105114 -101.270619
Dealer
  Virden Forsters Garage & Electric   49.854892 -100.927641
Dealer
  Winnipeg Century Motors Limited 818 Portage Avenue 49.880471 -97.327714
Dealer
  Winnipeg Sarlington Motors Sargent & Arlington Streets 49.896840 -97.168626
Dealer
ONTARIO Fort Francis Reid's Garage Lltd. Portage & 1st Streets 48.611015 -93.395646
Dealer
  Fort William Danis Motors Brock & Sprague 48.368384 -89.261478
Dealer

SASKATCHEWAN

Carlyle Biberdorf Brothers   49.633970 -102.266973
Dealer
  Colonsay Morgan & Son   51.975805 -105.875139
Dealer
  Gravelbourg Gravelbourg Motors   49.872930 -106.550819
Dealer
  Humbolt Lux Agencies Ltd.   52.202097 -105.123154
Dealer
  Kelvington Lockies Service   52.163413 -103.522034
Dealer
  Lloydminster Mel Olson & Son   53.278073 -110.006695
Dealer
  Maple Creek McIntyre Implements   49.902133 -109.477311
Dealer
  Meadow Lake Auto Clinic   54.131761 -108.428538
Dealer
  Melville Melville Machinery Sales   50.927101 -102.809327
Dealer
  Moose Jaw Hodgson Motor Sales 1413 High Street, West 50.391334 -105.564955
Dealer
  Nipawin N. & H. Electric   53.362371 -104.013016
Dealer
  North Battleford Avenue Auto Body & Repair Shop   52.776581 -108.299134
Dealer
  Pathlow Thompson Brothers Garage   52.715877 -104.804446
Dealer
  Preeceville Preeceville Electric   51.954369 -102.668138
Dealer
  Prince Albert Standard Service Station. At The Bridge   53.199477 -105.759894
Dealer
  Regina Transport Equipment Co.   50.447335 -104.618238
Dealer
  Saskatoon Royal Motors Limited 19-21 Twenty-third Street, East 52.131348 -106.668783
Dealer
  Swift Current Armstrong & Sons   50.284999 -107.799889
Dealer
  Watrous T. N. B. Machine Co.   51.672013 -105.469048
Dealer
  Weyburn Soo Farm Equipment   49.668316, -103.858262
Dealer
  Wilkie Smith, Bell & Badger   52.409780 -108.702781
Dealer
  Wynyard John Fitchtner   51.765209 -104.179210
Dealer
  Yorktown Morris Rod Weeder Co. Ltd. 62 Argyle Street 51.208749 -102.454748
Dealer

Oxford Motors, Ltd.

2211 West Fourth Street, Vancouver

Territory Covered

British Columbia - Alberta - Yukon Territory

Dealers of Oxford Motors, Ltd.

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
ALBERTA Calgary Cooke Motors Limited 938 Fourth Avenue West 51.108874 -114.071351
Dealer
  Edmonton Mill Creek Motors Limited 82nd Avenue at 96th Street 53.518116 -113.476683
Dealer
BRITISH COLUMBIA Abbotsford Mill Lake Auto Sales   49.051395 -122.326720
Dealer
  Alberni Kennedy Auto Sales Johnson Street 49.263447 -124.796905
Dealer
  Chilliwack Westgate Service 403 Yale Road West 49.143010 -122.020802
Dealer
  Comox Comox Garage P.O. Box 41 49.675825 -124.935249
Dealer
  Creston R. W. A. Maxwell   49.095511 -116.513543
Dealer
  Hammod Hammod Motors   49.205634 -122.658594
Dealer
  Kamloops Casco Tire Service 53 Victoria Street West 50.677066 -120.342557
Dealer
  Kelowna Gil Mervyn Service 1610 Pendozi Street 49.881996 -119.458184
Dealer
  Langley Prairie Langley Car Sales P.O. Box 252 49.074268 -122.559198
Dealer
  Nanaimo Weeks Motors 322 Selby Street 49.165027 -123.942747
Dealer
  Mission City Horne Service P.O. Box 126 49.132858 -122.326204
Dealer
  New Westminster Dublin Service Dublin at 12th Street 49.211968 -122.935998
Dealer
  Penticton Triangle Service Station   49.493205 -119.603165
Dealer
  Princeton Bennett Motors P.O. Box 164 49.458816 -120.506155
Dealer
  Quesnel Quesnel Auto Sales P.O. Box 1342 52.976057 -122.490389
Dealer
  Salmon Arm Salmon Arm Machine Shop   50.699895 -119.284845
Dealer
  Trail Butorac Motors 1225 Pine Avenue 49.095951 -117.710840
Dealer
  Vancouver Cassiar Motors 3401 East Hastings Street 49.281355 -123.030790
Dealer
  Vancouver Champion Motors Limited 215 East 2nd Avenue 49.269205 -123.100086
Dealer
  Vancouver Circle Van Limited 1205 Kingsway 49.252077 -123.079761
Dealer
  Vancouver Fleming Motors Limited 2290 Cambie Street 49.265116 -123.114446
Dealer
  Vancouver Grandview Car Sales 2010 Commercial Drive 49.266402 -123.069680
Dealer
  Vancouver Roy Howard Limited 849 Hornby Street 49.282128 -123.122858
Dealer
  Vernon Watson's Auto Service   50.265318 -119.273944
Dealer
  Victoria Victoria Super Service Limited 1400 Blanchard Street 48.426939 -123.361861
Dealer
  West Vancouver British Pacific Motors 550 16th Street 49.329149 -123.158750
Dealer
  Westview Davies & Macken P.O. Box 690 49.836511 -124.527251
Dealer
YUKON TERRITORY Whitehorse Standard Service Station P.O. Box 36 60.721988 -135.054087
Dealer

The Sports Car Co.

1180 St. Antoine Street, Montreal

Territory Covered

Nova Scotia - New Brunswick - Quebec - Eastern Ontario

Dealers of The Sports Car Co.

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
NEW BRUNSWICK Saint John Bernard Motors, Ltd. 326 Union Street 45.275833 -66.054434
Dealer
NOVA SCOTIA Halifax British Car Sales Corner of Cogswell & Gottingen Streets 44.650403 -63.580934
Dealer
ONTARIO Cornwall McGrail Motor Sales Co. 66 Pitt Street 45.016249 -74.727561
Dealer
  Ottawa Federal Motor Sales (Carleton) Ltd. 137 Albert Street 45.421739 -75.696227
Dealer
QUEBEC La Pointe County J. Priam Martel St. Nazaire 48.587903 -71.550864
Dealer
  Mont Laurier Garage Cloutier   46.551478 -75.500958
Dealer
  Montreal Bronx Park Garage 7635 Lasalle Boulevard 45.430642 -73.592323
Dealer
  Montreal McGrail Motors Ltd. 2501 Rosemount Boulevard 45.546539 -73.586261
Dealer
  Montreal McGrail Motors Ltd. 5228 Cote des Neiges Road 45.495853 -73.621308
Dealer
  Quebec City McGrail Motors Ltd. 1275 De La Canardiere 46.834629 -71.223473
Dealer
  St. Andrews East J.P. Mellers Garage   45.566667  -74.333333
Dealer

Toledo Motors, Ltd.

2134 St. Catherine Street. West, Montreal

Territory Covered

Ontario - New Brunswick - Quebec - Nova Scotia - Prince Edward Island

Dealers of Toledo Motors, Ltd.

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
NEW BRUNSWICK Brockville Bigford Motors 180 Perth Street 44.593053 -75.694451
Dealer
  Chipman Morrison Brothers Garage   46.175252 -65.881674
Dealer
  East Bathhurst Ross Motors   47.612765 -65.634574
Dealer
  Frederiction Colin C. Smith 690 King Street 45.959168 -66.637244
Dealer
  Grand Falls Powers Motors   47.047254 -67.741383
Dealer
  Grand Manan Harbour Auto Sales Grand Harbour Street 44.686370 -66.767301
Dealer
  Lancaster Kirsteads Service Station   45.243106 -66.145931
Dealer
  Moncton Moncton Nash Sales Ltd. 585 Mountain Road 46.098267 -64.798945
Dealer
  Newcastle Gerald Somers   47.003899 -65.567185
Dealer
  St. John New Brunswick Motors (Saint John) Ltd. 28 Thorne Avenue 45.284713 -66.050077
Dealer
  St. Stephen Cecil's Equipment Co. King Street 45.194163 -67.275512
Dealer
  Woodstock Bowlin Motors Connell Street 46.150889 -67.576730
Dealer
NOVA SCOTIA Comeauville Leonard C. Comean   44.288693 -66.127926
Dealer
  Kentville Marshall's Service Station 95 Cornwallis Street 45.079434 -64.494351
Dealer
  New Glasgow Jack Smith's Garage Westville Road 45.581057 -62.659608
Dealer
  Port Williams Mr. Otis E. Gates   45.097962 -64.410040
Dealer
  Sydney Steel City Motors, Ltd. George Street 46.136836 -60.192006
Dealer
  Truro Mr. O. M. Whitman Prince Street 45.365150 -63.280494
Dealer
ONTARIO Anprior Two Macs Motors R.R. 3 45.434659 -76.351621
Dealer
  Carlton Place Mississippi Motors 38 High Street 45.141071 -76.149439
Dealer
  Cornwall Mr. Roy McNamara 353 Pitt Street 45.020887 -74.730028
Dealer
  Eganville Mr. A. M. Miltimore Queen Street 45.535142 -77.096125
Dealer
  Hawksbury Jos. St. Denis & Son Ltd.   45.609667 -74.615616
Dealer
  Ottawa Percy Corrine Automobiles 42 Montreal Road 45.433189 -75.669015
Dealer
  Oxford Mills Diamond's Garage P.O. Box 28 44.966483 -75.680411
Dealer
  Pembroke Charlesons Service Station 454 Pembroke Street 45.827781 -77.101425
Dealer
  Perth McGlade Service Station 112 Gore Street 44.897932 -76.247280
Dealer
  Petawawa Petawawa Garage & Motor Sales   45.898311 -77.282746
Dealer
  Renfrew James A Bowes   45.474720 -76.687689
Dealer
  Winchester Mr. W. C. MacDonald   45.092972 -75.353594
Dealer
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND Charlottetown Mr. S. R. McKay St. Arvards 46.245261 -63.134662
Dealer
  Summerside Hall Manufacturing & Cold Storage Co. Water Street 46.391445 -63.790271
Dealer
QUEBEC Brownsburg Mr. Yvan Cyr   45.676491 -74.404520
Dealer
  Cap Chat Mr. J Rolland Gagnon   49.097213 -66.689197
Dealer
  Cap de La Madeleine Deshaies, Auto & Buffet Service. 9 Fusey Street 46.363101 -72.530660
Dealer
  Causapscal Garage Philippe Trumblay   48.362891 -67.231370
Dealer
  Chambly Garage Richelieu   45.439137 -73.289754
Dealer
  Chandler Chandler Motors Reg'd   48.349680 -64.677533
Dealer
  Chicoutimi Garage Pearson 96 Blvd. Riv. du Moulin 48.428941 -71.059711
Dealer
  Cowansville Ideal Motors Reg'd   45.206314 -72.747154
Dealer
  Cross Point Cote Garage   48.039125 -66.699164
Dealer
  Dolbeau Garage Pronovost & Freres Enr. des Cedres   48.881727 -72.232291
Dealer
  Drummondville Garage Simon Houle Village Marcotte 45.884550 -72.500086
Dealer
  Farnham Fortin & Cie Limitee 64 Station Street 45.281645 -72.979048
Dealer
  Forestville, Co. Saguenay Forestville Automotive   48.739157 -69.087791
Dealer
  Fort Coulonge White Rose Service   45.841525 -76.738290
Dealer
  Granby Georges & Jean Normandin 301 Main Street 45.399817 -72.726958
Dealer
  Hudson Hudson Auto Service Main Road 45.458729 -74.140956
Dealer
  Ile Perrot Lafleche Automobile Enr.   45.394656 -73.957905
Dealer
  Joilette Garage Philippe Beaudry
805 De Lanaudiere Street 46.019178 -73.442402
Dealer
  Kenogami Garage Eugene BeIley 27 Bergeron Street 48.425775 -71.239012
Dealer
  L'Abord A Plouffe Garage A. Desjardins 23 Labelle Boulevard 45.534380 -73.729669
Dealer
  Lachine Godin Frere Enrg. 730 St. Joseph Street 45.431491, -73.670586
Dealer
  Lake Megantic Garage J. C. Roy 181 Laval Street 45.588785 -70.904188
Dealer
  La Malbaie Mr. Antoine Couturier   47.655204 -70.151283
Dealer
  Laprairie Garage Drolet 27 Georges Street 45.419637 -73.496946
Dealer
  L'Assomption Quincaillerie Eugene Roy 168 St. Jacques Street 45.825358 -73.424765
Dealer
  La Tuque Garage J.M. Marineau   47.437791 -72.783944
Dealer
  Les Etroits, Co. Temiscouata Mr. Albert Balanger   47.683758 -68.878906
Dealer
  Levis Dubreuil Freres Enrg. 73 Commerciale 46.752310 -71.238815
Dealer
  Magog Mr. Delphis Benoit 207 Dollard Street 45.267874 -72.147326
Dealer
  Maniwaki Mr. R. J. Marois   46.377511 -75.964888
Dealer
  Maria, Co. Bonaventure Garage Morin   48.173275 -65.983051
Dealer
  Montreal Depelteau Automobile Reg'd. 3840 St. Catherine Street, East 45.545695 -73.537057
Dealer
  Montreal Frontenac Automobile Inc. 2089 Papineau Avenue 45.526499 -73.560758
Dealer
  Montreal Garage DeFleurimont Limited 419 DeFleurimont Street 45.540433 -73.590755
Dealer
  Montreal Georges Robert Auto 1870 St. Lawrence Boulevard 45.511300 -73.566879
Dealer
  Montreal Jos. Coiteaux. 1235 Papineau Avenue 45.522097 -73.551208
Dealer
  Montreal Mr. Marcel Provost 8727 Notre Dame Street, East 45.599586 -73.512439
Dealer
  Montreal South District Motor Sales & Service 965 Taschereau Boulevard 45.515288 -73.507739
Dealer
  Nicolet Garage Maurice Ledue 89 Panel Street 46.228862 -72.615583
Dealer
  Point Viau Garage Beauchemin 380 Taschereau Boulevard 45.570484 -73.692244
Dealer
  Quebec Modorne Limitee 25 rue de la Couronne 46.813603 -71.224227
Dealer
  Rawdon Cameron Service Garage   46.044872 -73.710616
Dealer
  Rigaud Rigaud Motor Sales Reg'd.   45.479220 -74.302287
Dealer
  Rimouski Garage Ducheane Enrg. 128 Cathedral Avenue 48.451165 -68.527352
Dealer
  Riviere Blanche, St. Ulrich, Co. Mantane Garage Georges Fournier   48.786831 -67.693810
Dealer
  Riviere du Loup Garage Lucien Levesque 260 Temiscouata Street 47.822477 -69.514369
Dealer
  Ste. Genevieve de Pierrefonds Poirier & Fila Enrg. 15885 Gouin Blvd., West 45.482882 -73.867749
Dealer
  Ste. Rose Car-Mac Services Limited LaBelle Boulevard 45.611018 -73.792222
Dealer
  St. Andrews East J.P. Mellers Garage   45.563278 -74.334886
Dealer
  St. Casimir St. Casimir Automobile Reg'd.   46.655592 -72.139884
Dealer
  St. Eustache Gilmore & Godel Garage & Sales Reg'd. 87 St. Louis Street 45.555762 -73.891114
Dealer
  St. Georges de Beauce Garage Gilbert Enrg. 43 First Avenue 46.120559 -70.672759
Dealer
  St. Hyancinthe Willys Automobiles Enr. 200 Concorde Street 45.624330 -72.940801
Dealer
  St. Jerome de Terrebonne Rochon Automobile   45.786190 -73.992724
Dealer
  St. Johns Eugene Dolbee Jr. Engrg. 291 Richelieu Street 45.308516 -73.250969
Dealer
  St. Joseph d'Alma Mr. Andrew Singer   48.550225 -71.651730
Dealer
  St. Joseph de Sorel Guertin Automobile 74 St. Joseph Street 46.044959 -73.127640
Dealer
  St. Prime Garage Antonion Genest   48.593243 -72.336030
Dealer
  St. Remi de Napierville Garage Trudel   45.261506 -73.616292
Dealer
  Shawinigan Falls Mr. Romeo Gelinas 117 Station Avenue 46.542919 -72.751949
Dealer
  Sherbrooke Wellington Tire Limited 81 Wellington Street South 45.400620 -71.889863
Dealer
  Thetford Mines Mr. Nap Beaulieu 1 rue Lafond 46.095700 -71.295757
Dealer
  Tourville, Co. L'Islet Lord & Frere Limitee   47.095491 -69.985779
Dealer
  Trois Pistoles Gaspesia Lumber Limited   48.125243 -69.175339
Dealer
  Val Barrette Garage B. St. Jean   46.508588 -75.354533
Dealer
  Valleyfield Valleyfield Service Station 27 St. Alexander Street 45.261326 -74.133383
Dealer
  Verdun Garage Robidoux 230 Hickson Avenue 45.464834 -73.565802
Dealer
  Verdun Woodland Garage Limited 980 Woodland Avenue 45.452739 -73.577289
Dealer
  Victoriaville Garage J. R. Plourde Limitee 45 Notre Dame Street 46.056202 -71.960981
Dealer
  Windsor Mills Mr. Augustin Maurice Elm Street 45.571425 -72.001274
Dealer

Newfoundland

Province City Dealer Address Latitude Longitude Map
NEWFOUNDLAND St. Johns British Motors, Ltd. Bonaventure Avenue 47.566819 -52.710342
Dealer

Notable Dealers

In late 1952 there were over 600 MG dealers in the United States alone. Many of the dealers did not just sell MG's but a variety of Nuffield cars, other sports cars and even domestic automobiles.


British Motor Imports. A Honolulu, Hawaii MG dealer circa 1952. See the MG TD inside the window behind the men..


Billco Motors in Wexford, PA in 1951. Note that their landmark car was the Hudson but they sold sports cars too. You will notice a TD and and a Triumph in the window.

S. H. Arnolt

In 1950, Stanley H. Arnolt founded S. H. Arnolt, Inc. in downtown Chicago as a retail dealership for British cars including MG, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin. The dealership was located at 415 East Erie Street. Arnolt also supplied accessories through their company Autocessories Ltd. and was the Midwest importer/distributor for Nuffield cars.

Bell Sports Cars

See Richter Motors.

BillCo Sports Cars, Wexford, Pa

Billco Sports Cars was located in Wexford, PA. It was initially part of Billco Motors but it appeared in 1952 that they may have moved the sports car business away from the domestic Hudson dealership (see the picture above). Billco was not listed as an authorized dealer of Hambro in 1953. It was not unusual for a dealer to sell many different types of cars in the early 1950's. It was not until later in the decade that you started seeing dealerships that sold only one manufacture. In fact for MG's, it may have been that the local dealer only had one car in stock or perhaps just took orders. Later BMC and British Leyland became more focused and eliminated these 'sideline' type of dealerships eventually moving to a 'company store' like model in the late 50's and 60's.

Up until recently the Billco dealership was currently in business selling VW and Mazda cars. It is now Cochran VW and Mazda dealerships and I am not sure if either of the locations are the same as the 1950's sports car dealership or not.

See the right hand picture at the top of this section.

British Car Sales of Tacoma and Seattle


British Car Sales of Tacoma, WA 1951. Photo: Tacoma Public Library

British Car Sales had two locations in Washington state. One dealership was in Seattle (also known as Rowland Motors) and the other was in Tacoma.

In April of 1951, British Car Sales, owned by J.M. Henderson and R.F. Snead, was housed in a one-story concrete block building set back from the road. Several British sports cars were displayed in front of their showroom on this sunny day. A sign in the window advertised Hillman, Austin, MG, Morris and the Jaguar Sports Mark V. A large garage door was open on the right side of the building for access to the service area. The buildings concrete blocks were made by the Holroyd Company, which create the photo as part of their customer portfolio.

Clayrich Motors

For some reason Clayrich does not show up in Hambro's list of authorized MG dealers of 1953, but they may have added the line after the publication was printed.

The first British car dealership in St. Louis was Clayrich Motors at 1043 Big Bend Blvd. (on the west side of Big Bend, ½ block south of Clayton Rd., near CLAYton, and in RICHmond Heights - hence the name Clayrich). Art Feuerbacher, President and George Cutter, Vice President, opened Clay-rich in 1948 as a Jaguar and Hillman Minx dealership. By 1953, they also sold MGs and Morris Minors. Clayrich had a small showroom which could hold just a few cars, three at best. The shop was below the showroom, accessible by ramp from the showroom/office level as well as through a drive-in door in the alley to the rear. There were two mechanics. Scotty, the head mechanic was from Scotland and Art Feuerbacher was the only salesman. Clayrich closed in 1958 and MG sales in St. Louis were supported by both Continental Cars Ltd. and a Chrysler-Dodge dealer in downtown Belleville, owned by Olive C. Joseph.

Denver Imported Motors

Denver Imported Motors, selling Jaguar, MG's, Porsche, VW, etc., was both an importer and dealership in Denver, CO during the early 1950's. Dick White, Dabney Collins, along with Kurt Kircher were the three original partners in DIM. It appears that Dick White may have been the financial source while Dab Collins was the service manager. Kircher was general manager and one of the partners for DIM and he was noted as a driver in a number of races at the time. The dealership closed in 1955.

In 1954, Denver Imported Motors, along with Miller's Super Markets, gave away a brand new MG TF valued at  $2,345 in a promotional contest. There was a whole theme of market advertising using the MG TF silhouette as the basis of deals for chickens, plumbs, milk and other staples.

Grand Prix Motors

Grand Prix Motors was a dealer of MG's, Jaguars, Morris and VW on Long Island, New York in the 1950's. Note that Grand Prix Motors was listed in business in the 90's and even today but its not certain that there is any affinity with the original dealership.

Hoosier International Motors

Arnolt also established Hoosier International Motors at 2307 E. Center Street, Warsaw, In., a retail sales and service center for the world's largest builder of sports cars, British Motor Corporation. Hoosier International handled MG, Morris, Riley, Austin and Austin Healy cars. In addition to new cars, Hoosier also maintained a good selection of used cars of European make.

International Motors

International Motors was located at 5670 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Calif right next to Grauman's Chinese Theatre and also at 8670 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The dealership was owned by Roger Barlow, who was race car driver too, a great promotor of the sports car concept and a bit of a Hollywood personality of his own. They sold Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, MG, Riley. One of the largest car importers in the country. International Motors service manager was Ken Miles, and their mechanic was Phil Hill. They were very big on race promotions and in getting the sports car accepted into the fabric of the Los Angeles celebrity scene in the early 1950's. International Motors spun all sorts of other dealerships and performance tuning shops in Los Angeles, primarily because of the reported insincerity of its owner, Roger Barlow.

Another interesting offspring from International Motors was world renown auto sport photographer Bernard Cahier. He took a job at International Motors with Roger Barlow. It was while selling European sports cars to wealthy Americans that Cahier was able to mix into the thriving postwar sports car scene in southern California, and made the acquaintance of fellow salesman, Phil Hill, and the mechanic Richie Ginther. Cahier cut his teeth competing in an MG before he became involved in reporting on the sport. He and his new wife Joan moved to Paris in 1952 where he reported on the European racing events to many French and American publications.

Inskip Motors

The "Tiffany of Automobile Dealers", was the way one satisfied customer described J.S. Inskip, Inc., the New York based pioneer distributor of British luxury and sports cars owned by J.S. Inskip. Inskip was the premiere dealer and also the importer for the North Eastern United States. Inskip was a dealer of not only MG's but Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston-Martin and Riley automobiles. Not only did he sell these cars but was involved in making many custom made versions of these cars. The Inskip MG TD being one of them. Inskip opened additional sales office in Providence, Rhode Island and West Palm Beach, Florida during the 1950s.

Richter-Darwin Motors


Richter - Darwin Motors, 1951

Owned by Roy Richter, also the owner of Bell Auto Parts and managed by Thatcher Darwin. Also known as Bell Foreign Car Sales and Service Division. In 1953 the dealership was only listed as Richter Motors. It was located at 2818 E. Gage Avenue in Huntington Park, CA.

Richter Motors was the original creator of the now famous Moss Motors pickup truck.

They sold MG, Morris, Riley, Austin Healy, and Jaguar.

Wells Motors

Wells Motors was a Nuffield dealer (Morris, MG, Austin, Jaguar) in the San Fernando valley. The dealership was owned by John H. Wells. It was located at 14550 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, California. They sponsored a weekly television show on KTTV every Sunday at 4 to 4:15PM called Sports Car News featuring Roy Maypole. Later they moved the show to KLAC channel 13 every Wednesday at 10 PM . This was also the dealership that sold our MG (TD19629) to my father brand new in September of 1952 with an November delivery. According to my father it was a converted gas station which is fairly normal for early Nuffield dealers.

England Delivery and Home Shipping

One of the options for export customers was a program offered by Nuffield and later BMC, to purchase your car in your home country, take possession of it from a local British dealer such as University Motors LTD., tour England and Europe and then have the factory ship your car to your home dealer when your travels were done.

The new owner would purchase their car from their local dealer who would work with Nuffield or BMC to arrange for the customer to pickup their car at the British dealer. The factory would have the car all prepared for the customer. I understand that some customers arranged a factory tour but that was not standard. When the customer was done with their tour they would return the car to the British dealer and it would be prepared for shipment just as it would if it had been exported initially.

The customer was responsible to return the car on the agreed to date and to remove any of their personal items from the car. It would then be loaded on a ship along with other cars destined for the same distributor. The local dealer they purchased the car from would then prepare it for local use (change the headlamps for example) and generally get it ready for its use in the export location just like they would with any other car from the factory. At this time any additional dealer options would be installed. It is assumed that the warranty actually started when the customer picked the car up from the factory but it is uncertain if the warranty was extended by the length of the shipping period.

 

Sports Car and Import Auto Shows

Automobile shows in the US were initially created to inspire the public to move away from horse and carriages and public transportation to their own automobiles. The first car shows were held in 1900 in New York and continued for a number of decades up until World War II in most major cities in the United States. When production of cars was halted during World War II the shows ceased. Then after the war car sales were booming so there was less of a need for the shows. However there was renewed interest in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles but driven mostly from the Detroit auto makers. Motorama (1949 to 1961) was the most notorious of these shows but shunned imports being sponsored by General Motors. In many of these shows import and sports cars were prohibited. This forced the the Nuffield organization and other import car manufactures to create their own shows in the early 1950's. It was not until later in the decade that foreign cars were even considered in the more significant auto shows. Often the synergies for these shows were interesting. For example at the Hampton Roads show of 1951 it seemed the reasoning was more to increase shipping through the port than to actually sell automobiles.

British Automobile & Motor Cycle Show

This event was held on April 15-23 in 1950 at the Grand Central Palace in New York, NY. The show featured British automobiles and motorcycles exclusively. This was because the Detroit based automobile shows refused to let the lessor engaged foreign automotive makers into the more popular shows.

You can see the Nuffield brochure for the trade show on the brochures pages.

Hampton Roads International Auto Show

In 1951, looking to capitalize on the increasing interest in foreign cars nationwide, the Norfolk Port Authority organized the International Auto Show at the Norfolk Municipal Arena. The authority figured increasing regional sales of foreign cars would lead to increased shipments through Hampton Roads ports. Despite exhibits from Volkswagen, Jaguar, Ford of Britain, Renault, Hillman, Singer, Austin, MG, Nash-Healey, Sunbeam and others, it would be the last new car show in Hampton Roads until 1962.

More on the Hampton Roads International Auto Show can be found here.

Import Car Show

This show was started in 1958 in San Francisco by Kjell Qvale to compete with the established domestic auto show which he felt treated imported car manufacturers unfairly. Ironically, the Import Car Show outdrew the domestic vehicle event forcing American manufacturers to go to Qvale and asked to be allowed to exhibit in his show. Thus the San Francisco International Auto Show was born and it is now the second major car show in the United States. The show was originally held at the Civic Center’s Brooks Hall and is now held downtown at the Moscone Center.

Imported Car Show

This event is not to be confused with the San Francisco Import Car Show, also originally held in 1958. This car show was in Los Angeles and also held in 1958. I cannot find the location nor can I determine if the event was ever held again. This may be the same venue as the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Los Angeles Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show began in 1907 with ninety-nine vehicles on display at Morley's Skating Rink. As the auto industry grew, the auto show changed venues four times throughout the 1920s to accommodate the growing needs of vendors. In 1926, it took place at the corner of Hill and Washington where it stayed for the next four years. During the 1929 show, an smoldering cigarette or an electrical circuit near one of the airplane exhibits caught fire causing the entire show to go up in flames ending in more than $1 Million in damage. With the help of the community, the show re-opened one day later at the Shrine Auditorium.

After the war the show resumed in 1952 at the Pan Pacific Auditorium. There were 152 vehicles on display that year but now there were foreign cars from England, France and Italy along with the United States domestic brands. Previously there were no foreign cars shown in the last show in 1940. This was attributed to the strong interest in foreign cars in Los Angeles and the emerging sports car craze dominating the area during that time. During the decade over half of the shows cars were imports and at the end of the decade the show was displaying over 400 cars including seven foreign countries. Later in 1950 they added International to the shows title to reflect the strong interest shown for the European cars.

You can read about the history of the LA Auto Show here.

Peterson's Motorama

Held in Los Angeles from 1950 to 1955, the show mostly featured custom cars, local motorcycle and car accessory suppliers, dealers and clubs. It was originally to include aircraft and boats too but over time focused mostly on cars. It was not a manufacturer based autoshow like we know today. Interestingly Moss Motors was one of the few exhibitors in the 1950 event. The 1950 event was held at the Shrine Convention Hall and then in 1951 it moved permanently to the Pan Pacific Auditorium. The show had no affinity to the GM event (there was no GM Autorama in 1951). In 1954 it changed its name to the Motor Revue which included the Motorama.

You can see all of the programs for these events here.

Parts Suppliers, Machine and Performance Shops

Probably the most influential aspects to the popularity of the MG T series in the early 1950's was the parts, machine and performance shops that popped all over the country to supply enthusiasts with both parts and camaraderie. Not only did they supply parts to enthusiasts who wanted to make car their cars unique and more competitive, they also filled an important social niche and provided a 'hang-out' where enthusiasts could mingle with their peers or emerging heros. The shops also provided advice and techniques to sports car owners who wanted to modify their cars beyond what the factory was willing to provide. In later years many of these shops became the only source of T series parts once the importers decided to no longer stock parts for the out of date models.

Bell Auto Parts


Roy Richter at the door of Bell Auto Parts, circa 1951

Bell Auto Parts was created by former animal trapper and fish cannery worker George Wight in 1923 at 3633 East Gage Avenue, in Bell, California. In the late 1930's Roy Richter built a race car from parts found in Bell's junk yard. Roy and his young friends often 'hung out' in Georges shop which they thought was a haven. On July 2nd, 1945, Roy Richter purchased Bell Auto Parts from George. Roy sold his race car and invested his life savings of $1,000 to go into the racing equipment and auto parts business (image of Roy Richter on the right behind the counter).

In 1946, being concerned about the safety of the sport after a number of his friends die in crashes, Roy began to design and manufacture safer racing products. Roy also attended many races with spare parts and set up tents for shade for the contestants such as at the first Bonneville National Speed Trials held at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah in 1949. Bell begins manufacturing its first helmet - the '500' - in a garage located behind Bell Auto Parts. Several members of the Lincoln Team, including 1953 and 1954 Indianapolis 500 winner Bill Vukovich, wore the helmet during the Carrera Pan-American road race in Mexico.

A good chronological account of Bell Auto Parts and Bell Helmets can be found here.

British American Motors

British American Motors specialized in speed tuning for MG's and Jaguars. BMA was located at 122 S. Hollywood Way, Burbank, California. This was at the Warner Brothers studio. The shop was run by Tom Bamford and Keenan Wynn.

Competition Engineering

In 1952 J.S. Inskip opened a satellite operation in Providence, Rhode Island which sold cars imported or distributed by the Inskip Motor Company in New York City, New York . In 1954 the son-in-laws of J.S. Inskip decided to change the name of the competition department of Inskip Motors to Competition Engineering. Soon after a separate building was opened to specialize on race car preparation and sports racing prototype development and testing.

The original Competition Engineering is a contract research and development company that was started in 1954 as an offshoot of the J.S. Inskip-Brewster Body Company of New York, NY, and the Charles Wear Automotive Company of Boston, MA. Competition Engineering began as a race prep shop for imported sports cars. These included MG, Austin , Lotus, Healy, Aston Martin, Formula and Sports Racing cars. Winning regional, national, and international driver's and constructor's championships with people like Sir Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, David Fenton, Jim Clark, Mark Donohue and other noted sports car drivers.

Competition Engineering became one of the best-known race shops in the Northeast Atlantic states in the early 1950s through the 1970s. Competition Engineering is also the oldest performance automotive consulting firm in the U.S. Competition Engineering is still in business today.

More about Competition Engineering can be found here.

Competition Motors

Secondo Guasti, from a family of California vintners, persuaded John Von Neumann to join him in a partnership on servicing imports, and they opened Competition Motors in North Hollywood. Prior to this John worked for Roger Barlow's International Motors where Guasti was not receiving the best service. Beyond fixing MGs, the store then sold them, along with Simcas, and after von Neumann bought one from Max Hoffman and raced it, Porsches. Being a savvy businessman, von Neumann used his MG TD Special race car as a promotional tool for his dealership.

Ernie McAfee Engineering Company

Owned by Ernie McAfee, a racing legend in the early 1950's and leading mechanic of hot rods and later Ferraris. The shop was located at 8363 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. While most of the company was involved in Ferrari's, they would also do special tuning on MG's, especially in the early days.

Ernie was killed during the 1956 running of the Del Monte trophy (Pebble Beach Road Race), after colliding with a tree.

Photo copyright Charlie Beesley.

Moss Motors

Al Moss's first shop, which he shared with Jack Gilchrist at 3200 West Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles opened in 1949. Al was unemployed at the time and had gained considerable experience performing "exploratory surgery" on his own MG. He sold import parts and gave advice to fellow Southern Californians where were disenchanted with the local dealers. Lacking a sign to advertise the business, he simply parked his MG outside on busy Olympic Boulevard. Al Moss and Moss Motors soon became an integral part of the Sports Car scene in Southern California. Jack and Al were selling Allards during the early 1950's. Ken Miles, who worked at Gough Industries, authorized Al's shop as the first MG Service Dealer which enabled Al to purchase parts at a discount, do warranty work and receive service bulletins.

In 1952 Al moved his operations to Pico Boulevard, however, he soon outgrew this location and moved again, this time to Venice Beach, just west of Los Angeles. By this time Al had ceased selling new cars and exclusively sold parts and serviced foreign sports cars, especially MG's.

Al moved his shop to Goleta, CA in 1961 where he dedicated his operations to selling parts and accessories for MG cars.

A good history of Al Moss's early years and Moss Motors can be found at their website here.

Parkhouse Motors

Parkhouse Motors, located at 181 South La Brea Blvd., Los Angeles, serviced MG and other British cars during the 50's. The service center was owned by Jan and Bruce Parkhouse and catered to not only MG's but Jaguar, Hillman, Riley and Singer. Parkhouse was one of the first factory authorized and trained repair facilities in the United States and featured a full machine shop on site. Their claim to fame was that they used genuine, British mechanics that had that "touch" that American mechanics did not possess. They could handle up to sixteen cars at a time in their shop. They were also a official service depot for Lucas.

You can see a brochure for Parkhouse Motors on the Brochures pages.

Speedcraft Enterprises

A sports car dealership and performance shop in Exton PA started by Otto Linton, an early member of the SCCA, that he helped create in 1948.

The Sports Car Center

Bill Breeze opened The Sports Car Center (SCC) near the Richardson Bay Bridge in Sausalito in 1950. The SCC employed several talented individuals including Bob Winklemann, Mogen Skov, Jack Dalton and a very young Peter Brock. SCC also worked closely with master fabricator/car builder Nadeau Bourgeault who had a shop nearby. Along with Breeze, all these individuals would leave their mark on the local racing scene. Breeze's Sports Car Center played a vital role in the growth of sports car racing in Northern California. It offered a professional, knowledgeable business where racers and would be racers could get advice, parts, service, race-preparation or even a race car. The Sports Car Center was the forerunner of the many shops that would spring up around the San Francisco Bay Area, and included two young mechanics, one named Bob Winkleman, who later built the Winkleman Formula Fords and another named Peter Brock, later of Cobra and Datsun racing fame. The logo for the SCC was inspired by Alfa's double overhead cam logo: From Joe Breeze: "My mom said dad thought highly of Alfa's DOHC design."

Accessory Manufactures

MG TD's and TF's were basic cars with few frills and little options to purchase from the factory. In the early 1950's, and even into the 1960's, this created a huge demand and an opportunity for enterprising individuals who had an idea for a performance or aesthetic accessory for the cars. Almost anyone and everyone started making and selling various add ons for the cars but a few companies provided accessories to a much larger audience, even worldwide. This section describes some of the more notable MG TD and TF accessory manufactures.

Autocessories, Ltd.

S.H. Arnolt realize that American MG owners needed quality accessories for their vehicles so he established Autocessories Ltd. to produce or procure them. The line included Shorrock Superchargers, Volkes filters, Borrani wire wheels, dashboard assist grips, mirrors, ashtrays, Arno-Lite driving lamps, racing radiator caps, aluminum valve and side covers etc. Arnolt also made a sports car heater with a 12 volt electric fan using piped radiator water.

Autocessories Ltd. was a division of the Arnolt Corporation of Warsaw, IN at E. Jefferson and Eastlake Dr.

 

 

H-C Products Company

H-C Products Company was located at 1634 South Flower, Los Angeles. H-C delivered custom made accessories for the MG T's. These included custom made tonneau and spare tire covers, badge bars and lamps, a foldable luggage rack that fit against the spare when not in use but otherwise sat above the spare tire like the factory rack did. They also sold car covers. Another novel item were custom bumpers that extended beyond the car and had a different profile than the original bumpers. Additionally they sold air cleaners, valve and inspection covers, side mirrors and dash grips.

Raykraft Sports Car Accessories

Raykraft Sports Car Accessories was located at 5344 Caheunga Boulevard, North Hollywood, California. They sold MG accessories during the early 1950's.

Runyan

Runyan was an sports car accessory manufacture located at 819 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California. They also advertised a mailing address at 7966 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Runyan was one of the more prolific accessory manufactures. They sold full tonneau covers, both soft and hard tops, spare tire covers, foldable luggage racks, luggage boots or lockers, arm rests, ash trays, wire wheels, wheel covers, valve covers, wind wings, grills, air cleaners, steering wheels just to name some of their line. They would also custom make tops, tonneau and spare tire covers at their locations for those who lived in the LA area. Runyan sold the Doretti line of accessories too.

SIMZ Company

The SIMZ Company was located at 2818 S. Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles. The made accessories for the MG T's that were a bit novel for the time. One of their specialties was using Lucite for not only windwings but for hand grips as well. They also sold and oversized rear view mirror and a custom upholstered radio box that fit on top of the transmission tunnel.

Key People

The following are key persons that were involved with the development of the MG TD and TF in North America during the early 1950's. Some were race car drivers, dealers, importers, mechanics, accessory manufactures or combinations of these. This list is not all inclusive and individuals will be added as their stories are identified.

S.H. Arnolt

Born Stanley Harold Aranoff in 1906 to wealthy Hyde Park, Chicago, bookbinders. He took college engineering courses with the goal of working for a car company, despite the Great Depression. He changed his name to the more easily pronounced “Arnolt” in 1932 when he couldn't find an auto company job and looked around for business opportunities.

Arnolt Corporation was founded in 1932 by Stanley H. Arnolt II (1906-1963) in Chicago with three employees, manufacturing automobile lubricating devices. During that time Arnolt developed an inboard marine engine called the Sea-Mite, which was one-third lighter than other engines of equal horsepower.

On a thick foggy morning in September 1938, with one of his engines affixed to a 13-foot boat, Arnolt left St. Joseph, Michigan and headed for Chicago. Fighting waves and fog, he made the trip in four hours. Boatmen along Navy Pier shook their heads in disbelief, stating that he had more nerve than they did. He was greeted through the still thick morning fog with, "Hallo there, Wacky!". The headline of an article that day in The Chicago Daily News read, "Wacky Comes Through in Fog; Crosses Lake in 13-Foot Boat" ... and the nickname stuck. Thereafter, he was known as "Wacky" Arnolt.

Arnolt became a Chicago industrialist, who began importing foreign cars in the 1950s to the United States. From a start with one product and a handful of employees, Stanley Arnolt built a far-reaching company that made components of products as diverse as defense equipment and dinette sets. It also owned parts of enterprises as varied as a newspaper and a coconut plantation, both in Mexico.

In addition to being an industrialist, Arnolt was also a designer, builder and driver of racing cars. He designed a car, which he named the Arnolt-Bristol, with a Bristol 404 chassis and an exclusive Bertone of Turin coach works body. The Arnolt sports car was introduced in 1952 in a race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and premiered at the International Motor Exposition in London in 1953.

Wacky Arnolt was a vibrant, dynamic industrialist with a vision far ahead of his time. An unidentified newspaper article states, "While he was an engineering, sales and organizational genius - a serious-minded businessman who built an international industrial and sales empire, he never lost the boyish enthusiasm, the flair of showmanship, and the daring to try the unknown."

Stanley Arnolt was known for his sports-car racing. But his wife was a race-car driver in her own right, taking her MGs out to Elkhart Lake, Wis., and other sites. Ghean Arnolt was a woman in a man's world she had never sought out, thrust into it by sad circumstances. When her husband, Stanley "Wacky" Arnolt, died in 1963, she found herself in charge of S.H. Arnolt Inc., a Chicago-based foreign car importer and distributor, and Arnolt Corp., a large components manufacturer with operations in Chicago and Indiana. During Mrs. Arnolt's tenure, the firm became more centralized and focused on making the tailhooks that allowed airplanes to land safely on aircraft carriers, her son said. She sold the companies in 1976, and they were later resold and dissolved, he said.

David Ash

David Ash was a prolific race car driver at Linden Field, Watkins Glen and other notable tracks in the early 1950's. He was a regular and distinguished competitor at Sebring, America's premier race. David began racing at Linden Field in 1950 when he jumped into a MGTD and joined the race because the car's driver was underage and too young to be in the race. His second race was in September of 1950 at Watkins Glen which he also raced in a TD. At one point David wrecked his TD in a race at Watkins Glen and he could not afford to replace it so he had Motto of Italy put a body on it. It turned out to be such a great car that they built two more just like it. John Thornley got Sid Enever to create two new EXP 1500cc engines for the cars. It is rumored that the blocks and heads of these engines actually had separate cooling systems. David also raced MGTF's at Sebring in 1955.

Between 1952 and 1957, David earned the title of "Mr. MG'', as the only driver to start and finish five twelve-hour-long endurance races at Sebring in five tries. He also set numerous "land speed" records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1957. David later pursued a career in automotive journalism. His pieces appeared in "The New York Times,'' "Argosy Magazine'' and "Esquire Magazine.'' - See more about David here.

Roger Barlow

Settling in Hollywood after the war, Roger Barlow founded International Motors, Inc. importing the first generation of post-war foreign sports cars in the U.S.. International Motors was located in Hollywood California where Roger was quite active in sports car amateur racing (CSCC, SCCA) with his "Barlow Simca's", which were very pretty, and fast cars. Ken Miles (his later Service Manager), would beat them every time though.

Roger Barlow was a documentary filmmaker with connections to the Hollywood insiders and a very early promotor of MG's in the US. In 1948 he made a trip to Europe to visit the MG Car Company and Zagoto of Italy in order to create a new custom made car with an special purpose MG chassis (based on Y or the new TD) and hand crafted Italian coachwork by Zagato, Castagna and Farina in both two seater and four seater coupes. The cars were to have a Shorrock supercharger later added by Al Moss and retail for $4,250. His target was the Hollywood types in Los Angeles. Rumor has it that the cars were a bit clunky and its uncertain if the supercharger was ever added and if it made a difference. Shortly thereafter Barlow was selling Jaguars and other higher performance and luxurious sports cars to his celebrity clientele.

According to Steve Laifman, Editor - TigersUnited.com "During the mid fifties he began taking deposits for the promised introduction of the Mercedes 300 SL. International Motors was also a distributor for Mercedes Benz and Jaguar. As the story goes, Roger skipped off to Mexico with the deposits. I could never understand why he would leave a gold mine agency for some deposit money, but it was the case. If he were an employee, instead, he was stealing the owner's and customer's money. After his flight the agency shut down. If he were only an employee, then the business insurance would have covered the loss, and the true owner could remain in business."

Bill Breeze [1910 - 1980]

Excerpts from the SCCA website.

Bill Norwood Breeze was born in San Francisco four years after the great earthquake of 1906. He began his relationship with automobiles at the early age of fourteen when he purchased an old, open-top touring car with a friend. Breeze was initially employed by Crocker Bank in San Francisco but with his interest in all sorts of mechanical things, he decided to change careers and became a machinist, a job he kept through World War II. After the war, with his enthusiasm for cars undaunted, he became friends with Kjell Qvale. Naturally Breeze bought an MG-TC and joined the MG Car Club which subsequently led to his becoming one of the first members of the newly formed San Francisco Region of the SCCA in 1948. From this point forward, Breeze would become an active racer and club official whose guidance and influence would help spur the growth of sports car racing in the area.

In the spring of 1949, Bill Breeze won a car race in his MG-TC on the oval track at the San Jose Speedway and, while not a road race, it was the first organized race won by a sports car in the area. Breeze was actively involved in club planning and helped organize and participated in what is recognized as the first road race in the Western U.S. at Buchanan Field in November, 1949.

He continued to participate in club races and rallies whenever possible and also was elected to the position of the SCCA Region’s Activities Chairman. With the success of the first two races at Buchanan Field, there was a desire to add more events to the schedule so Breeze and the SFR Board organized the first race held at Pebble Beach on November 5, 1950. Breeze was elected to the position of Regional Executive in 1951 and 1952 and it was under his leadership the region staged the most successful sports car event on the West Coast for years to come, the races in Golden Gate Park.

Also in 1951, Breeze had an accident while driving a Jaguar XK120 at the race in Reno. He suffered a broken arm and with four small children and a wife at home, the decision was made to retire as a driver. However, this only shifted his involvement in racing from being a driver to a businessman. Breeze had already opened The Sports Car Center (SCC) near the Richardson Bay Bridge in Sausalito.

Floyd Clymer

Floyd Clymer was a auto enthusiast and a publisher based in California. Floyd and his publishing company, Floyd Clymer Publications, cranked out hundreds of cheap automotive related titles in the 1950's and 60's that were quickly consumed by any and all who seeked out information on the sports car movement and automobiles of the era. He single-handedly help promote the idea that a common person could be engaged in the trendy movement just by reading his publications. He was probably the most prolific publisher of automobilia of his day.

He published literally hundreds of these titles every year for many years. A lot of them were repair manuals for various old cars. He was a salesman, and he was extraordinarily famous all over the United States and much of Europe, for his hundreds and hundreds of titles.

More about Floyd Clymer can be found here.

Thatcher Darwin

Thatcher Darwin was an early hot rod and racing pioneer in Los Angeles in the 30's. He opened a MG/Morris/Austin foreign car import business (Bell Foreign Cars more commonly known as Richter/Darwin Motors) with Roy Richter in 1952. Thatcher was also the general manager of the dealership. Thatcher built a custom hot rod known as the Darwin special that won a lot of races and is still around today being entered in vintage events (see photo on the right).

Thatcher was a long time secretary of the SCTA and other racing groups and was instrumental in protecting the hot rodding culture from prohibitive political actions that would have restricted land speed racing and hot rodding in California.

Right after the war, the California legislature was considering statutes that would make hot rodding illegal. He traveled to Sacramento by train, standing up most of the night, in order to get there to defend hot rodding. The motion was going to pass when comments were invited. He stood and addressed the committee and told them about the contributions that hot rodders had made during WWII, how they extracted performance out of their machines, and repaired machinery under wartime conditions, making the difference in winning the war. They listened to his story and tabled the motion. I think Thatcher found out about the motion and Wally Parks sent him to the capital. He was a good friend and built a really fun car.

Dave Seely, Cannon Racing

Gus Ehrman

Gus Ehrman was the Providence, RI service manager for J.S. Inskip. A former RAF fighter pilot, Gus was the 'man to beat' on the North Eastern SCCA circuit. Much of his spare time was spent at the wheel of an MG TD with #27 painted on the door. Ehrman, who left Inskip in the early 1950s to join BMC importer Hambro, also raced Austin-Healeys at Sebring. He was a member of the three man team who, in 1959, established a number of FIA records with MG EX219 on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Gus Ehrman rejoined the Inskip organization in late 1964 as the corporation's final and only non-family member President.

The MGTD Mk II of Gus Ehrman took the first win of the SCCA Collier Brothers Memorial Trophy Race in 1954. Gus was a renowned Sebring racer during the MGA period.

 

Charlie Ellmers

Charlie Ellmers of the Funny Face Auto Racing Team wins the MG race at Put-in-Bay in 1952 and stops to pick up the checkered flag for the victory lap. His #3 MG-TD has a masking tape number and competition windscreen (Ruth and Charlie Ellmers collection). Charlie Ellmers was a Navy combat veteran of both WW II and the Korean war before he got into sports cars. When he was released from the service he had some money saved and thought it would be good to buy a car and drive it home. Originally he was thinking about buying a Studebaker but then thought about checking out the new MG TD.

"I was discharged from the Navy after my stint aboard the Essex," Charlie said. "I had some money saved up and thought I would buy a new car and drive it home. I was considering a Studebaker but thought I would check out the new MG TD. The TD was $2020, about the same as the Studebaker. The guy at the MG dealer's wouldn't let me drive one of the MGs in the showroom, but he did take me for a ride in his TC. That cinched it."

Ellmers joined the Cleveland Sport Car Club in 1951. He was an excellent driver and won the first race, the first year at Put-in-Bay in 1952, in his black MG TD. He also drove the TD at Put-in-Bay in '53 and '54, and drove at Elkhart Lake and Lockbourne Air Force Base. "He raced it at Watkins Glen," notes Ruth Ellmers, "and blew up the engine. He was so disgusted he sold it on the spot. Besides, he didn't have a tow bar."

Above taken from They Started in MGs: Profiles of Sports Car Racers of the 1950s By Carl Goodwin.

A.T. Goldie Gardner

Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Thomas Goldie Gardner OBE MC (31 May 1890 - 25 August 1958) was an English racing car driver who was awarded the BRDC Gold Star three times. In 1939 he was the first to exceed 200 mph in a light car. In the 11 peacetime years between 1936 and 1950 he set over 100 international and local speed records throughout England, Europe and the USA.

In 1951 at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, with his supercharged MG streamliner EX-135 car he obtained 6 international and 10 American records in the 1,100cc to 1,500cc engine class. In 1952 he returned to Bonneville with the MG EX-135 car and set 21 speed records in the same engine class as the previous year.

In 1952 he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was forced to retire from motor sport.

Cal Gleason

Cal Gleason got his start in MG's with MG TC's. In a few races he used borrowed MG TD's. He raced a number of them until about 1953 or 54 when he decide to switch over to Porches. He was under the impression that the Porsche cars were indestructible but after the Hirth crankshaft went out he decided to go back to MG's and picked up a '54 TF. While other drivers trailered their specially tuned, and probably street illegal cars to the races, Cal drove his. He drove back and forth to the 1954 Watkins Glen race. "I started on the grid in 10th place and I finished in 10th place, but I passed a few cars and was passed by a few to get there". In 1958 he moved over to Jaguars until he finished racing in 1963. (Picture to the right of Cal Gleason at the 1954 Watkins Glen race. photo: Cal Gleason).

Phil Hill

Born in Miami, Florida, Phil Hill was raised in Santa Monica, California, where he lived until his death. He studied business administration at the University of Southern California (USC) from 1945-47 where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Hill dropped out to become a mechanic's helper at Roger Barlows International Motors dealership in Hollywood and later, after he became locally famous as a sports car racer, selling cars for Roger. In 1947 Phil acquired an MG TC which he modified himself and began racing. In 1951, after both his parents died and left him money, he bought a 2.6-litre Ferrari and raced it with increasing success. By the mid 1950s he had become America's best sports car racer.

In 1959 MG took the the EX181 back to Bonneville with Phil Hill as the driver. The engine had been tuned slightly higher and now produced 300hp. Phil Hill took the car to a top speed of 254.91 mph (410.23 kmh), easily breaking MG’s own record from 2 years previously of 245.64mph (395.31 kmh) set by Stirling Moss.

Phil Hill has the distinction of having won the first (a 3 lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG TC on July 24, 1949) and last races of his driving career, the final victory driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in England in 1967. Following his retirement, Hill built up an award winning classic car restoration business in the 1970s called Hill & Vaughn with business partner Ken Vaughn.

More about Phil Hill can be found at this website.

You can see Phil Hills MG racing record at the Racing Sports Cars.

See a video of Phil Hill breaking the land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1959 here.

Phil Hill did a vast interview and narration for Sports Illustrated in 1961 that can be found here.

J.S. Inskip

John S. Inskip (1885-1961) was named after his grandfather, John S. Inskip (1816-1884), the famous evangelical Methodist preacher and founder of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness.

Inskip was the major importer of MG's during in the 1950's for the Eastern United States through Inskip Motors, Inc.. Inskip started Competition Engineering as the performance arm of Inskip Motors. All through the 1950's, J.S. Inskip and his associated companies proposed, promoted, designed, and helped organize and build some of the earliest race tracks in the US.

Curtis E. LeMay

Curtis E. LeMay was a general in the US Air Force and the head of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the early 1950's. General LeMay collaborated with the SCCA to utilize many of the US armed forces air bases for sport car races. The first such event was held in October 26th of 1952. This began a two year agreement between the SCCA and the US Government. The idea was that the SAC was in need of funding and using the recently passed Air Force Organization Act of 1950, LeMay sold the idea that the racing event's profits could be used to bolster up the SAC's Airmen's Living Improvement fund. They used volunteer labor from the Air Force and the thought was that having the event at the air bases would help them promote new recruits. At the time re-enlistment in the armed services was declining. The program was short lived but it provided the foundation to help the SCCA move from road racing (which was being shut down almost everywhere do to safely issues) and also change the public's impression of sports cars and sports car racing as elitist and only for the wealthy. While the “SAC era” lasted a brief three years, it came at a crucial time for the SCCA as it transitioned itself to newly-built racing facilities. For his contributions, LeMay was presented the SCCA Woolf Barnato Award in 1954.

Otto Linton

Otto started his own business as Speedcraft Enterprises in 1948 in Exton, Pennsylvania and built new facilities in Devon, Pennsylvania in 1966. Racing was good advertising for his sports car and performance business. Otto sold MGs, Austin Healeys, Rileys, Mercedes, Porsches, BMWs, Lancias, Jaguars, and other odd makes which Max Hoffman and Tony Pompeo imported.

 

 

Ernie McAfee

Ernie was a prolific hot rod and sports car mechanic and driver. He gained fame as a dare devil and the breaker of many speed records in the 1930's, 40's and early 1950's. He established and owned Ernie McAfee Engineering Company. Erine was killed in a crash at the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1956.

The picture to the right is of Ernie McAfee (left) who did the modification work for John Edgar on Edgar's MG-TC. It was the car that Bill Pollack drove at the first Pebble Beach Road Race (Photo: Edgar Collection).

Tom McCahill

Thomas Jay McCahill III, whom like to be referred to as "Uncle Tom" was born in 1907. Uncle Tom is recognized as the father of the automotive road test. The generations of automotive journalists that have followed him in the business of reporting on cars will likely never match the zany, outrageous prose that became his trademark. McCahill, who died in 1974, was a correspondent for Mechanix Illustrated magazine, which ended its run in the 1970's. During his tenure, which began in 1946, he performed more than 600 road tests. He was idolized by car buffs across the country when Hot Rod, Motor Trend and Road & Track were just regional periodicals.

McCahill relied only on his stopwatch and measured miles he'd staked out in New Jersey, Florida and California, marking them only with splashes of paint to keep their locations secret. He was the first automotive writer to record the now-standard 0-60 mph acceleration time.

Don Chaikin, now automotive editor at Popular Mechanics magazine, was a McCahill contemporary early in his career. As he remembered, "At his peak, his stuff was brilliant. Mechanix Illustrated never publicly acknowledged his death, because his name was synonymous with it, he was the franchise, and they didn't want to admit he was gone. For a while, they ran a column called Tom McCahill Reports that was ghostwritten by his stepson.

Much of the above appeared in the October, 2005 issue of Hemmings.

McCahill Drives the New M.G.

McCahill Breaks Two More Records

Ken Miles

Ken Miles worked for Gough Industries of Southern California during the early 1950's. (At that time, Gough was the leading importer of MG's.) Ken Miles was a famed early race car driver and engineer. In 1953, he had won 14 straight victories in SCCA racing in an MG-based special of his own design and construction and was later a member of the Shelby/ Cobra race team of the early 60's.

Ken Miles: MG Special Miles R2 "Flying Shingle" -- Torrey Pines, 1955. Photo Bill Tibbetts One of Ken Miles' lasting legacies was a MG-based special car he designed and raced in. It's name was the MG R2 but it was nicknamed the Flying Shingle. Built in 1954 the car had many MG components, such as the gearbox and 1466cc MG XPEG engine. The space frame chassis was constructed from one-inch steel tubing which was lighter than its predecessor, but still retained the structural rigidity. The car was narrow and low, which meant changes were needed to fit all the engine components in the engine bay. The MG intake manifolds were installed upside down which allowed the carburetors to be angled and fit under the hood. The design of the vehicle was similar to the MG TF. This was done for brand recognition and to help promote the MG line of vehicles. The car was finished in British racing green. Its inaugural race was in 1955 at Willow Springs in which it failed to finish. But in later races it just about dominated the competition having first place finishes at both Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines.

You can see a video of the MG R2 Flying Shingle here.

Ken Miles' life came to a tragic end on August 17th, 1966 while driving a Ford J-car prototype. The car was traveling at 175 mph on a back-strech. Ken began preparing for a corner, slowing the vehicle down, but it went out of control and over an embankment. Ken was thrown from the car as it spun and went end-over-end. This tragedy brought an end to a brilliant career that began during the very early 1950s.

E. Alan Moss

Most people who read these pages would think about Al Moss's parts business, whenever we talk about MG T's. In actuality Al was much more than that. He started his sports car life with a MG TC that he bought from a lady who won it in a promotional contest in 1948. Al Moss was a pivotal member of the MG sports car scene in Southern California in the late 1940's and early 1950's. His first endeavour was working with Jack Gilchrist in a repair shop on West Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles. Jack and Al imported Allards into Southern California. Later Al branched out on his own, creating Moss Motors, and became the first Rootes Group dealer in Los Angeles selling Hillmans, Humbers and the Sunbeam-Talbot lines. 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 not only sold and provided parts to Southern California enthusiasts of the period, but he was actively involved in promoting the sport of car racing and generally just having a good time with MG T's. Al started the Moss Motors Luncheon & Bench Racing Society in his service and parts shop where enthusiasts would hang out on Saturdays. Soon they just closed up shop and went out for driving events in the afternoons.

Al also had a brief stint at racing too. He had an Allard that he raced at Carrell Speedway in Gardena. One race the course was so wet from the prior days rain the clay surface was soft and gooey. Al got a jump at the start but in the first turn the "The Allard front end bit into the mud", according to Al. It then rolled over three times trapping Al underneath. He was not seriously injured but after that he swore off serious racing and left it to the professionals. Years later Al did race in vintage sports car races but he generally came in a conservative last place understandably.

Al was good friends with Ken Miles who helped get Al authorized as a legitimate dealer in order to sell MG factory parts. Ken had a job at Gough Industries and was also their racing lead so he had some influence. This probably started Al off on the MG parts business in a bigger way as later he would go on to buy all of Goughs spare T parts as well as those of the Northern California importer, Kjell Qvale of British Motor Car Distributors. In 1961 Al moved Moss Motors to Goleta California and the rest as they say, 'is history'.

A more complete story of Al Moss by his friend Art Evans can be found at the Allard Register web pages. In addition the GoF West published an excellent set of stories about Al Moss here. And a good summary of Al Moss can be obtained at the Moss Motors site as well. And Moss Motors provided a nice obituary of Al here.

Stirling Moss

When one thinks of car racing and Moss, its generally Stirling Moss. While Stirling does not have a strong affinity to the MG TD and TF in the Americas he was a renowned racer of this era in Europe and his fame was well known in US racing circles. When the MG Factory wanted to try to beat some land based speed records in 1957, they naturally thought of Stirling Moss to be the one who could do it for them. They arranged for a special version of an MG based on the MGA, the EX 181, to be driven on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Stirling came through handsomely for them shattering the previous record of 203 mph set by Goldie Gardner just before WW2, at 245.64 mph. The record was broken just two years later in the same car, slightly modified, by Ken Miles. This rocketed the sale of the MGA at the time and was a very smart move on MG's part.

See Stirling Moss break the land speed record at Bonneville in this video.

See a picture of Sterling Moss visiting Hollywood in 1955 here.

Kjell Qvale

Kjell Qvale (pronounced Shell Cavalli) was a sports car enthusiast and an importer of MG's in Northern California from the late 1940s. Born in Norway, Kjell Qvale came to this country as a boy on the eve of the Great Depression and achieved the American Dream. An entrepreneur and a pioneer in the automotive industry, he has sold millions of imported automobiles, becoming one of the first to bring the Volkswagen Beetle to America as well as Jaguar and MG. He has also manufactured the Jensen Healey and other cars, built race cars that have run at the Indianapolis 500 and other prestigious races, started and run companies, and owned champion thoroughbred racehorses. His import company, British Motor Car Distributors, which he established in 1948, provided MG's to Northern California dealers exclusively, most of which he owned. By 1951, Qvale had 24 privately owned dealerships in the West. Kjell organized the San Francisco Import Car Show in 1958 when the domestic car dealers refused to allow the imports into their show. In order to help promote his growing import-car business, Qvale engaged in a variety of activities, including helping to organize the San Francisco Region of the SCCA and the Northern California MG Car Club in 1949.

He promoted sports cars by sponsoring rallies, time trials and other competitions. In 1949, he organized the first postwar sports car race in the West at Buchanan Field in Concord, Calif. The next year, he was chairman of the first sports car race in the forest at Pebble Beach, Calif. He was the organizer and race chairman from 1950 to 1956. To accompany the race, he proposed a show of classic cars; it became the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, one of the top events in the world for car collectors. In 1956, when the Pebble Beach race moved to nearby Fort Ord, home of the Laguna Seca Raceway, Mr. Qvale contributed to the design of its famously treacherous corkscrew at turns 8 and 8A. Kjell was also the organizer/race chairman for the races in Golden Gate Park from 1952 to 1954.

Kjell was inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2008.

A nice remembrance of Kjell Qvale can be found at the Sports Car Digest.

Roy Richter

Roy was a wining driver and an accomplished chassis and body builder. He built some of the most beautiful midgets, sprints, and champ cars. He won the National Championship with his "Richter Streamliner" (Rail and Tether Cars) that he manufactured and sold before the war. He already had a strong reputation in racing when he purchased Bell Auto Parts from George Wight's widow in 1945.

In 1951 Roy started a foreign car dealership for British cars, Richter-Darwin Motors later named just Richter Motors.

Dale Runyan

Dale Runyan was a Hollywood entrepreneur that dealt with custom cars in the late 1940's and early 1950's. He started with an upholstery shop and soon branched out to creating and fitting custom accessories for the cars of the period. He was often enlisted by custom car builders to create interiors for their cars and soon after the MG T's started to arrive in Southern California he found a willing audience for his services. MG's had notoriously poor tops and did not come with a full tonneau cover so those were some of the first accessories that Dale provided in his shop. Naturally he did not just make them as the factory did, but provided them in different colors, with contrasting piping, bigger windows and better materials. He catered to what his customers wanted and did not sell off the shelf products.

Later he started to sell other custom interior fittings to his customers such as arm rests, lockable boots, hand brake covers and just about anything that could be make from fabric or vinyl material. His customers were ecstatic and wanted more so Dale added items such as spare tire covers, hard tops, luggage racks, ash trays, wind wings and grab handles to name just a few items. Soon Dale started an accessory business he simply named Runyan. He advertised heavily in the periods automotive magazines and sold his accessories all over the United States and beyond.

Dale really catered to the Southern California car enthusiasts and filled a great void that the factory failed to capitalize on. Very little is known of Dale today other than remnants of his advertisements in old magazines and the period accessories he made that still garnish surviving sports cars of the era. If you wander through the accessories pages of this website you will find all sorts of Runyan products.

John Von Neuman

John Von Neumann in his supercharged MG Special ( Photo: Qvale Collection) John Von Neumann (1921-2003). John came from a famous Jewish family (distantly related to the Harvard mathematician). He father was a well-known surgeon in Berlin. But when Hitler came to power, the family fled to Austria and then to the U.S. Young John attended New York University and later transferred to the University of Southern California. During WWII John enlisted in the Army and took basic training at the Torrey Pines Army base (where he would later race). After the war, he made his home in Los Angeles, became interested in sports cars and was one of the three founders of the California Sports Car Club.

John burst onto the racing scene at that first Southern California event at Palm Springs on April 16, 1950. He entered the car that he raced at the first Pebble Beach Road Race but blew its head gasket in practice. So he borrowed a Riley for the main event, but ran out of gas.

John von Neumann found himself selling Healeys, MGs, Jags, and other badges for Roger Barlow's International Motors. And what may have been interpreted as mismanagement at the top, von Neumann left International Motors to capitalize on its customer service shortcomings. To fill that void, John started Competition Motors, an automotive service shop in North Hollywood. Competition Motors began selling MGs as a sub-dealer through Barlow as well. To advertise his company's preparation abilities, he began racing an supercharged and highly modified MG TD (von Neumann had raced a TC since 1948). Never resting on his laurels, von Neumann would additionally add the two German marques, Porsche and Volkswagen, to his newly formed Competition Motors Distributors, Inc. in 1952. John hired Ken Miles to drive for him in many early 1950's races. Ken has worked with John at International Motors. John was selling his TD in the mid 1950's for $3500.

Gordon Whitby

Gordon was a 16-year employee of the Los Angles BMC distributorship as well as the only American race mechanic for BMC's 1950s record speed runs at Bonneville Salt Flats. A British emigrant to the USA, arriving in the USA in 1952, Gordon began working as a mechanic with the MG-Austin distributor Gough Industries in Los Angles, the Nuffield Car Company distributorship. This was an era when all import car sales combined were tiny compared to domestic car production.

Kjell Qvale, owner of British Motor Car Distributors of San Francisco, bought the Compton distributorship from Hambro in 1964, at which time Gordon became General Service Manager.

Gordon's memoirs are recounted in his autobiography Earning The American Dream.

Hangouts

First of all I need to define what I mean by a Hangout. Its a gathering place for like minded individuals where they can feel comfortable with each other and share stories or exchange ideas. The most widely acknowledged hangout was the local parts store. Here you could find like minded individuals and not be judged by others who did not feel as strongly about sports cars as you did. In this context we will not include parts stores or shops as they are covered well above. Note we will not include dealers either as these were generally not considered hangouts once the cars started selling in quantity. In fact car dealers did not want 'non buyers' hanging around their lots 'kicking tires' as they thought it would scare the legitimate buyers away. This was a very strong factor that helped independent parts dealers, like Moss Motors, come into vogue. They not only sold parts but they encouraged, and even tempted, to get people to hang out at their shops and bring their friends too.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle, a restaurant at 623 South Western Ave. in Los Angeles, CA was a hangout of sports car racers in the 1950's and early 1960's.

Camer-Inn

Cameron Cooper and William N. Branch Jr. built a club house located at 3603 Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance-Walteria dedicated to sports car enthusiasts. Read about their adventure here. It actually was advertised in the racing program of the Bakersfield car races in 1953.


Oct. 8, 1953 TORRANCE PRESS

The even provided the facilities for the Pacific Sports Car Club's 1953 Halloween party.

Few of our residents had a wonderful time at the Pacific Sports Car Club's annual Halloween Party Saturday evening at the club's "Camer-Inn" which is owned and operated by Bill Branch and Cam Cooper. The 101 Highway club 'near the Torrance Municipal Airport was filled with cavemen, babies, pirates, and Scotchmen. "Madam Ferrari" told fortunes.
Nov. 5th, 1953 TORRANCE PRESS

Grand Prix Restaurant

The super active Sports Car Racing community in Southern California would hang out at the Grand Prix Restaurant at 8204 Beverly Boulevard in Hollywood. The restaurant was owned by Mary Davis (top contender in the Ladies Races). Bobby Drake was the host and bar tender at the Grand Prix.

Mulholland Drive

Once Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood became an epicenter of sports car enthusiasm in the 1950s, Mulholland Drive became a destination for everyone with a snappy new car from Europe. A nine-mile section of road between Cahuenga Boulevard and Beverly Glen Boulevard that was a popular street racing site in the 1950's populated by such people as Phil Hill, Dick Guldstrand, Dan Gurney, and Ken Miles. Actor James Dean bought a Porsche 356 Speedster from Competition Motors, then drove it back and forth on Mulholland between his home in the San Fernando Valley and his studio in Hollywood. Mulholland Drive | Photo courtesy of Eric Demarcq, Flickr

Tiny Naylors

From Alison Martino's "Vintage Los Angeles"

Tiny Naylors opened it 1958 on Sunset Blvd and was one of California's original googie-style restaurants. It was founded by W.W. Tiny Naylor. Naylor who got the nick name Tiny because he was 6'4" and weighted 320 lbs. His first restaurant was called Biff's - named after his son, in 1948. The Tiny Naylor chain started in 1957 at Wilshire and Virgil. Tiny Naylor died in 1959. The Naylor family also founded Du Par's which it still owns and operates. The architecture for Tiny Naylors was designed in 1949 by Douglas Honnold. Until it's demolition in 1984, Tinys was known for it's curbside service - girls on roller skates, T-shirts, and and skimpy costumes. Different for those days. Teenagers cruised here. Women used to come there in carloads. It was a big place for everyone. Northwest corner of Sunset and La Brea.

At one time Tiny Naylors had the Moss Motors pickup truck that they used to service the vending machines in their restaurants.

Acknowledgments

In addition to the acknowledgements above the following references provided information for this document.

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