It was 1974. I was 13 and relaxing after school when I heard a beautiful noise!--like a mechanical symphony. I heard the downshifts and the driver "blipping" the throttle between downshifts. Then came a melodious idle. This was not the rough obnoxious sound of one of my friends’ cars; this was the sound of sophistication. I got up and looked out the window and beheld for the first time in my life one of the greatest icons in the history of the automobile--a Series one XKE roadster in red and chrome--long and sleek... and, as they say, "The rest is history." It had an impact on me that has lasted to this day, a passion for British sports cars that has been my hobby and career for almost 40 years.
Within a few weeks, I met the owner of the E type and some of his friends. They were all enthusiastic about refinement and quality--cars with shapely lines, pedigrees and wonderful sounds, plaques on the dash proclaiming their racing history. I heard about Formula 1, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Road Atlanta, Monaco. Shortly after meeting this group, I bought my TR4 ( now approaching 600 thousand miles and still going strong). In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I was an apprentice at Mountjoy's Autoshop in Hyattsville, MD and came into contact with the ultimate cars. This was no ordinary repair shop! Everything there was neat, orderly, clean and there was nothing in the shop that was not "cool”-- even the beer was top quality! The clean rooms for engine building still inspire my practices. Walking through the shop, you would be in the midst of Aston Martins, Rolls Royce, Jensen Healeys , Jensen Interceptors, Austin Healeys , Jaguars ,Triumphs , MGs and that marque which has been my favorite-- Lotus! Many of the cars in the shop were either weekend racers or full on race cars. Those were heady days: one would not be surprised to see any of the cars we now think of as collector cars just being driven to get the groceries!
I was 14 when I started there and truly "grew up in the trade"! From there I worked at two Jaguar, Triumph, MG dealers and a specialist English shop here in Charleston before starting my own first shop when I was 20, more as a means to pursue my passion than to pursue a career! I've had a few shops along the way, the largest being Exotic Auto where I had 4000 sq ft climate controlled and, routinely, millions of dollars in collector cars on a waiting list to get through the doors! Things are much quieter now; I do all the work myself except the actual painting and most of the upholstery which I delegate to my good friend Chip at Chip’s Upholstery. My shop turns out some first place Concours cars, and I take the stance of a "preservationist." Whenever there is a possibility of saving any original component or pleasing original patina, that’s the direction I try to go. There are enough restored cars out there and too few original examples. I am so dedicated to originality I sometimes tell people "I put the original problems back in." It's like being a curator at a museum sometimes and a test pilot at others! British Sports Car Consulting, my current operation, will be providing direction and assistance for collectors and their investments for many years to come. I relish the fun in keeping all those classic works of art moving as they should, making the world a more beautiful place !
About Robert Morey and BSCC
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