Alex and Ruth Moffoot
Octagon Newsletter … July 2002
By Wayne Watkins
Victoria MG Club members' MGs and other British cars - there are some we haven't seen and some that bring back fond memories. This month we look at some of the cars of Alex Moffoot.
Alex remembers his first car, as a young lad in the UK, was a 17 horsepower 1936 Armstrong Siddeley built by Armstrong Siddeley Motors Ltd. in Coventry, Warwickshire. In Canada Alex recalls that he and Ruth drove an Oldsmobile from Stratford to Alberta going through a quart of oil every 50 miles. As a new doctor and, with a baby coming, a finned Chrysler product was next. Driving through the snow one day Alex recalls that a Jaguar went by with seemingly no trouble on the snowy road. The next car, in 1957, was a 2.4 litre Jaguar which, surprisingly, did not do too well in the snow. Alex realized that the front track on this Jag is wider than the rear track so the rear wheels were constantly ploughing fresh snow. In 1959, Alex noted that Ruth's mother was coming for a visit, so that contributed to the reasoning for car shopping again. The next Jag to grace their Innisfail driveway was a big Mark IX Jag with power assisted steering and the 3.8 litre engine as standard.
Somewhere in this story an Austin Westminster and a 1956 Morris station wagon are added to the list of sedan (saloon) cars. Also included is a 1961 Austin Mini woody wagon. Alex was driving the Mini home one day, at 5:30 in the morning, on the highway and passed a parked police car. Forty years ago there was virtually no traffic on the road at that time in the morning so Alex attracted the interest of the officer. Checking for possible burglars heading home after robberies, the officer asked Alex just what he was doing that early in the day. He replied that for him it was late at night, as he had just been up all night delivering a baby. The policeman apologized for having stopped Alex, bid him a good day and sent him on his way home to get some breakfast and some sleep.
A few years later Alex bought a 1963 MGB which really did look good from twenty feet away but was instrumental in Alex learning how to use fibreglass to do body repairs. He then bought a rubber bumper 'B' and set out to make some improvements. He took it to a shop in the Western Communities where the single Stromberg was replaced with twin SUs and some other improvements were made including the ride height being returned to original. Still not totally happy, Alex looked at another MGB which was recommended to him. It was now 1982. This was a blue 1967 MGB GT in good condition and it was a local car having come from Horwood Bros. in Victoria. This was the one. A folding sunroof was soon added to let in the sunshine. That was twenty years ago and yes, this is the same MGB GT that we see Alex and Ruth tooling around in today on ice cream runs and to Rally In The Valley complete with a new set of Dayton chrome wires from British Wire Wheel. The shine from the new wheels can only be matched by the ear to ear grins on the faces of the owners!
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