Moss Owners Club

John Cowperthwaite designed all Moss cars.  He designed a body shell which was capable of taking the main parts from a donor car so the donor car parts fitted to the Cowperthwaite shell and the whole became a Moss car.  The Moss is a kit car.

If the Cowperthwaite shell was a Malvern and the donor car was a Triumph Herald you would build a Moss Malvern which had a turning circle of 18 feet (5.5m) which needed all the same parts and maintenance as the original Triumph Herald.  Exactly the same happened with all other Mosses.  If you used a Ford Escort then it would look exactly the same as all other Moss Malverns but it would be serviced and maintained as a Ford Escort.  

All Moss cars use a donor car to provide the main parts then become a Moss when those parts are fitted into the Moss shell.

The first Moss had two seats and was produced in Sheffield around 1981.  This 2 seater became the Roadster in 1982 when the range was extended to include the 2+2 Malvern. A year later the Mamba went into production and in 1984 the Moss set was completed with the introduction of the Monaco. The grill on the first Roadsters and Malverns had seven bars but was changed to the multi-bar version during 1983.  In 1985 the factory caught fire and some of the moulds and all the sales records were destroyed. The rights and remaining moulds were sold on to Hampshire Classics in 1986, who did little with them.  It is thought the Mamba moulds were sold on around this time although it is equally possible they were destroyed in the fire at the Sheffield factory.  In 1987, seeing the possible demise of the marque, three members of the owners club bought the moulds and rights from Hampshire Classics for all the cars except the Mamba and continued production until the mini-depression of the early nineties when Moss Cars (Bath) Ltd. followed many other manufacturers into obscurity.  Due to the loss of the sales records in the fire at Sheffield it is impossible to give accurate production figures.  The following estimated figures are the best we can do.

Malvern   350                                          Roadster   130                                    Midge    not known

Monaco     70                                             Mamba     23                                    Locust   not known

For a long time it was believed there were only 16 Mambas produced, but a Mamba was discovered in 2009 with the serial number 23.

The Moss Owners Club was formed in 1983 for Malvern, Roadster, Monaco, Mamba, Midge and Locust enthusiasts but Midge and Locust Owners eventually parted company so they each now have their own club.

Most Moss cars are either Triumph or Ford based with engines ranging from 850cc to 3500cc and have standard Moss or custom body shells.  The purchasers of cars in the 1980’s usually built their own car even though many are found with the plate saying ‘handbuilt by Aquila Marine’. This company principally built boats but also created the Moss fibre glass body shells - by hand. They only built the fibre glass body shell.  

Many of the original owners are still club members although the majority of members today have bought, rather than built, their car.  Their problems with restoration are surprisingly similar to those which perplexed the original builders and need just as much imagination.

The club supports its members by arranging meeting places during the year where you can meet with other members and talk over ideas or problems and has facilities to support its members via email or the web pages of this site.

The Moss Owners Club is keen to have a record of all Moss cars produced.  If you know of any which are not owned by a Moss Owners Club member or is hidden away in a garage or barn, please email us to tell us of its location with some contact details.  We should also appreciate it if you would tell the owner about the club and this web site. The car may  be a wreck with £0.00 value but it might be someone else’s dream rebuild project.

Moss cars are gaining interest around the world but particularly in UK and Europe.  A well maintained car will attract a lot of interest when it goes on the road and the few cars which appear for sale are usually sold within a very short time.  Unlike most cars, the Mosses are more than holding their price both in UK and Europe.

No Moss kits have been produced for more than twenty years and storing the moulds was an increasing problem.  When a reasonable offer was made to purchase the moulds we accepted.  This has allowed us to offer free membership of the club to alll Moss owners worldwide during 2016 (and perhaps much longer) and production of Moss Monacos to begin in France.  We believe this is a fair outcome as maintaining the moulds was becoming rather difficult.