Excerpted from the "Mini Owners of America Los Angeles" website: http://www.moala.org/MOALA-History.html
In 1964 Robert Turney put an ad in the LA Times looking for other Mini owners who wanted to start a club. Five individuals showed up at the first meeting and that small group of Mini enthusiasts in Los Angeles banded together to form a car club that has now lasted more than four decades. They met first at Arrow Motors; a BMC Morris dealer in Compton. The group then moved to a California Bank at Bellflower Blvd and Carson in Long Beach. At that time the club's name was Mini Owners of America and Mr Turney presided as president. MOA (now MOALA) has grown into a club that promotes sport, camaraderie, education, and charity, all centered around this giant killer of a car. The club continues to be successful in its goals after more than four decades; drawing members from L.A., Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties.
After six years in operation MOA went national. MOA then became chaptered and the LA chapter (Mini Owners of America Los Angeles) was named in April 1970. The national organization was headquartered in LA and grew quickly. San Francisco Mini Owners joined in May as MOASF and a joint event between the two chapters was immediately planned. Some could argue that this was one of the earliest Mini Meets in the US. It was a rendezvous in Cambria. Tucson Mini Owners joined the national organization to make it three Charter Clubs. Not long after Seattle, Detroit, Pittsburg and Philadelphia expressed interest and the organization was off to a brilliant start. Chicago became the 4th chapter officially that first year. The Seattle Club, SAMOA, committed in January of 1971. All in all, a good start for the national organization.
Tony Clifford presided as president of the club during the merging into a national organization. The other board of directors were Paul Thornton, Paul Westberg. Kathie Carr, Bart Cerini and Bill Straka. Paul Thornton was instrumental in archiving the early years and a great debt of gratitude goes out to him for saving the newsletters from that time. John Casado edited the Newsletters during the time that MOA was organized. Dean Deeds was also instrumental over the years, editing the newsletter for many years.
The events that marked this era were centered around driving. The LA Chapter held runs, rallies, slaloms, autocross and races regularly. Bill Gilcrease was one of those early racers that later become president of the club. Actor Paul Wexler was another early member that presided over the club.
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