The license plate on Craig “Doc” Morey’s 1972 Triumph TR-6 that reads ATTWII stands for “And that’s the way it is,” and it’s a clue to what makes his car special.
By TOM STRONGMAN
Those famous words were the closing catchphrase that Walter Cronkite used to end the CBS Evening News broadcast every night. They’re on Morey’s license plate because his great uncle Cronkite used to own the car, and he willed it to Morey upon his death at age 92 in 2009.
Cronkite was born in St. Joseph in 1916, and his role as the anchor on CBS resulted in him being cited as “the most trusted man in America” in the 1960s and 1970s.
Morey, of Prairie Village, said he would often visit his great uncle Walter on Martha’s Vineyard where the TR-6 was used for cruising the island and running errands. Morey is a self-described car enthusiast who has owned an MG TD, Jaguar XK-E and a Lotus Europa that he eventually traded for a Lincoln.
Morey said he and his uncle had a special bond when it came to cars. “I had the car-loving gene for a long time,” he said with a voice whose solid tones bear a resemblance to those of Cronkite.
Cronkite’s interest in sports cars, and sports car racing, was not well known. He raced several times, finishing third overall and first in class in the late 1950s in the Little Le Mans endurance race at Lime Rock, Conn., in a Volvo PV544. Cronkite drove a Lancia Appia Zagato with two other drivers in the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring. They finished fifth in class and 40th overall. He also drove a Lotus 11 at one time.
Cronkite’s bosses at CBS told him he had to give up racing if he wanted to get ahead in broadcasting, and he did.
Morey displayed his car last weekend at the 12th annual Church of the Resurrection car show.
After Cronkite’s death, Morey decided to have the car restored, and he changed its original brown color to British Racing Green because that is how his uncle Walter, admittedly color blind, saw it.
Morey had the car restored as a “driver,” not a show car, but he clearly enjoyed telling people about the car at last weekend’s show.
What’s the future for Uncle Walter’s Triumph? Morey said he definitely wants to keep it in the family and pass it along to the younger generation. He even thought that it might be fun for Walter IV, Cronkite’s grandson, to have it someday.
In the meantime, Morey will continue to show off the car and recount stories about Uncle Walter and his car hobby.
Tom Strongman’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org