Sir Stirling Moss OBE
Sir Stirling Moss OBE is arguably the greatest all-round racing driver of all time and a true icon of the motor racing world. Known during his career as ‘Mr. Motor Racing’ he became a professional driver in 1948, at the age of 18, racing a Cooper.
His early career was meteoric, with 1955 being a seminal year; he was signed by Mercedes-Benz, the famed "Silver Arrows", to partner the legendary World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio. That year saw Stirling shadow the great Argentine in most Grands Prix, famously beating him to win the British Grand Prix at Aintree. In that same year, he won the epic 1,000 mile Mille Miglia road race at an astonishing average speed of 97.96mph on public roads. For four years he would finish runner-up in the Formula 1 Drivers World Championship, his sportsmanship at the Portuguese GP allowing Mike Hawthorn to win the 1958 Championship title by half a point at his expense.
After Mercedes-Benz retired from motor racing following the 1955 Le Mans tragedy, Stirling led the Maserati and Vanwall teams. He raced 107 different types of car, across all classes of motor sport. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he led the changeover to rear engined Formula 1 cars with the Cooper-Climax, achieving the first victory for the car at the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix. Between 1954, his first year with what he considered a proper Formula 1 car, the Maserati 250F, and 1962 he took part in 318 races of all types and winning 134.
He drove a Ferrari on 14 occasions, winning 12 of the races entered and taking 10 fastest laps. Stirling drove for Rob Walker from 1958 to 1962, taking part in 93 races with 46 first places, and also drove a Maserati in 72 races, with 25 first places and 31 lap records. Out of the 375 competitive races in which he finished during his professional racing career, he won an astonishing 212, which is more than one win in two! A near-fatal accident at Goodwood in 1962 ended it all.
Once the decision to retire from professional motoring racing was made, Stirling expanded his commercial interests with the same vigour that he employed when racing, chief amongst these being his property business, which he runs to this day with his family. He also designed his home in Mayfair which incorporated home comforts and gadgets which were ahead of their time in the 1960s, including an automated system for running a bath at a pre-set temperature, which could be triggered by pushing a button on one of many control panels located around the house. He continued to race in historic racing, his familiar White patey helmet and Blue light weight race being a regular feature at historic races around the world.
Stirling is well known for his love of design and the latest gadget. In 2009 the Stirling Moss brand was created, and then licensed. During qualifying for 2011 Le Mans Legends race Stirling made the decision to retire from competitive racing. He continues to demonstrate the cars he raced and take part in car rallies.
He was awarded the OBE in 1959 and Knighted in 2000 - a true British legend.