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 500.
His early career was meteoric, with works drives for both Jaguar and HWM. 1955 was 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 racing the Mercedes-Benz W196 Monoposto. In that same year, he also won the epic 1,000 mile Mille Miglia road race in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR at an astonishing average speed of 97.96mph on public roads, the Targa Florio road race, again in the 300 SLR, and the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod.
Sir Stirling Moss pictured in his trademark 'Patey' open face helmet
"In 1955 he was signed up by Mercedes-Benz to partner World Champion Fangio..." 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, during his remarkable career.
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 such a car at the 1958 Argentine Grand Prix, and was in a class of his own during this period. His victory in the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix, racing a Lotus 18 against the more powerful Ferrari's, was his third Formula 1 victory around Principality and is still regarded as one of the best Formula 1 races ever.
Between 1954, his first year with what Stirling considered a proper Formula 1 car, the Maserati 250F, and 1962, he took part in 318 races of all types, finished in 225 of them, and bear in mind cars were not reliable in those days, and won 134.
"Stirling considered the Maserati 250F to be his first proper F1 race car..." He drove a Ferrari on 14 occasions, winning 12 of the races entered and taking 10 fastest laps. Of the remaining two races, he was disqualified at Sebring because the mechanics put in fuel when in fact the car had come in for brake linings, and in the 1961 Le Mans the radiator hose was cut by a fan blade when he was third overall and leading the GT Class.
Stirling drove for Rob Walker from 1958 to 1962, taking part in 93 races, finishing 70 of them with 46 first places, and also drove a Maserati in 72 races, finishing in 50 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!
Stirling Moss signed 'Wheel of Choice'
'722' Box Set, model and book, hand signed
CMC 1:18 Mercedes W196, signed
Sir Stirling, The Blonde & The Maserati
722 Book - the story of the 1955 Mille Miglia
Highlights from the 2014 Stars and Cars
It is with great sadness we hear that Store partner Sir Stirling Moss has passed away, our thoughts are with Susie, Allison and Elliot. But Sir Stirling, or ‘boss’ as he was known at home in Shepard Street, Mayfair, was more than just a partner to Store, in fact Signature Store would not be where it is today without him, and for that we are eternally grateful. It was with Stirling that we did our first commercial deal after Store was set up, our first ‘live event’ was with Stirling and he remains our most popular partner. Stirling also became our friend, Susie welcomed us into their home, even our children and friends were always made to feel like family, from riding in the lift at Shepard Street to giving advice in life. Stirling was always quick with a joke and sharp with a quip, it was an honour to be able to spend so much time with him as we did, make him happy and call him our friend. They say never meet your heroes, but if anyone lived up to their reputation it was Stirling, we will miss him RIP.