MOTOR RACING DRIVER EXTRAORDINAIRE SIR STIRLING MOSS OBE PASSES AWAY…
Kim says, “I was greatly saddened this evening (Sunday 12th April) to hear of the passing of Sir Stirling Moss OBE, legendary and fearless racing driver and participant in the Mille Miglia (which, incidentally he completed at an average speed of 99 mph!!). In my youth he was the much respected motor racing driver that everyone talked about, among so many legends of his era. I have been privileged to hear him talk of his racing days, about which he spoke so candidly. He will be much missed in the world of motoring in general, and especially motor sport”.
(All photographs courtesy National Motor Museum, Beaulieu).
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu made this statement (12th April):
“Sir Stirling was a friend of Beaulieu since the early days, when he attended the opening of the new Montagu Motor Museum buildings – the forerunner to the National Motor Museum – in 1959. In a wonderful demonstration of continuity, we were delighted when he returned in 2015 to open our new motor sport display, A Chequered History. He will be remembered as one of the greats of British motor sport.
Sir Stirling Moss, OBE, had a long connection with the National Motor Museum. He came to Beaulieu on April 5th, 1959 for the opening ceremony of the new Montagu Motor Museum buildings, which were officially opened by Lord Brabazon of Tara. Other motoring personalities there included Raymond Mays, Tony Brooks, the Marquess of Camden and George Eyston.More recently, on March 5th, 2015 Sir Stirling opened the National Motor Museum’s new motorsport display, A Chequered History. He was joined in a ribbon cutting by veteran F1 commentator Murray Walker and took part in a nostalgic question and answer session in the Lecture Theatre, looking back at Sir Stirling’s glittering racing career in front an audience of around 100 guests.
At the opening, in spite of his age Sir Stirling took the opportunity to sit in two of the sports cars in the National Motor Museum which held special significance for him. The 1949 Cooper 500 and 1950 BRM V16. Sir Stirling started his professional racing career driving a similar Cooper 500, remarking that “the Cooper 500 was the ideal drive” but saying when he sat in it again that now “it didn’t fit me so well.” The 1950 BRM V16 was “positively the worst car I ever drove,” he recalled. “Lovely gearbox, good brakes, but the thing is you couldn’t stop it because it handled so bad, it wasn’t very nice.”