Stirling Moss in the Mercedes W 196 R winning the British Grand Prix in 1955. [Daimler Media Photo]

Stirling Moss in the Mercedes W 196 R winning the British Grand Prix in 1955. [Daimler Media Photo]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

On April 12, we lost one of the true legends of motorsport, Sir Stirling Moss, who passed away at the age of 90 after having lived an incredible life.

Universally regarded as the greatest driver to never win the World Championship, Moss raced in Formula One from 1955 through 1961 and during that time finished 2nd in the Championship 4 times and 3rd in the Championship 3 times.

In addition to his Formula One exploits, he is perhaps best known to the general public as the winner of the legendary Mille Miglia in 1955, driving the Mercedes 300 SLR in a drive that will be remembered for the ages, and one which was well documented by his navigator, world famous racing journalist Denis Jenkinson.

In later years, Sir Stirling Moss was a fixture at major vintage and concours events, most times with his lovely wife Susie, and Moss entertained his legions of fans with stories of his racing exploits through the years. Sir Stirling Moss was a true gentleman, a real ambassador for racing, and always took time to speak with his fans and was forever patient as he signed countless autographs.

He is gone now, and will be forever missed among the motorsport faithful. Perhaps his passing is some sort of fitting bookend on the era in which we find ourselves – motorsport is on hold around the planet as we wonder what the Coronavirus pandemic will mean for the future, both for ourselves personally and for the sport we love. As time passes and we lose more of the heroes we grew up with and worshiped from afar (and up close), perhaps it is time for us to look back – to appreciate and honor those who have come before us and who laid the foundations of our sport.

Sir Stirling Moss may be gone, but many of our legendary racing heroes still walk among us. We need to make it a point to reach out to them, either in person at the races (when they resume), or by other means (preferably real mail with a real letter) and thank them – thank them for what they have done for our sport and to let them know that they are not forgotten. Let them know that we appreciate that they did extraordinary things in an extraordinary time and survived an era when many of their contemporaries succumbed to the dangers inherent in motor racing at the time. Let them know that we appreciate that they drove dangerous cars on dangerous circuits and did so for the purest of reasons – not for fame and fortune, but for the love of competition. They pushed themselves and their equipment to the limit, and often beyond, for the love of the sport.

If it weren’t for the likes of those legendary drivers, the worldwide sport that we follow today wouldn’t even exist. So, thank you to all the drivers who made the sacrifices and paid the price in blood, sweat and tears to advance the art of motorsport. We honor you all.

And thank you, Sir Stirling Moss, for a life well lived.

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