Stirling Moss on his way to Victory


Here is the great Stirling Moss, now Sir Stirling Moss, taking a Mercedes-Benz W196 Grand Prix car into Melling Crossing on the old Aintree circuit near Liverpool. Aintree contained both a three-mile motor racing course of overall triangular shape but with one side bent inwards, as well as the famous steeplechase horse racing course where the Grand National was run.  Melling Crossing was so called because it crossed Melling Road, a public road which was lined by tall hedges and blocked by large gates when motor racing took place. It was actually quite a challenging fast corner, located at the end of the long Railway Straight which can be seen in the background, and being essentially blind on entry, due to the visually offset positioning of the hedges along Melling Road which resulted from the diagonal path the circuit took when crossing it.

Aintree was originally only for horse racing, but in 1954 the then owner, Mrs. Topham, created the Grand Prix motor racing circuit. However, the full Grand Prix circuit only lasted for a decade. Today there is still a smaller circuit used for club racing events which uses part of the Eastern portion of the original layout including Railway Straight (now called Sefton Straight) without crossing Melling Road.

The only win for Stirling Moss during his 1955 Grand Prix season with Mercedes-Benz took place when this photograph was taken at his home Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix which was run at Aintree on July 16. His mentor and team leader, Juan Manuel Fangio, finished right behind him in second place. Over the years historians have wondered whether or not Fangio ceded the win to Moss so he could taste a victory in front of his British fans. Fangio always denied that was the case, and Moss has always said he did not know.

Photo by Ami Guichard ©The Klemantaski Collection


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