The Start of A Racing Career

stirling moss, bmw 328, poole speed trials

Speed trials, which were time trials usually held on private estate roads, were common in England in the prewar years and again flourished postwar before club level racing got restarted in a major way. They gave owners of sports cars and older racing cars a way of getting back in competition again. These were rather informal affairs and safety equipment was, well, marginal. Nevertheless, some good-sized crowds would turn out as can be seen here. This image is from the Poole Speed Trials on September 6, 1947. The Poole Speed Trials, referring to the nearby town of that name, were held near the village of Lytchett Minster in Dorset in the south of England.

The driver of this BMW 328 is a young Stirling Moss, with then quite a bit of hair at the age of 17, who had borrowed the car from his father Alfred. He ran it in several events like Poole, sometimes winning his class, but he was third in class here. This mild level of success led to his father getting the young racer a 500 cc F3 car and the rest is history. The BMW was sold and went off to Australia from whence it returned to the U.K. in the 1980s where it had a reunion with its then somewhat older driver.

Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection


One comment

  1. jim sitz · · Reply

    Marvelous photo of Moss with a headful of hair, Other drivers in England had success with this type car when new inc Fane,” Bira ” and Dick Seaman. Moss’s career really took off when his father Alfred provided the means for Stirling to race new Maserati in 1954, His performance would get him position on Mercedes Benz team for the following year.This after leading the 1954 GP at Monza, thus getting the attention of Herr Neubauer

    Jim Sitz


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