The Racer’s Racer

With the death of Stirling Moss, we present here photos from his most famous races.

Stirling Moss, Denis Jenkinson, Mercedes-Benz, Mill Miglia, klemcoll

Of course Stirling Moss had perhaps his most famous victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia, driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with his great friend Denis Jenkinson as his navigator. This photo was taken at the top of the Futa Pass north of Florence on their way to Bologna and Brescia. Moss and Jenkinson had spent many days in practicing the route of the Mille Miglia and reducing it to a roll of notes that Jenkinson referred to in giving his driver signals about upcoming corners. Their record pace was never equalled.

Photo by Yves Debraine ©The Klemantaski Collection


Cooper, Stirling Moss, Buenos Aires, klemcoll

Another famous Moss win was in the 1958 Argentina Grand Prix, held at Buenos Aires. Moss drove a Cooper T43, basically an F2 car, owned by private entrant Rob Walker. It was a totally unexpected win as Moss defeated the best that the Ferrari and Maserati teams could offer. During the long race in the hot Argentinean weather it was planned that all cars would have to make one tire stop. Moss and his mechanic Alf Francis had to think of something because in practice Moss and the Cooper were two seconds slower than the pole time of Juan Fangio’s Maserati. But Moss and Francis had an idea that it might be possible to do the race without a tire change (no easy or quick task with the Cooper’s multi-bolt wheels). As the other teams started to come in for their stops Francis prepared new tires for Moss to do likewise. But it was all an act to mislead the opposition that Moss would pit and they could relax their pace. Moss held on as his tires showed their canvas in the final laps, but he won by 2.7 seconds from Luigi Musso’s Ferrari 246F1.

Photo from the JJF Archive ©The Klemantaski Collection


Stirling Moss, Aston Martin, Nürburgring,klemcoll

Stirling now drove only British cars and often in the late 1950s drove with great success for Aston Martin. Here he is during another Moss fantastic comeback in the 1959 Nürburgring 1000Km. race. At the famed Nürburgring Moss was teamed with journeyman driver Jack Fairman in their Aston DBR1. Moss took the start and had built up a nice lead breaking the lap record on almost every lap against the Ferrari Testa Rossas. Fairman then took over but quickly lost track position in wet weather and slid off the road and partially into a ditch. Fairman, then 46 years old, got out and slid beneath the car and lifted it back onto the road. Fairman then gave the Aston back to Moss who passed the Ferraris and retook the lead building it out to some three minutes. On Fairman’s next stint Phil Hill passed him to retake the lead with his Ferrari. But when Moss took over for the last ten laps he caught Hill’s Ferrari and drove on to the win.

Photo by Yves Debraine ©The Klemantaski Collection


Lotus, Monaco, Stirling Moss, klemcoll

Some say that the best win by Moss was at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1961. Moss said it was the hardest race of his life. Here is a wonderful overhead photo of Moss taken at the station Hairpin as he once again drove a Rob Walker car, this time a Lotus 18. At Monaco it was expected that the new 156F1 V6 Ferraris would be dominant, but Moss set the pole time with Richie Ginther’s Ferrari only 2/10ths of a second slower, followed closely by the works Lotus of Jim Clark. At the start it was Ginther who set off first until Moss got by on the tenth lap and built up a lead of about 10 seconds, determined to go as quickly as possible so long as his car would last. Phil Hill was unable to close the gap and Ginther was let by to have try. He was quickly able to reduce the Moss lead to three seconds not could not reduce it further. Both Ginther and Moss set equal fastest laps on the 85th and 86th laps, a time an amazing three seconds faster than Moss’ pole time. But once again Moss held on to take an exciting win.

Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection

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