Remembering Sir Stirling Moss, OBE
Sir Stirling and Lady Moss stand with an assemblage of the cars he raced in at the 20th Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Photograph courtesy of Deremer Studios, LLC.
The world of motorsports lost the greatest road racer of all time when Sir Stirling Moss died on April 12.   

He came from a racing family. His father, a dentist by profession, drove in the 1924 Indianapolis 500 finishing 16 th . His mother drove trials and Stirling and his sister competed in horse trials early in life, but it was motorsports that captured the young Stirling. He began his career in the diminutive 500CC Cooper, but progressed quickly into production cars (BMW 328 and XK 120 Jaguars). His first professional drive, however, was in a Formula 2 HMW.
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
There are two drives that most will concede were his best.

The first was his epic drive in the 1955 Mille Miglia with navigator, Denis Jenkinson. A drive described by the great writer/historian, Doug Nye as, “the most iconic single days drive in motor racing history”, certainly a never to be repeated achievement. The second most impressive and successful race was the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix where he beat the factories (Ferrari, Cooper, Lotus) in the independently entered Rob Walker Lotus 18, a car that was outdated by the standards of the day. 
Moss on the way to victory in 1961 at Monaco in a Lotus 18.
He co-drove with the best.

Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, John Fitch, Peter Collins, and Innes Ireland, to name a few. I first saw Stirling race at Sebring in 1960 when he teamed with Dan Gurney in the Camoradi USA “Birdcage” Maserati.  Moss always looked so relaxed in the car, relaxed but still in command. That day, the two built a four lap lead on the second place Ferrari, only to have the rear axle break in the 7 th hour. The pair later went on to win the 1000 KM of the Nurburgring in appalling weather in the Lucky Casner Camoradi USA Maserati Typo 61.
Sir Stirling Moss with navigator Denis Jenkinson at the Mille Miglia in 1955. Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
Sir Stirling's racing career ended with a horrendous crash at Goodwood on May 23, 1962.

In all, Stirling entered 529 races and won 212 of them . He is a Member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He raced 84 makes of cars over his career including Mercedes-Benz, Lotus, Vanwalls, Oscas, Porsches, Maseratis, Jaguars, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Listers and Coopers. Being very patriotic, he was once quoted as saying, “Better to lose honourably in a British car than win in a foreign one.”
Sir Stirling and Warner at the start of the Reliable Carriers 8 Flags Road Tour in 2015. Photo Courtesy of Deremer Studios, LLC.
Sir Stirling Moss at The Amelia

When I founded the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 1996, I could think of no one I would more want to be our honoree than Stirling and his lovely wife, Susie. In 1996, at our inaugural event, Stirling came and did 6:30 AM weather reports on the local television, shook hands with everyone he met, regaled us with stories of his career and presented every trophy to every winner. Dawn to midnight, he was there. Susie on the other hand was on the floor in a side room with Jane assembling the signage for each car and helping everywhere she could. That is the kind of couple they were. Nothing too small or too large that they could not or would not do.
Lady Susie and Sir Stirling Moss at the Mercedes-Benz Gala in 2015. Photograph The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance/Neil Rashba.
In conversation with him, I asked how he defined his future after the accident at Goodwood.  He said, “While lying in bed in recovery, I thought that if I could not race again, the only thing I had to sell was Stirling Moss.” Hence, Stirling Moss Ltd., endorsing products, public appearances, and a spokesman /driver for Mercedes-Benz.

In 2015, he returned to Amelia to help us celebrate our 20 th Anniversary and what a celebration it was. We pulled out all stops to get as many of his previous race cars we could source, and the owners rallied to the cause with twenty-five of them (There are only 24 in the photo….long story). He and Susie were very pleased, as was the Amelia team. 

The following Monday, Mercedes-Benz filmed Sir Stirling driving 722 for what I believe was the last time. Through the generosity of Dan Davis, the filming was done at the D Dot Ranch in Jacksonville and can be viewed on Petrolicious’ website, titled, “ Unbeaten - Made to Drive. ” You really need to watch it . It is a beautiful production. And while you are at it, go on YouTube and watch Patrick Stewart’s special with Sir Stirling .
Sir Stirling passes an XKSS in the Cuban GP for Sportscars. Photo courtesy of Bill Warner.
Sir Stirling Moss in the Aston Martin DBR1 under the MG bridge. Photo courtesy of Bill Warner.
Growing up, Stirling Moss was my hero. 

His innate sense of fairness and his character was never more evident than at the 1958 Grand Prix of Portugal when he argued to the stewards of the meet to have Mike Hawthorn’s penalty for race infraction repealed. He won the race with Hawthorn second. At the end of the season, Hawthorn won the championship over Moss by one point. Had the stewards upheld their ruling, Moss more likely would have been World Champion.

A perfect gentleman. Jane and I and the Team at Amelia cherish the times we had with him and Susie. We had some time to visit with them at their flat in London and their condo in Aventura (FL), each visit memorable.

It has always been said that he was the greatest driver never to have won the World Formula 1 Championship. I would prefer to describe him as the greatest driver ever. He had a sense of fairness, valued friendships, was very patriotic, and extremely talented. He always looked to be part of the race car, calm, composed and focused. In life, he was witty, charming, warm, and accommodating. There will never be another like Stirling Moss. Our love and condolences go to Susie, who stood by him every day to the end.   

Rest in peace, my friend. You had a wonderful life.

Bill Warner
Photo Courtesy of Deremer Studios, LLC.
About The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
THE AMELIA will be held March 4-7, 2021 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island. The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.5 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other local and national charities since 1996. To learn more about the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, visit .

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