• Goodbye, Sir Stirling!

In memory of a star behind the wheel.

Stirling Moss was one of the great Mercedes-Benz stars in the legendary motorsport season of 1955 and was a dedicated brand ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic for many years. The British racing driver died on April 12, 2020 at the age of 90.

The outstanding successes of Stirling Moss include the overall victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia with the best time ever achieved in that race as well as the first victory for a British driver at the 1955 British Grand Prix – he achieved both triumphs for Mercedes-Benz.

Stirling Moss with a Mercedes-Benz W 196 S racing sports car at test drives in the 1955 season.

Stirling Moss with a Mercedes-Benz W 196 S racing sports car at test drives in the 1955 season.

Stirling Moss as a brand ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Stirling Moss as a brand ambassador of Mercedes-Benz Classic at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Enthusiasm and dedication.

The brand with the star keeps the memory of the Silver Arrows driver alive. “We are all thinking of Stirling Moss, of this great person and racing driver, of his tireless dedication to motorsport and of the enthusiasm that he always kindled,” says Christian Boucke, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic.

The knight of the Silver Arrows.

In 2000, Moss was knighted by the Queen. Since then, the son of a London dentist born in 1929 has been able to call himself “Sir Stirling”. He had already been accepted into the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” by the Queen in 1959. And the racing driver had become a real favourite of the public in as early as the start of the 1950s.

The young Brit took part in his first race in 1948 – and immediately finished in fourth place. No wonder, really. As motorsport is in his family’s blood. His father Alfred and mother Aileen Moss took part in competitions in as early as the 1920s and 1930s. 

And Stirling’s sister Pat became a famous rally and sports car driver.

In as early as his debut year of 1948, Stirling Moss attained outstanding successes in Formula 3, became driver of the Formula 2 H.W.M. works team in 1949 and won the Tourist Trophy in 1950 in a Jaguar. Soon Moss became one of the first racing drivers ever to be represented by a professional manager. In 1954, he started to drive for Maserati in Formula 1. And in the same year he was signed by Mercedes-Benz racing manager Alfred Neubauer as a racing driver for the 1955 season. This was a pivotal moment in his career, as he had become a member of what was then the most successful racing team in the world.

Stirling Moss after the win at the 1955 Mille Miglia.

Stirling Moss after the win at the 1955 Mille Miglia.

The legend of the 1955 Mille Miglia.

“It was my greatest victory!” Stirling Moss would later say of the 1955 Mille Miglia. And of the 300 SLR: “Only Mercedes-Benz could build such a car.”

On 1 May 1955, Moss and his co-driver Denis Jenkinson went on the hunt from Brescia over the 1,000 miles to Rome and back. It was 7.22 a.m. – that’s where the start number of the silver racing car came from. Corner by corner, the 300 SLR flew along the 1,597-kilometre route, fighting for seconds with 520 other vehicles. 

Home victory at the Grand Prix.

Then the arrival at the finish line: after 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, Moss and Jenkinson won the 1955 Mille Miglia – with an average speed of 157.65 km/h. The two Brits therefore set a new record time for the “1,000 miles”, which still stands today: their time on this legendary road race was never beaten.

The second great triumph for Moss in 1955 was the victory at the British Grand Prix on 16 July 1955 in Aintree: in the Mercedes-Benz W 196 R Formula 1 racing car Moss was the first Brit to win this prestigious race. He led a quadruple victory for the Silver Arrows, followed by his team colleagues Juan Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling and Piero Taruffi.

At the British Grand Prix on 16 July 1955, Stirling Moss (start number 12) passed the chequered flag just ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio.

At the British Grand Prix on 16 July 1955, Stirling Moss (start number 12) passed the chequered flag just ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio.

Award ceremony at the British Grand Prix: winner Stirling Moss and second-placed Juan Manuel Fangio.

Award ceremony at the British Grand Prix: winner Stirling Moss and second-placed Juan Manuel Fangio.

Star results.

With the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR (W 196 S) racing sports car and the W 196 R Formula 1 racing car Stirling Moss showed impressive results in 1955:

  • Mille Miglia: 1st place
  • International Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring: 2nd place
  • British Grand Prix: 1st place and also his first Formula 1 victory
  • Swedish Grand Prix: 2nd place
  • Belgian Grand Prix: 2nd place
  • Dutch Grand Prix: 2nd place
  • Tourist Trophy in Dundrod, Northern Ireland: 1st place
  • Targa Florio: 1st place

Bowing out at the peak.

At the height of its success, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from circuit racing at the end of the 1955 season. Stirling Moss then drove in other vehicles by Vanwall, Cooper, Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lotus and B.R.M. – and again and again proved himself to be a world class driver. After a serious racing accident in 1962 the Brit ended his active career.

This photo of the Mercedes-Benz racing department was taken at the end of the 1955 racing season. Stirling Moss sits on the right next to the cockpit of the W 196 R Formula 1 racing car.

This photo of the Mercedes-Benz racing department was taken at the end of the 1955 racing season. Stirling Moss sits on the right next to the cockpit of the W 196 R Formula 1 racing car.

Stirling Moss at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Stirling Moss at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Friendship with the brand.

Stirling Moss always stayed associated to Mercedes-Benz and in later years particularly followed the activities of Mercedes-Benz Classic as a brand ambassador: the Silver Arrows knight was a guest as a contemporary witness at countless high-level classic car events.

Image gallery.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 14.04.2020.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

7 Angaben zu Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe der UN/ECE-Regelung Nr. 101 ermittelt. Die EG-Typgenehmigung und eine Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.