Formula One great Sir Stirling Moss, 90, has passed away this morning, according to an FIA press release. Though Moss never took home a championship, his skill and finesse had made him one of the biggest names in open-wheel racing.
Moss’s career in racing started in 1948 but recognition waited until his debut with Mercedes in 1955 alongside fellow legend Juan Manuel Fangio. Moss spent much of his tenure in Fangio’s shadow but that didn’t stop him from taking him sixteen Grand Prix wins and coming in second and third in the drivers’ championship numerous times.
Though Moss was best known as a Formula One driver, perhaps his biggest accomplishment was his win in the 1955 Mille Miglia race. There, Moss piloted his Mercedes 300 SLR to a thunderous win over his Fangio, his teammate and perhaps his biggest rival.
Moss’s career in endurance racing also brought him to compete at Le Mans, Sebring, and Reims where he saw success if not any outright wins.
Moss left top-tier racing in 1962 after a crash at Goodwood (a tragedy that kept him out of his outrageous green Ferrari 250 GTO) though he did pilot an Audi 80 in the British Touring Car series in the ‘80s for a bit before officially retiring in 2011 after attending practice sessions in advance of the 2011 Le Mans Legends race where he was expected to pilot the very same Porsche he crashed at Laguna Seca back in 2010.
Moss was never a stranger to a little accident. In addition to all those crashes during his racing career, Moss also once fell victim to a dodgy elevator in 2010 and was seriously injured. We were fortunate to be able to run a post by Sir Moss himself when the dust settled and he was ready to reassure us all that he was alright.
Moss’s legacy will remain with us not just in the statistics that make up his legendary record in racing but in the surviving cars themselves. Moss’s winning car from the 1955 Mille Miglia remains with us to this day, as do the Mercedes SLR McLaren tribute cars built to honor it. So while we do have to say goodbye to Moss himself, his impact on racing, Mercedes, and cars, in general, will be with us forever.