Sir Stirling Moss - All My RacesClaire Furnell January 28, 2010
- Stirling Moss
ESPNF1 columnist Sir Stirling Moss is still one of the most famous names in motorsport, despite not having raced since 1962. To mark his 80th birthday there is a new book out detailing every event he took part in. Aptly titled All My Races it's fair to say it does exactly what it says on the cover and much, much more.
In collaboration with renowned motorsport journalist Alan Henry, Moss takes us through the 585 events that he competed in from 1947 until his horrific crash at Goodwood in 1962. Understandably, he admits he cannot recall all of the meetings, but thanks to Moss's meticulous diary-keeping, Henry has managed glean every detail.
This is not a book you are unlikely to read in one sitting, but it does reward the reader who just lets the glossy pages fall open. Not only will you find 300 beautiful photographs - both in colour and black and white - but also a host of interesting and funny anecdotes. Often people are tempted to skip over introductions but I suggest you read Henry's, otherwise you will miss out on comments that give you an insight into the relationship between author and subject.
The pair started work on the book soon after Lewis Hamilton had been crowned world champion in 2008. On their first meeting Henry, who had been trackside at Interlagos to witness the seat-of-the-pants finish to the championship, faced a barrage of questions from Moss. "It did not take long to establish that Stirling knew - or certainly understood and interpreted - far more of the subtleties of that event than I had done." Quite a compliment from someone who has covered F1 for 36 years and witnessed over 550 races.
The early years of Moss's career are some of the most fascinating. In the first chapter called "1947 - Cutting My Teeth" he describes his first tentative steps in to the business, detailing little know speed-trials and rallies. He also covers his first connection with the Cooper car company, for whom he would soon make his name.
Aside from the Cooper 500s, he describes races in some of the most iconic cars of his era, including an ERA, the Jaguar C-Type and the stunning Maserati 250F. He also gives an insight into the history of some of the better-known events still on the calendar today. On the 1956 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa he writes of a mechanical failure: "I was running an easy second when my car's left-rear half shaft snapped, shedding the wheel, hub and brake drum, leaving me at the wheel of a Formula One tricycle." In the fashion of the day, he scraped back to the pits, appropriated his team-mate's 250F and went on to finish third.
It is interesting to see the diversity of cars that he raced during a single year. F1 races rub shoulders with 12-hour endurance events, road rallies and Formula 2 competitions - unthinkable to a driver of today.
He is candid about the crash that ended his career, No.585 - The Glover Trophy at Goodwood, "And here the story ended …" he writes. If anything, it should read and here a new story begins.
What comes across in each of the 350 pages of this glossy book is the unique bond that author and driver have. Henry's skill oozes out of every page, and Moss's unique view on life and motorsport is captured so vividly, you can almost hear him telling the stories. If you read about just one event a day, it would be over a year-and-a-half very well spent.
Signed copies can be bought by logging onto Sir Stirling's website www.stirlingmoss.com
Title: All My Races
Author: Sir Stirling Moss with Alan Henry
Published by: Haynes Publishing
Claire Furnell is the senior editor of ESPNF1