Stirling Moss at Goodwood in 2011
Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE (born 17 September 1929) is a former
Formula One racing driver from England. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he achieved success in several categories of competition and has been described as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship".
Moss, who raced from 1948 to 1962, won 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One
Grands Prix. He would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different makes of car over the course of his racing career, including Cooper 500, ERA, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Vanwall single-seaters, Aston Martin, Maserati, Ferrari,
Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz sports cars, and Jaguar saloons. Like many drivers of the era, he competed in several formulae, often on the same day.
He preferred to race British cars, stating, "Better to lose honourably in a British car than win in a foreign
one". At Vanwall, he was instrumental in breaking the German/Italian stranglehold on F1 racing (as was Jack Brabham at Cooper). He remained the English driver with the most Formula One victories until 1991 when Nigel Mansell overtook him after competing in more races.
giving it some in a 1955 Mercedes
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1959 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the
BBC Television Theatre.
In 1990, Moss was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
In the New Year Honours 2000 List, Moss was made a Knight Bachelor for services to motor racing. On 21 March 2000, he was knighted by
Charles, standing in for the Queen, who was on an official visit to
Australia. As Moss drove his Mercedes away from
Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, he was stopped by a palace guard who joked:
"Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?" Moss smiled and replied
"Sir Stirling Moss, actually."
He received the 2005 Segrave
In 2006, Moss was awarded the FIA gold medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to motorsport.
In December 2008, McLaren-Mercedes unveiled their final model of the Mercedes-Benz SLR
McLaren. The model was named in honour of Stirling Moss, hence, Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss, which has a top speed of 217 mph (349 km/h) with wind deflectors instead of a windscreen.
Just to prove that he is fallible (human)
and prone to the odd slip, in April 1960, Moss was found guilty of dangerous driving. He was fined £50 and banned from driving for twelve months after an incident near Chetwynd, Shropshire when he was test-driving a
Motor racing star Sir Stirling Moss has caused controversy by saying he didn't want 'a poofter or anything like that' to play him in a film.
His comments came during an interview when he said he would like a 'masculine' actor like James Bond actor Daniel Craig to portray him in any biopic.
The 83-year-old Formula One legend then made matters worse by backtracking, claiming he had 'homosexual friends' and that 'there's nothing wrong with it'.
Sir Stirling also said he would need a masculine actor because he had spent his life 'driving cars and chasing girls'.
Today gay and
lesbian campaigners condemned him for his homophobia.
Stonewall's Ben Summerskill said: ‘Rugby players like Gareth Thomas, boxers like Orlando Cruz, and any of the brave gay people currently serving their country in Afghanistan might be a little better qualified to comment on masculinity than the accomplished car driver Sir Stirling Moss.’
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: 'It is a shame that such a great British sporting hero has resorted to this crude homophobic language. Prejudice has no place in any sport.
'Surely Stirling Moss would want himself to be played by the best actor, regardless of their sexuality?'
Sir Stirling's musings on who might play him were sparked at the London Motor Hall of Fame when he heard that the married Australian actor Chris Hemsworth was playing the late Formula 1 champion James Hunt in a film.
He said: 'I hope the actor would be masculine, not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from
This afternoon the veteran driving star dug himself a little deeper when he tried to defend his comments.
He told MailOnline: 'Certainly I've got very many friends who are of the different persuasion; I just wouldn't want to be that way and I'm glad I'm not.
'They are not going to make a film about me in any case but if they did, I think someone who's masculine would be better than someone who's effeminate, because I've spent my whole life chasing crumpet and racing cars.
He added: 'That's what I was all about - going around the world and spreading happiness. It wouldn't obviously work if I was played by that lovely chap Kenneth Williams who played upon being poofy.'
'I'm sorry I've caused offence, but I didn't mean to cause any. I personally am very grateful to homosexuals because the more of them there are around, the more women are free for me.'
Stirling Moss and his lovely wife Susie
Sir Stirling had a glittering career on the motor-racing circuit, winning 16 Formula One Grands Prix before he retired at 43 in 1962 after a crash left him in a coma for a month.
Known as the 'greatest driver never to win the World Championship', Sir Stirling won millions of fans in the fiercely competitive racing world, loved as much for his character as his driving skills.
He preferred to race British cars, saying 'Better to lose honourably in a British car than win in a foreign one', and believed the manner in which the race was fought was as important as the outcome.
Off the track, Sir Stirling was as voracious in his thirst for women as he was for motor-racing victory. He and James Hunt were often seen surrounded by beautiful admirers in the casinos and nightclubs of
Many hearts were broken when Sir Stirling married for the first time. He met his first wife, Canadian brewer's daughter Katie Molson, on the track at Le Mans, and married her at St Peter's, Eaton Square, in 1957.
Their marriage lasted just two years, and in 1964 he married the glamorous American, Elaine Barberino. But that marriage, too, was not to last, despite her having his daughter Alison, and they
divorced in 1968.
It was a question of third time lucky for Sir Stirling - in 1980 he married Susie Paine, a young British woman practically half his age - and they have a son, Elliot.
But being happily married has not made the racing legend boring: last year he told an interviewer he enjoyed sex was 'still extremely important to me', and said he would like to live for ever, as long as 'I could have Susie with me'.
Three years ago, Sir Stirling fell three storeys down a lift shaft in his London house, breaking both ankles as he landed on its concrete base. He also broke four bones in one foot, chipped some vertebrae, and suffered skin damage in the accident in March 2010.
However his spirit was not dented, and Lady Moss quipped soon afterwards that he had recovered well enough to be complaining about the hospital breakfast.
had his fair share of girlfriends before settling down. All the more
praise for Susie Moss in giving him what he was looking for.
is entitled to speak his mind and perhaps should not be hauled over
the coals as much as the media have done, for saying what many of us
also think might give an inaccurate portrayal of the famous racing
9 and 10 guarantee
us the right if freedom of speech and thought. We cannot imagine Daniel
Craig playing the part, nor Russell
Brand for that matter. But that is our opinion. We'd prefer to
keep Daniel doing what he is doing as Bond (and other interesting
movies) and Russell doing what his is doing, making people laugh
(especially his divorce attorney). Casting is of course an art in
actor, or one who is able to portray Sir Stirling true to life will
almost surely be cast by any film company. Mainly because not to do so
would be commercial folly - and art is art. Let us not go too far the
other way and cast a complete neanderthal, when in fact most racing
drivers are a clear reflection of modern man, who is a highly adaptable
tool user, and a racing car is a machine that requires all the
qualities from the operator that man alone is capable
of mustering - at the moment:)
Stirling Moss on Youtube
Mail motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss 83 homophobia row
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