Matthew Steeples remembers the motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, “the greatest driver never to have won the world championship”
Mille Miglia-winning Sir Stirling Moss, whose death at the age of 90 was announced this morning, remarkably survived falling down the lift shaft of his Mayfair home in 2010. He also kept road traffic policemen in punchlines with the infamous and much quoted: “Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?”
Resilient and witty to the end, Sir Stirling himself famously came out with quips such as: “If God had meant for us to walk, why did he give us feet that fit car pedals?” and “There are two things no man will admit he cannot do well: drive and make love.” When he got banned from driving in 1960, he took it with good spirit and reportedly even bravely allowed the late, great Marisa Masters – a lady certainly not known for her driving skills – to ferry him around. She often recounted how she “taught him about speed” as she motored round with him and a bottle of sambuca (to keep her going).
Sir Stirling hit “third time lucky” in marrying the loveliest of ladies, Susie Paine, in 1980 and together they had a son, Elliot. Even after taking ill with a serious chest infection in 2016 and subsequently retiring from public life, he remained jovial and as this British sporting legend motors off into the sky, I join those saluting this king of the fast lane.
Pictured top: Sir Stirling and Lady Moss.