Every day this week GRR is reprinting excerpts from the new Stirling Moss book, published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Sir Stirling’s epic victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia – also to be celebrated at the Festival of Speed on June 26-28.
When Vanwall withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of the 1958 season, I had won 40 per cent of that year’s Grands Prix and missed the World Championship by one point. I was probably in a position to get signed by virtually any works team I might choose, and if I’d done that I would no doubt have earned far more money. Yet, to the surprise of a lot of people, I signed for Rob. And I never regretted it. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if my 1962 accident hadn’t ended my career, I would never have driven for anyone else in Formula 1 for as long as Rob had a car for me.
It was the beginning of an extraordinary racing relationship. I drove Rob’s cars, always painted in his racing colours of dark blue with the distinctive white band around the nose, in over 90 races between Argentina 1958 and Brussels 1962 – Formula 1, Formula 2 and GTs.
It would need a separate book to describe them all (but) several of them rank among the races I remember, out of my whole career, with the most pride: Argentina 1958 of course, Monaco 1961, Nürburgring 1961, and in a different way my two Goodwood TTs in the 250GT Ferraris.
For 1962 Enzo Ferrari was very keen to get my services, but I told him I would only drive a Ferrari if it could be painted blue with a white band and be run by Rob Walker. Amazingly, after some discussion the Old Man agreed to this. A new Ferrari 156 was built up for me at Maranello, and I was all ready to spend my 1962 Formula 1 season in a blue Ferrari.
It was meant to arrive in time for the Easter Goodwood meeting, but it wasn’t ready. So I drove the old Lotus 18/21 there. If the Ferrari had arrived, everything might have been very different…
Tomorrow: The end of an era
This is an extract from Stirling Moss: My Racing Life (£50) which is available from all good book retailers and direct from Evro Publishing, www.evropublishing.com