Top 12... Stirling Moss Goodwood wins

25th January 2018
Henry Hope-Frost

You’ll have noticed that in recent days Sir Stirling Moss, Britain’s greatest racing driver, indeed one of this country’s most celebrated sporting icons, has announced his retirement from public life, choosing now to spend more time with his family and to focus on regaining his health.


You won’t find a single admirer, from any generation, who’d begrudge the 88-year-old this opportunity to relax and reflect on his 70-year status as one of the very best of all time.

During his powerful period pomp, Moss was, of course, synonymous with Goodwood. He won during the opening weekend in September 1948, took numerous victories in spindly 500cc single-seaters, front- and rear-engined Grand Prix cars, sports-racers, GTs and big-banger World Sportscars, and suffered that career-ending crash in the Lotus 18/21 in April 1962.

By way of a tribute to his extraordinary record at the Motor Circuit, we’ve dug out 12 fabulous pictures from the LAT Images archive of ‘Mr Goodwood’ at his winning best during that 14-year professional career.


September 18, 1948 – 500cc race, Cooper-JAP

Just one day after starting his last year as a teenager, Moss lined up in a Cooper-JAP for the 500cc single-seater race at the former RAF Westhampnett perimeter road’s inaugural race meeting. He’d set the best practice time for what would be only his second race (his first had come at Brough aerodrome in April that year, while the bulk of his ’48 exploits had been sprints and hillclimbs) and went on to claim his first Goodwood scalp.


March 26, 1951 – Lavant Cup, HWM-Alta

Armed with debutant Hersham Walton Motors’ Alta-engined machine for the Lavant Cup for up-to-1100cc (supercharged) or 2-litre (normally aspirated) Voiturettes, Moss enjoyed a proper tussle with Formula 3 king Eric Brandon, nine years his senior, and pipped the Cooper man by less than a second in a slip-streaming finish. Two months later, Moss would make his World Championship Grand Prix debut in Switzerland for HWM.


September 25, 1954 – Goodwood Trophy, Maserati 250F

Now a bona fide Formula 1 driver in his family-owned Maserati 250F, about as good a customer Grand Prix car as ever there was, Moss had scored his first podium finish at the top level, with third at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in June, and came to West Sussex on a high for a non-championship Goodwood Trophy that featured a quality entry. He qualified the 2.5-litre Italian machine on pole more than four seconds ahead of Peter Collins’ Vanwall Special and beat his friend by 20 seconds in the 21-lap race, with fastest lap to boot.  


April 2, 1956 – Glover Trophy, Maserati 250F

Back in a 250F for 1956 after Mercedes’ withdrawal from motorsport after the Le Mans disaster the previous summer, Moss was by now a World Championship Grand Prix winner and at the top of his game. Goodwood’s Glover Trophy at Easter gave him another chance to thrill British crowds and get one over fellow Brits Tony Brooks, Bob Gerard, Mike Hawthorn, Les Leston, Reg Parnell, Roy Salvadori, Archie Scott Brown and Ken Wharton. He duly secured pole, won the race by more than a minute and broke the lap record in another trademark Moss masterclass.


April 7, 1958 – Sussex Trophy, Aston Martin DBR2

Moss had raced the DBR2, the bigger-engined forerunner to the DBR1 in which he’d go on to achieve world-beating success, just once before – in the Bahamas at the end of 1957 – and came to Goodwood with it for the traditional big-banger Sussex Trophy the following Easter. As was his wont, he secured pole and took the stunning Aston to victory, with a new sportscar lap record to go with it. The Ferrari Dino 206 S of Scuderia Ferrari F1 ace Peter Collins and the Jaguar D-type of former Le Mans winner Duncan Hamilton were outclassed to the tune of three-quarters of a minute.


September 13, 1958 – RAC Tourist Trophy, Aston Martin DBR1

Sharing the works DBR1 with friend Tony Brooks, with whom he’d famously won the British Grand Prix for Vanwall at Aintree the previous year, Moss was fastest of the six Aston drivers in the three David Brown cars and garnered pole for the four-hour World Sportscar Championship-qualifying enduro. The Moss/Brooks #7 DBR1 would head an historic Aston 1-2-3, ahead of Roy Salvadori/Jack Brabham and Carroll Shelby/Stuart Lewis-Evans, with yet another lap record going the way of the 28-year-old superstar.


March 30, 1959 – Glover Trophy, Cooper-Climax

As if his versatility needed any further proving, Moss was back in the Cooper fold for 1959, having given rear-engined motivation its maiden success in a one-off outing for Rob Walker at the start of ’58. His first European outing of the year came in Walker’s Climax 2.5-litre-engined T51 in Goodwood’s Glover Trophy. And despite qualifying only fifth, Moss worked his way to the front to defeat the works car of Jack Brabham, who was only a few months away from starting his World Championship-winning run…


September 5, 1959 – RAC Tourist Trophy, Aston Martin DBR1

The second of Goodwood’s two World Sportscar Championship marathons would host a three-way title fight between Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. It was a high-stakes, win-at-the-weekend-sell-on-Monday decider between a trio of motorsporting giants. For Aston, it all looked to have gone up in smoke – literally – when the leading DBR1 of Moss and Roy Salvadori caught fire in the pits during a mid-race refuelling stop. Moss was immediately seconded into the #2 Jack Fairman/Carroll Shelby car and went on one of his customary charges. Eventually winning by more than a lap from the best of the Porsche 718 RSKs, Moss had landed Aston the Manufacturers’ Championship.


April 18, 1960 – Fordwater Trophy, Aston Martin DB4 GT

At Goodwood’s Easter meeting in 1960, Moss found himself in three races in three different cars – quite the norm for Grand Prix heroes of the day on a weekend off. He finished second in a Cooper in the Glover Trophy and in a Formula 2 Porsche in the Lavant Cup – both times behind Innes Ireland in a new Lotus 18 – but took victory in the Fordwater Trophy for GT racers in Tommy Sopwith’s Equipe Endeavour Aston Martin DB4 GT, ahead of Roy Salvadori in John Coombs’ Jaguar Mk2 and Sopwith’s Jaguar driven by Jack Sears.


August 20, 1960 – RAC Tourist Trophy, Ferrari 250 GT SWB

He’d already won five Tourist Trophies – two for Jaguar and one for Mercedes on the Dundrod road course in Ireland – and two for Aston Martin at his beloved Goodwood, and in 1960 he was aiming at win number six for a fourth marque. Armed with a sublime Ferrari 250 GT SWB run by loyal friend Rob Walker, for whom he’d triumphed in May’s Monaco Grand Prix aboard a Lotus 18, Moss secured pole by 1.4sec ahead of a brace of Essex Racing Aston Martin DB4 GTs pedalled by Roy Salvadori and Innes Ireland. And the dark-blue-and-white Ferrari thrashed the British machines in the three-hour race, winning by two laps.   


April 3, 1961 – Sussex Trophy, Lotus 19

Showing no signs of slowing down, Britain’s most revered and versatile racer was still happy to race almost anything almost anywhere. By the time the traditional Goodwood Easter meeting came around in early April 1961, Moss had already raced in Australia, New Zealand and America that season. For Goodwood he tackled the Lavant Cup (Cooper, victory), Glover Trophy (Lotus, fourth) and Fordwater Trophy (Aston DB4 GT, third) before leaping into his pole-sitting UDT Laystall Lotus 19-Climax sports-racer for the Sussex Trophy. Heading home team-mate Henry Taylor, it was win number two of the day.


August 19, 1961 – RAC Tourist Trophy, Ferrari 250 GT SWB

Moss’s bid for a seventh TT victory came in August of 1961 and the race would be the last in which he would take the chequered flag at Goodwood. Back in Rob Walker’s Ferrari 250 GT SWB, he was outqualified by Mike Parkes in Ronnie Hoare’s Maranello Concessionaires example, with a trio of Essex Racing Aston DB4 GTs – those of Roy Salvadori, future F1 god Jim Clark and Innes Ireland – breathing down the prancing horses’ necks. In the race, Moss would turn the tables on Parkes and win the race by more than a lap, giving the driver of the #7 Ferrari his seventh TT win.  

It was during his next visit to Goodwood, the following April, that Moss suffered his mysterious career-ending crash on the approach to St Mary’s in Rob Walker’s Lotus 18/21 on the 36th lap of the Glover Trophy Formula 1 race. A glorious 14-year association between Britain’s fastest circuit and its greatest exponent may have ended that day, but Goodwood and Stirling Moss will forever remain inextricably linked. 

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