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Stirling Moss memorial service to take place in May

A huge memorial service for Sir Stirling Moss is to be held at Westminster Abbey in Central London in May and 100 Octane readers will be among the guests. Sir Stirling’s family has specified that 722 – yes, the most important number in his racing career! – of the 2200 guests should be readers of his favourite magazines who wish to pay their respects to the great man who passed away on 12 April 2020.

Organised by Sir Stirling’s son Stirling Elliot Moss – who will host the ceremony along with Sir Stirling’s daughter-in-law Helen Jane Moss – the celebration of the racing legend’s life will take place on Wednesday 8 May and speakers will include Sir Jackie Stewart, Simon Taylor and The Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

Equally amazing as the activity inside the Abbey, however, should be the silent display of Moss cars in London for the event. They will include the legendary 1955 Mille Miglia- winning Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’, which it is hoped will be flown in by Mercedes-Benz Heritage and put on display outside Westminster Abbey. Meanwhile, two more cars are expected to go on show in the famous Rotunda at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall. They are a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupé and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz W196R. For a week from 9 May the Gullwing is due be displayed there alongside ‘722’.

Stirling Moss Cars at the Goodwood Revival 2021 (Photo Nigel Harniman)

Stirling Elliot Moss, a renowned chef, said: ‘To be able to do this for my father – a man I admired in just about every way and one whom I still miss very much – is an unimaginable honour. I know that I am not alone in either of those sentiments, so I’m very grateful to Westminster Abbey that they have been so kind as to allow me to celebrate him in a befitting manner and to allow so many of those who feel as I do to be able to pay their respects and come together to remember the astonishing and inspirational man that he was.’

Although he never won the F1 World Championship – if he were less of a gentleman he might have taken the title twice – Stirling Moss was the first real polymath of motor racing and was the prime mover in defining the modern, professional racing driver.

Born in 1929, Moss started racing in the late 1940s and was prolific from the outset. In a seven-year span from 1955 to 1961 he was four-times runner-up for the F1 Drivers’ Championship and three times came third. His consistency was matched by his versatility, whether it be his win with Denis Jenkinson on the Mille Miglia in 1955 (his annus mirabilis), racing Sprites with his sister Pat at Sebring, or dominating the Nürburgring 1000km in an Aston Martin.

After his ‘career-ending’ crash at Goodwood in 1962, Moss moved into team management with the short-lived SMART: Stirling Moss Automobile Racing Team. Then there came broadcasting, saloons, ambassadorial duties and even voicing Roary the Racing Car. The thanksgiving service will celebrate all of the above as well as his life as ‘friend, father, gentleman, joker, and international icon’.

Tickets will be available to 100 Octane readers from 27 March. Click here to secure your ticket, and quote the code OCTANE. Tickets will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis with only one available per order.

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