Wednesday, 17 August 2011
He might have retired (at the age of 81, no less!) from competitive motor racing, but Sir Stirling Moss OBE is still living life in the fast lane.
And one of the motor racing legend’s first public appearances since hanging up his famous ‘Herbert Johnson’ – his white, open-faced crash helmet from the 1960s – will be as Patron of Chelsea AutoLegends.
It’s a fitting link. Moss has lived in London all his working life while Chelsea AutoLegends has been described as London’s greatest show on wheels. It will be held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Sunday 4 September.
“London is the centre of the world, a place with a real pulse. It is entirely fitting that somewhere as great as our capital has a show as dynamic as Chelsea AutoLegends,” said the 16-time Grand Prix winner.
Sir Stirling’s top flight motor racing career ended in a high speed accident at the Goodwood circuit in 1962, but a more recent career in historic motor sport ended in less dramatic circumstances, this June.
Halfway through qualifying his Porsche RS61 for the Le Mans Legends event, he suddenly realised it was time to call it quits. He drove back to the pits, got out of the car and announced his retirement. “I scared myself and I always said that, if I felt I was not up to it or that I was getting in the way of fellow competitors, then I would retire,” he said.
While he might no longer be driving in anger, Moss still plans to be involved in historic motorsport events, giving demonstrations runs or, as at Chelsea AutoLegends, being involved as a figurehead.
Special themes at the show will include displays of Le Mans cars over the years, Group B rally cars and classic bikes. There will be cavalcades of supercars and motorcycles arriving at the show during the day, plus special tributes to the Jaguar E-type and Mini Cooper – both 50-years-old this year.
The ten most significant road cars of all times, as voted by Autocar magazine, will be on official display with countless other classics in the car parks. It’s not just cars but people, too. As well as Sir Stirling, multiple two-wheel World Champion Phil Read and rally hero Russell Brookes will also visit.
And in keeping with the venue which is just a stone’s throw from the Kings Road, and the many displays from the Swinging Sixties, it is hoped that visitors will get into the spirit of the day by wearing mini skirts, kaftans and bell-bottoms and put flowers in their hair.
Source: Chelsea Auto Legends
Check out our exclusive interview with Sir Stirling Moss on the Veloce YouTube channel!