Favourite Moss stories
Posted 03 November 2000 - 12:28
BTW, I hope not to spoil Massa Keirs holy quest for 1000, as their careers did not overlap, but they shared many opponents.
And here are some photos, just to start you talking.
Posted 03 November 2000 - 21:07
Great picture indeed, this one of SM with the Aston Martin taken at Goodwood...
Posted 05 November 2000 - 01:14
Posted 05 November 2000 - 04:05
Posted 05 November 2000 - 04:31
That day, in its own way, said so much about the man. He was driving a 1961/62 hybrid Lotus (am I allowed to mention the big business reasons why Rob Walker wasn't allowed to buy a '62 model for him?). After setting off at his all-out pace, he had to make a stop for mechanical reasons. He then set off a lap (or more?) behind.
Being SM, his pace was as furious as before. For why? Because he's SM.
He got onto the grass trying to pass Graham Hill, who was leading, and the rest is history and mystery. As far as I know, we will never know why he, the absolute master of recovery, continued across the grass at near undimished speed into the earth bank. We were still left with a great man, but we had lost a supreme talent.
My chance to get a better understanding of that supreme talent came at Goodwood at the 1957 Easter meeting. Train and bus had taken me to Goodwood for the practice session. They let me for free (hope Bernie's not reading this). Things were looking good!
For the 1st F1 session, I had walked about about a third of the way around the circuit to Fordwater. There, the cars were hidden from view until they came over the brow of a small incline. It was a beautiful spring day, birds in the hedge-rows singing. Then the cars were let out of the paddock. I hear an engine being taken through the gears on what sounds like full song, and a car bursts over the brow. The whole image seemed to say, "This is a Vanwall, and this is Stirling Moss driving it."
The rest followed, mostly on what seemed 3/4 throttle. The impression of Moss' total authority over his car seemed to me to be his hallmark. Perhaps other will be able to echo this feeling.
For the second F1 session, I walked back to Woodcote, the fastest corner on the circuit. Hey, they didn't stop me getting into the grandstand. I'd never had the money to view from a grandstand before, and now I was about to see what F1 driving was really all about.
Moss was out, using team-mate Tony Brooks as a pacemaker. You couldn't have better, with Brook's oh-so-consistent fast laps. The Vanwalls had a definite understeer characteristic, which suited Brooks just fine, but not Moss when he was in a REAL hurry. So, as he approached the 2nd apex of Woodcote, Moss threw the Vanwall onto full lock INTO the corner. Naturally, the car didn't like this, and the rear end immediately broke away, to be instantly corrected with full opposite lock. A puff of dust from the apex (as per the Aston Martin) and Moss is unwinding the steering as he clips the grass on the exit and lines the car up for the chicane, a small, but very solid brick affair.
The first viewing of these antics left me thinking, "You nearly lost it that time, lad." Wrong, because it was repeated for several consecutive laps. The speed at which Moss wound from lock to lock, with foot hard to the floor left me thinking very hard. This won him the pole,(but not the race - the Vanwall lost its throttle linkage).
After all this eye-popping activity, I went over to the paddock without a single piece of ID (Bernie, cry your eyes out). The Vanwall team had wheeled Moss' car away from prying eyes, but not Brooks'. A peek into the cockpit showed the tell-tale rev counter with 4-500rpm in hand. Brooks was 0.2 second slower than Moss, with no wheel winding whatsoever (of course). Interesting.
Well, this is a nostalgia column, so I'll carry on with what more peeking into the cockpit showed. A seat in the middle of a bunch of space frame tubes, situated above the massive gearbox/final drive unit. The driver sat with pannier fuel tanks alongside each leg, a drive-shaft to the gearbox between them. Just behind and below each elbow, a drive shaft to each rear wheel. Stark, stark, stark. Nice wood-rimmed steering wheel though, and the gun metal finish on the dashboard was well done.
Wolf, you also asked for a favourite story. This one from DSJ, whilst at the 1959 (pretty sure) Monaco GP. The Scarab was making one of its few appearances, and in some desperation they asked SM to give it a whirl to get a better idea of what was what. SM did a few laps, with times about 2 secs off the pace. Jenks reckoned that if they had put SM's seat into the Scarab, that would knock a second off his times. Then, if there was some decent prize money for pole, that would take off another second, and there you are.
Come on lads of the older variety, there's got to be lots more!
Posted 05 November 2000 - 20:24
Posted 05 November 2000 - 22:01
Posted 05 November 2000 - 22:54
Posted 06 November 2000 - 00:59
Posted 06 November 2000 - 02:19
If only I had the brains back then to get an autograph
Posted 06 November 2000 - 02:47
I think I spoke to him at Bathurst, too, when he did that race in the seventies, co driving with Jack, when they stalled on the grid and were rammed from behind.
Posted 07 November 2000 - 01:01
Posted 07 November 2000 - 07:24
It's my first post to this very interesting forum and I apologize for my english but will do my best to be understandable !
Moss was my hero and is still for me one of the very first driver of all ages
When I "entered" in F1 (1960-61), he was the only magic guy who can beat with a private car the unbeatable shark noses.
Fangio always denied he returned one victory to Moss in the british GP in 1955. Anything more about this ?
Posted 07 November 2000 - 13:23
Posted 08 November 2000 - 14:00
Both here and in Tech forum.
Posted 08 November 2000 - 21:00
I was at Aintree for the 1961 British GP. Rob Walker had entered Moss in the Lotus, and Jack Fairman in the Ferguson.
The rain was very heavy in the early laps and Moss was away, but even he got caught up in a 360 degree spin. Didn't touch the grass though...
Conditions improved, the Lotus died, and the shark-nose Ferraris took over the lead. All the while, Fairman was well back. For whatever reason, (be nice to know), Fairman was called in and Moss took over. He then began to lap at a similar pace as in the Lotus. There were reports that some teams hung out pit boards warning their drivers that SM was now in the Ferguson and not Fairman...
What intrigued me was to see Moss' immediate adaption to a totally different car. His line on through the corner we were viewing became quite different when he switched to the 4wd Ferguson.
Was there anything that man couldn't do in a race-car?
Posted 08 November 2000 - 23:48
On the matter of Aintree, I've recently read (probably in one of Don's articles on '61 season) that he was black-flagged on Cooper's protest. Why on earth would he do that- I've heard he was rare enthusiast, and I was under impression that SCM was instrumental in Cooper's winning the title in '59?
Posted 09 November 2000 - 00:09
Again, what SM was doing in the Ferguson, apart from enjoying himself, is another question.
Moss won the Portugese GP in Rob Walker's Cooper, I seem to remember. A lap ahead of the opposition....
Posted 09 November 2000 - 00:30
Posted 09 November 2000 - 02:13
But I can't think of a time when SM had access to a Cooper and a Lotus. Our host to the rescue, please.
In '58, Tony Vandervell got a bit bent when SM was putting in laps in Rob Walker's Cooper during practice at Monaco. The punishment was not being allowed to take over Brooks' Vanwall which went on to take pole. Brooks must have smiled to himself, because SM had first call on the best bits in the Vanwall team.
Oops. I've just looked into "All but my Life", and it does record SM finishing 1st in a Formula International Cooper, and 3rd in F1 in a Lotus at Goodwood in 1961.
More exciting, and something to rival THAT thread, is a Jesse Alexander picture of Moss in a 250F Maserati in a beautiful drift, 30 degrees or more to the track line AND with a very small touch of oversteer correction. Car number 30, but the book doesn't give any more details.
Now if we could get tha onto the site...
Posted 09 November 2000 - 02:33
copyright by The Man himself
BTW, this is Real McCoy; no opposite lock- just drifting across the track.
Posted 09 November 2000 - 02:54
Posted 09 November 2000 - 03:09
Posted 09 November 2000 - 04:49
Posted 09 November 2000 - 07:06
Two years later, as Rob congratulate Jack for his championship, he remind him about this, telling that he was very close to achieve that (unusefull reminder : Moss was second ;) ).
Jack Brabham replied : "2 years ago, I didn't know you will take Moss to do that".
(translated back to english from the french version of Cooper-Evans's book, "Private entrant").
[p][Edited by Yves on 11-09-2000]
Posted 09 November 2000 - 08:44
Must have been 1962...
Posted 09 November 2000 - 20:02
Originally posted by Mike Argetsinger
Fairman made a really good start in the rain in the Ferguson but drove over some debris from an accident by Henry Taylor. Body work was damaged and a magneto lead trapped between the damaged bodywork and the chassis frame eventually chafed through and Fairman pitted with a misfire. When the problem was diagnosed and rectified Stirling (who had already retired the Walker Lotus with mechanical problems) was sent out in the car. But he received a push start from the mechanics and was disqualified. However he was allowed to continue running with the clear understanding that he could not qualify as a finisher. But Ferrari lodged a protest and Stirling was blackflagged. My source here is Michael Cooper-Evans in his 1993 biography of Rob Walker.
I believe that Fairman was disqualified from an earlier pitstop, not when Moss took over, and that it was Charles Cooper who protested. moss was not impressed.
Posted 09 November 2000 - 20:46
Posted 09 November 2000 - 23:54
I've dug up another good photo, but in poor condition so I had to try to fix it to be, at least, in so-so condition. What say ye?
Posted 10 November 2000 - 04:40
In contrast to your experience, one of my favourite pictures in 'Fangio' is of him signing an autograph for an English schoolboy. One big man and one small boy sharing a moment.
Posted 10 November 2000 - 05:07
Posted 10 November 2000 - 11:05
I'd like to read some good stories of Moss at 1000 Miglia and Targa Florio. Didn't Moss take part to a 1000 Miglia with Jenks as his passenger?
Posted 10 November 2000 - 12:19
Posted 10 November 2000 - 20:27
Do some of them appear in the book on Jenks that was published after his death?
Posted 10 November 2000 - 21:44
Posted 10 November 2000 - 22:43
Without Jenks, the rest would have been race results and lap speeds to me. Instead we have a grand story of giants and pigmies in their world of mechanical speed and noise.
Back to the thread! Wolf, thanks for the pics. Do you have one of SM in a works BRM at Silverstone, 1959, getting ready to land in the ditch? Or making his Vanwall do what it didn't want to at Silverstone in 1958?
Posted 10 November 2000 - 23:50
At the Coy's Festival in 1999, I obtained a great prize; S.M's autograph. Unfortunately, he took the book, signed it and handed it back without even looking around from the conversation he was having. I didn't expect a conversation, nor even a word, but a glance might have been nice.
Then, this year at Coy's again, having queued for 90 minutes in freezing cold weather, to get a dozen or so famous drivers, when I was 2 metres away from the first table (Watson, as I recall) all but 2 of the famous men got up and left. (To drive in a demonstration of old F1 cars, but 15 minutes earlier than we had been informed that they would leave.) There were some VERY disgruntled people there. I remained reasonably gruntled because the two that were left were SM and Jackie Stewart. I got to Stewart first and he carefully signed over a Michael Turner picture of his 1973 Nurburgring victory; I picked up my book, placed it on the table in front of Stirling, and as the book went down, the man got up from his chair, without a word, turned and left the area.
Pure co-incidence, I know, and it is obvious from other people's experiences that this may well be totally out of character, but to use an old English phrase -
speak as you find.........
Posted 11 November 2000 - 01:16
BTW, I hoped some of you might comment my last posted photo- how did the other drivers think of him wave them as he overtook them?
P.S. We managed to page 2. Way to go!
Posted 11 November 2000 - 01:46
Originally posted by oldtimer
Do you have one of SM in a works BRM at Silverstone, 1959, getting ready to land in the ditch?
The front brakes had failed and he deliberately spun it The final picture shows moss climbing out of te car having failed to reverse it out of the ditch. An official is giving the thumbs up to medical staff opposite, but none of the crowd seem interested.
[p][Edited by Roger Clark on 11-11-2000]
Posted 11 November 2000 - 02:01
Wolf, I bet Hawthorn didn't get the wave!
Roger, thanks for the pics, but they don't come up on my screen. What am I missing?
Posted 11 November 2000 - 08:48
Posted 11 November 2000 - 11:42
Perhaps the "rebuild" of Atlas F1 will fix these problems?
Posted 11 November 2000 - 14:17
Posted 11 November 2000 - 20:48
But I got Wolf's pictures
Posted 12 November 2000 - 00:07
copyright by The Man himself
Posted 12 November 2000 - 00:23
This was Stirling's second best race ever, I think. I rate Monaco that year just a little better because the pressure from the red cars was relentless. At the Ring, I seem to recall something about his tyres that gave him a little edge when it got damp, which it did for a time. I'm sure that if I'm wrong, someone will correct me.
But Monaco - there was genius at work - and for nearly 3 hours!