Stirling Moss is a bona-fide racing legend. Versatile as he was fast, he competed in a vast array of racing categories with much success, and is often labelled as “the greatest driver never to have won the World Championship,” which only adds to his allure.
Sir Stirling applied his trade in a golden era of motor racing, competing in all sorts of races, such as Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3 and sports car events – from small handicap races at Goodwood to the classic Mille Miglia road race round Italy. In total he took part in a staggering 585 races, all of which are chronicled in Stirling Moss: All My Races; published last year in celebration of his 80th birthday.
Running at 350 pages, it charts the entire progress of his racing life. From humble beginnings in 1947 where he participated in hill climbing events in his dad’s car, all the way through to his career-ending crash at Goodwood in 1962. It’s all here, told, rather candidly, through his own words, and pieced together by experienced F1 journalist Alan Henry.
The first thing that strikes you upon flicking through All My Races is just how much information it contains. There is a surprising amount of detail in it, though understandably, Moss himself admits he cannot recall all the events he took part in. But thanks to a combination of his meticulous diary-keeping and Henry’s extensive knowledge, there is never really any gaping holes in the story of his racing career.
All My Races offers a fascinating insight into a vastly different period of motor racing, the likes of which we will never see again. It’s interesting to see the diverse range of cars that Sir Stirling raced in over the course of even a single year. Hopping from F1 machinery to sports cars, with a couple of endurance events and road rallies along the way – unbelievable, when compared to what is expected of a professional driver today.
These wide array of events he participated in means there is never a dull moment. Even those of you who thought they knew everything there was to know about ‘Mr. Motor Racing’ will discover a few new titbits of information on almost every page, mixed with some amusing anecdotes along the way. From transporting his Cooper 500 by train (while passengers sat next to large containers of fuel), to describing the mechanical failure at the Belgian Grand Prix of 1965 as “leaving (him) at the wheel of a Formula One tricycle,” there are chuckles aplenty to be had.
I can’t recommend this book nearly enough. It’s definitely not something you’ll find yourself reading through in one sitting, but that’s what makes it all the better. It’s something to savor and enjoy, as you delve through the career of one of the greatest drivers that has ever lived. All My Races oozes quality, much like the man himself. Go buy it.