SIR STIRLING MOSS RECENTLY TURNED 90, AND HAS RETIRED from public life due to ill health. However, while he is regarded as the greatest driver never to win the F1 Driver's Championship, he began his professional racing career with Jaguar Cars under the guidance of Jaguar's Service Manager and racing head, Lofty England.
Lofty regarded young Stirling almost as his son, and only after his protégé eloped to Mercedes-Benz in 1955 did Lofty endorse and contract Mike Hawthorn. Thankfully, they did resolve their differences, and also Hawthorn and Moss were very good friends - to the point where Moss told race stewards to award extra points to Hawthorn after a race. That cost Moss the F1 title in 1958 and handed it to Hawthorn.
Stirling was certainly the world's first true professional racer, and sold both his ability and his image to support his present and future life.
He came to Jaguar in 1950 when he drove a works-prepared XK120 at a very wet Dundrod race in Northern Ireland to claim a famous victory.
He raced in many forms of the sport, including formula cars initially HWM. His very first HWM racer is the 1950 works car later bought by Tony Gaze, then Lex Davison who won the 1954 Australian Grand Prix in 1954 powered by a Jaguar XK120 engine. It remains doted on in NSW.
The XK120 FHC highlighted here, and for sale in London now by one of our newest advertisers, Gregor Fisken, was loaned to Stirling by Jaguar as his personal left hand drive car. It was presented to him personally by Jaguar boss William Lyons.
He travelled to races abroad in it during the 1952 racing season, while the distinctive two-tone exterior paint colour of Suede Green and Cream was selected by Moss himself.
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