Driving test: Sir Stirling Moss
British motorsport legend talks to us about his personal driving history
Did you pass your driving test the first time? What was it like?
I suppose so. We didn’t have driving tests in 1944, you see. One got licences by post on the payment of five shillings. I got mine when I was 15 years old.
Who taught you to drive?
My mother. I learnt to steer a car by sitting on her lap while she drove.
What car did you learn to drive in?
A Lancia Aprilia. In those days, petrol was rationed and it was an economical car to run. It gave around 14kpl.
What was the first car you bought?
I didn’t buy a car for the longest time and kept borrowing my father’s cars. But finally, I bought a Maserati 250F racing car for £4000 (Rs 3.2 lakh).
What’s the worst car you’ve ever driven?
The supercharged 16-cylinder 1.5-litre BRM racing car. It revved to 12,000rpm and made over 600bhp, but was a pain to drive. Once, Fangio spun out in front of me and was going faster backwards than me who was going forwards!
What’s the best car you’ve bought?
The Maserati 250F. I don’t own a car in London, though. I ride a 50cc Honda scooter because of the traffic.
What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?
The Mercedes-Benz 300SLR!
What’s your dream car?
Probably the Facel Vega from 1954. Also the Porsche RS 61.
Who or what caused your first crash?
A flat tyre. It was in a Morgan three-wheeler. I went up a bank and over it, but luckily I wasn’t hurt.
Are you a good driver?
Yes. But I’m a bit impatient.
What’s the worst thing a passenger can say to you when you’re driving?
If they nag - do this, do that... you know. They should just close their eyes and let me drive!
How clean is your licence?
Completely clean – at the moment! (touches wood)
What’s the fastest you’ve ever driven?
I did 387kph in 1954 in the MG EX 181. It was then the world record for 1,500cc cars. (smiles)
What’s your favourite place to drive in the world?
It’s lovely driving in Scotland and Tasmania. Very little traffic and the roads are well-engineered.
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