Stirling's Arithmetic

Writing in the first instalment of a new feature in Illustrated entitled “I’ll Never Forget the Day,” Stirling Moss recalls his accident at Castle Coombe last year. He states that he was driving “one of the little Cooper-J.A.P.s, a car weighing only 5 or 6 hundredweight.” He goes on to explain how he closed up on Bob Gerard, who was driving “a big 2-litre Cooper,” and quotes the weight of this car (a Cooper-Bristol) as “two to three tons.”

Later in his story Moss states that Tony Rolt’s 2-litre Connaught gave his Cooper a terrific clout on the off-side back wheel. The Connaught Moss describes as “weighing about three tons.” Stirling’s arithmetic seems to be weak, for surely his knowledge of racing cars is not so slight that he imagines modern Formula II cars to weigh considerably more than the biggest aero-engined Brooklands cars of the past, or that his Cooper 1,100 is as light as the Jappic racing cyclecar of 1925? As the reader who sent us the cutting rightly remarks, no doubt Connaught Engineering “will never forget the day” when Moss estimated the weight of their racing cars!