Sir Stirling Moss doesn’t eat lunch. At 76 years of age, he’s far too busy. By 7am each day he’s at his desk in his self-designed, high-tech house in Shepherd Street, Mayfair. Lady Moss, his wife Susie, is at her desk on the floor above. They call up and down the spiral staircase to each other as phones ring, faxes chatter and computers click.
Stirling Moss Limited is a thriving business, with a full-time staff of two. Since he doggedly crawled up out of the coma and paralysis that followed his dreadful (and still unexplained) Goodwood accident, 44 years ago now, and fought back to a healthy life, Stirling has earned his living from personal appearances, PR and endorsements. Just as he did when he was racing, he charges a healthy rate – and then delivers 100 per cent. If you’ve bought Stirling’s time for an hour, he’ll give you 65 full-throttle minutes. Around the world, he seems to be in ever-increasing demand. He and Susie fly a quarter of a million miles a year, and a lot of the work involves driving: the Japanese Mille Miglia, the Argentinian 1000 Milas, the Ennstal Classic in Austria. The commitments pile up, from Australia to Abergavenny, Goodwood to Gothenburg. And he’s still racing: in two days he’s off to Le Mans to campaign an Osca in the Motor Racing Legends event.
“Don’t go to a restaurant, boy. That’ll kill an hour. If you need to eat, we’ll grab a sandwich from the place around the corner. All the taxi drivers go there. Best Coronation Chicken you ever tasted.” Stirling is always enthusiastically evangelical about his discoveries. Today it’s a German company producing a 1/18 scale model of his 1960 Nürburgring 1000Kms-winning Birdcage Maserati. “Just look at this. Every little tube is right, and the wire wheels. Under the bonnet, look, the oil-filler cap opens.”