by Derek Bell
It has got to be Stirling Moss. I remember being at prep school when I was 12 and listening to the BBC Radio coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours under my bed covers. I wanted to know how Stirling was getting on. Later, I wrote to him seeking an autograph and received a signed picture of him in a Mercedes GP car.
I went on to meet Stirling from time to time during my career, but it wasn’t until the 1985 Miami GP, which I won with Al Holbert, that we ever had a real conversation.
We’re good friends now, and earlier this year he said that I was born a generation too late. He reckoned it would have been great if we could have been team-mates in the 1950s. To have someone like Stirling say that about you means a lot.
&favourite road car
The Ferrari 275 GTB/4 I owned for a couple of years in the early 1970s is my all-time favourite. I bought it in 1970 after I’d left Ferrari, and got rid of it when I got a 911 from Porsche.
I went back to Ferrari to drive the 512S with Ronnie Peterson at Le Mans in 1970, and I remember driving down to Modena in it. They replaced the camshafts, which seemed to need doing nearly every month.
That Ferrari was silver and I’m sure it is why I have a 550 Maranello in a similar shade today. It reminds me of the car I had all those years ago.
It was subsequently resprayed red and I’m told that Greg Norman, the golfer, owned it.