Editorial, October 1999

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Officially, this issue of MOTOR SPORT goes on sale on September 17 which is also Stirling Moss’ 70th birthday. I’d like to say we planned it like that, that we moved the magazine to meet the man on this auspicious day but the truth is it just happened that way. The modem world of publishing in which we have to work would never entertain so novel a concept. Nevertheless, I hope you agree that Robert Edwards’ essay on the entire Moss phenomenon serves as a more fitting tribute not simply to the man but also to his unique contribution to our sport than any one of the trite career resumes that will doubtless be trotted out at this time of year.

Driving ability has never been the sole currency with which to count one such as Moss. He is also the best ambassador our sport has. He still races, a generation after he last had anything to prove and even those mean enough to point out that the Moss nest remains well-feathered as a result would be hard pressed to argue such reward was not both deserved and earned the hard way.

From our point of view, Moss’s on-going commitment to the sport manifests itself in less dramatic but no less important ways. He gives us quotes when needed, advice when requested. I once sent him a fuzzy photograph of a clump of old drivers and he was on the line in minutes, identifying each one. This month he sat for Charles Best’s cameras despite a diary which said the time to do so did not exist Then they had a beer together.

Whether Moss will be amused by us making so much of 70th birthday remains to be seen. From what I know of the man, I’d guess it an anniversary he’ll welcome with gritted teeth. I am rather more confident of the importance of the man in your hearts and minds and, under such circumstances, it didn’t seem that we had much choice.

Stephen Minoprio is an historic sports car club stalwart whom I bump into in paddocks around the Country, usually just as hi about to blunder out to remind myself why! never earned a living from racing. Last time, he handed me a one-off magazine called “Go Historic Racing.” It’s a straightforward guide to pursuing this most amusing pastime and presumes no prior knowledge on the part of the reader, is written well and without a hint of Pretension. All I can say is that I wish it had existed when I started out. interested? Call the HSCC on 01327 858400.

You will not need o spend long on page 82 to know Maurice Rowe is a fine photographer. My best memory of the jobs we have done is him clinging to a 550bhp Morris Minor as we found out how fast it would go. I think it did 0-100mph in under 7sec. Maurice is not just a fine lensman, at times like this, you realise he’s a good bloke too.