Video: Final blast for Stirling Moss's Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes 300 SLR

Racing History

The Mercedes 300 SLR '722' steered to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia by Stirling Moss was given one final blast through London to the home of its pilot

They formed one of the famous partnerships in racing history: Stirling Moss and the Mercedes 300 SLR forged a legend when they won the 1955 Mille Miglia, and a new short film honours the victory.

With Denis Jenkinson as co-driver, Moss steered car No722 to a record-breaking win in the race. Since then, the car has been a draw at events around the world, until the decision was made to retire it to permanent static view at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

But before that fate, the historic machine was given one final blast through London, where it came to rest at the door of Moss’s Mayfair home, underneath his balcony, etched with the car’s outline.

From the archive

The early morning September run followed its appearance at the Goodwood Revival, and sees the car roaring across Westminster Bridge, then along the Embankment, in the hands of Gert Straub, an engineer and project co-ordinator at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre, who has been looking after the car for 25 years and also retired in the autumn.

Police outriders lead the car, with one of the motorbikes sporting a sticker with the words feared by any speeding driver: “Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?”

The man himself is said to have answered, “Yes sir, I am” when pulled over and asked the question, but there’s no pause for the 300 SLR in the film, which is seen driving through Piccadilly, past the Royal Automobile Club and The Ritz, and then west to Mayfair.

Along the way it passes Moss’s own Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, which he drove to Italy for the start of the 1955 race.

The film ends with the car pulling up to Moss’s mews house at exactly 7.22am, its starting time in the Mille Miglia, to be met by Elliot Moss, the son of Stirling.

An extra behind-the-scenes film, showing the making of the footage, shows that Moss’s widow, Lady Susie, was also on hand.

Often described as the most valuable car in the world, the 300 SLR had never been to Moss’s Mayfair address before, despite being made to his specification.

He and Jenkinson first saw it a week before the 1955 race, when they shook the 3-litre, straight eight-engined racer down.

“Several laps of the fast Hockenheim circuit convinced us that we had a truly magnificent 3-litre sports car under us, the eight-cylinder fuel-injection engine giving well over 290bhp on normal pump petrol,” wrote Jenks in Motor Sport.

“On this SLR the seats were made to measure for us, being cut-and-shut just like a tailor would make a suit, while every detail in the cockpit received our personal attention, and anything was altered to our desire without question.”