They say variety is the spice of life and Stirling Moss certainly proved that. He drove SunbeamTalbots and, like Jaguars, they were good racing cars.
The Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon was introduced in 1949 to replace the pre-war 10. The saloon came in two versions Mk. II & IIa. The most noticeable difference was that one had rear wheel covers, or spats and the other didn’t.
A drop head came a year later in 1950. It was a good mover for a family car and like the Jaguars; it had the American style column style gear change.
Not long after, the Alpine version was brought out. It was a sports style, two seater roadster with upgraded engine suspension brakes.
Stirling Moss drove at least one Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Saloon and I believe he may have driven the Alpine in competition on at least one occasion. LHP 8293 was a saloon used by the team that entered the 1952 Monte Carlo race.
Just slipping back a few years, to 1947, the acquisition of the Aston Martin Company by David Brown resulted in a new revitalised range of Aston Martins: The DB series. They were all good looking cars and great for competitions.
The DB35 was a purpose built competition car, powered by a 2.9 litre straight 6 engine. Stirling Moss and co-driver, Peter Collins floored one, getting second place at Le Mons 24 hour 1956. Moss went on to finish in first place in the Daily Herald Trophy, that same year.
Moss’s distinctive DB35 in British Racing Green with Lotus Yellow radiator grille and wheel arches, wore race no.8, with the registration number 46 EMH. It was a two seater with a wraparound windscreen.
(As a matter of interest, the Aston Martin DB2 MK II was the car that Ian Fleming intended for James Bond, to drive.)
Stirling Moss went on to drive for Mercedes Benz, a company with a long history in building high performance cars, for both road and racing. Ferdinand Porsche had joined Mercedes Benz in 1926 staying with the company throughout the 1930s. He worked on such notable racing cars as the SSKL 7.5 litre 2 seater sports model, W series.
Although Porsche left to found Volkswagen and later the brand bearing his own name, he continued to oversee the racing car development programme of the early 1950s.
The Mercedes 300SLR or W196 came in two versions, coupe and roadster. This was the finely tuned race spec version, also finding success in competition.
Its distinctive design was considered futuristic, having gullwing doors on the coupe and lift forward Lamborghini style doors on the roadster.
Moss drove car number 722, the number a reference to its start time in the Mille-Miglia: 7.22am.
An ingenious roller map was developed and the co-driver would read the instructions to Sterling Moss from the scroll located within a cabinet which the co-driver would operate.
Car No. 722, with the registration number W21 6170, driven by Moss, still exists today. He was reunited with it following its full restoration. Moss signed the bonnet “we did it together.” He declared that he loved driving that car, adding that she seemed to know what he was thinking.