Sir Stirling Moss received the first Classic & Sports Car Lifetime Achievement Award at a special Chelsea AutoLegends dinner last night.
In the Great Hall at the Royal Hospital the motor sport legend was close to speechless when the surprise tribute, a spectacular original painting by Tim Layzell was revealed.
The artwork featured Moss’ 1961 Tourist Trophy victory with two glorious Ferrari 250SWBs chasing through St Marys.
"Why the devil have you painted me behind that damn Ferrari,” joked Moss on first seeing the art, but fondly remembered the tactical game he played with rival Mike Parkes that day when his smoothness won the event by using half the number of tyres.
Moss later disappeared into the distance in the famous dark blue Rob Walker team SWB to take his seventh TT win. He said: “Goodwood was a very special place to me and this painting brilliantly captures the beauty of the circuit.” Moss’ wife Susie was very moved by the C&SC award and later came over in tears to Editor in Chief Mick Walsh to thank the magazine team.
Artist Layzell was honoured to be commissioned as Goodwood has special connections for him: “My grandfather was a fitter on Spitfires during WW2 at Westhampnett and the Revival is my favourite event.”
Patrons of the '60s was the theme of the evening with C&SC’s ‘Full Throttle’ columnist Simon Taylor interviewing special guests including Rob Walker’s son Robbie. “He was all my class mates' hero and I was so lucky to have him as a father,” recalled Walker junior. “He was a true sportsman and really enjoyed being with people. To him the mechanics were just as important as the team owners.”
Other highlights included sports car legend David Piper remeniscing about Col. Ronnie Hoare and buying his first Ferrari 250GTO for £6000. Other aces present included ex-Ferrari works drivers Peter Sutcliffe and Tim Schenken together with Aston racer Mike Salmon.
A special auction to raise funds for the Chelsea Pensioners was a huge success with James Knight from Bonhams encouraging generous bids from guests in the packed hall.
A special set of Moss-themed luggage by Caracalla Bagaglio made £1000 while a private tour with Nick Mason of his Ten Tenths collection made £1500, but top price of the night was £3900 for a Porsche 917 painting by artist Ian Cook, the huge work created by using radio-controlled cars.