May 6, 1955

On this day in south west Hertfordshire

On this day in south west Hertfordshire

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Nostalgia Editor

Congratulations from Tring Council are being sent to local resident Stirling Moss on winning the Mille Miglia (1,000 miles) race for sports cars in Italy.

A congratulatory letter was suggested at Tuesday’s council meeting by councillor Mrs M.G. Grace, who reminded the meeting that it had been the first time that this difficult race had been won by a British driver.

Earlier in the week, the home of this famous racing motorist, at White Cloud Farm, Tring, had been inundated with congratulatory telegrams and telephone calls.

Tomorrow, Stirling is due to race at Silverstone.

[From the Watford Observer of May 6, 1955]

NOSTALGIA NOTE: The Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race which took place 24 times from 1927 to 1957 (including a break for the war).

It was banned in 1957 after two fatal crashes. The first took the lives of the Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago, his co-driver/navigator Edmund Nelson, and nine spectators, at the village of Guidizzolo. Five of the spectators killed were children. A second crash in Brescia took the life of Joseph Göttgens, driving a Triumph TR3. During the race’s history some 56 people lost their lives.

Since 1977, the name was revived as the Mille Miglia Storica, a parade for pre-1957 cars.

In 1955, Stirling Moss and navigator motor race journalist Denis Jenkinson, in their now famous number 722 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, completed the course in ten hours seven minutes 48 seconds at an average of 97.96 mph. This remains a record for the event. Motor Trend magazine headlined it “The Most Epic Drive. Ever.”

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss OBE is now 84 years old. He continues to demonstrate the cars he raced.

For more stories from the Watford Observer's archive, go to our Nostalgia section by clicking HERE

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