To help launch our 2011 season of open days, classic car restoration and sales specialists JD Classics welcomed a very, very special guest; Sir Stirling Moss, OBE.
Widely acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest living motor racing legends, Sir Stirling proved (as ever) to be fabulous company. He kept a rapt crowd engaged with tales of his legendary career, whilst sharing his keen insight on today’s Formula 1 contenders.
The winner of 16 F1 Grand Prix was invited to speak on the career that brought him the honour of becoming one of Britain’s most famous sportsmen. Accompanied by Lady Moss as well as F1 journalist and author Alan Henry, Sir Stirling entertained the eager assembly that filled 200 chairs and left scores jostling for standing room only.
In his opening, Alan Henry thanked us warmly for the invitation “to visit this automotive treasure trove” as he put it. He then went on to feed the 82-year old racing veteran with talking points, which Sir Stirling fielded with typical acumen and wit.
To close the session, perhaps the greatest and most versatile racing driver ever took a number of questions from the audience, after which a large crowd waited patiently for him to sign a copy of his latest book, 'All My Races'.
After this, we were thrilled to introduce Sir Stirling to four cars that we had on site that morning which he was once associated with during his career. One car in particular that we’re restoring is the very same 1954 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing that the F1 racing legend and Denis Jenkinson used in practice to prepare for the 1955 Mille Miglia. Once finished, our client wants to present the completed car at the Uniques Special Cars Concours in Italy (the new concours competition, in its second year, that celebrates unique vehicles from the past as well as ones bang up to date).
Although the car is currently still a work in progress, Sir Stirling wrote his signature on it and went on to express his pleasure seeing it again so many years later, in such good condition, and with such good prospects ahead of it.
Plenty for people to get excited about
Breakfast at JD’s has become a regular event on our calendar since we launched the first one back in 2009. The tours are free to all, and visitors can view swathes of awe-inspiring cars and motorbikes in our five fully-stocked showrooms, as well as our class-leading, comprehensive engineering, bodywork, historic racing, maintenance and finishing workshops.
The idea is that classic car enthusiasts and customers can come and take a good look around our extensive, purpose-built complex on a Sunday morning, take in a spot of breakfast from on-site caterers and, more often than not, listen to a famous guest speaker.
And as ever, the entire morning went extremely well. Unseasonably mild weather for February certainly helped. Particularly pleasing for JD Classics’ founder and Managing Director, Derek Hood was the turnout and special atmosphere that seemed to fill the morning from start to finish.
“As series’ sponsor of the Legends’ Sir Stirling Moss Trophy, we were thrilled to be able to welcome such a celebrated racing driver to launch our series of breakfasts,” Derek said. “We host these mornings so that classic car enthusiasts from all walks of life can come in and see our engineering and racing skills, as well as the quality of cars for themselves. We do believe there’s plenty here for people to get excited about. But when we see such energy and enthusiasm like we’ve had today, it’s always good to have confirmed just how enchanting the things we can do are to some folk.”
Despite having to work hard all morning, Sir Stirling was still effusive about the morning he’d spent with us. “It’s been very enjoyable!” he said, as he stood alongside the trophy he’d picked up for his first F1 win, at the British Grand Prix at Aintree, back in 1955.
And given his extensive experience, we were delighted to hear the living legend’s impressions on our operation. “I’m quite amazed at the cars that are here,” the great man exclaimed. “This is remarkable, quite remarkable.”
To catch a glimpse of how the day went and discover what you might encounter at future breakfasts, take a look at the video on this page.
And if you’re spurred to attend any of the breakfasts lined up for 2011 and would like a few more details, simply click here.