I must admit to feeling slightly apprehensive as Sir Stirling Moss was gingerly helped into the driver’s seat of the Mercedes SLS.
I was already in the passenger seat, wondering whether a man who had recently suffered two broken ankles would be capable of piloting the SLS up the hill at breakneck speeds.
I needn’t have been. He may be 80, but Stirling’s as sharp as ever. After opening up the SLS between some railings on his way to track (ignoring the take it easy plea of the marshals), Stirling made his way to the bottom of the hillclimb to wait to be beckoned to the start line.
On our way we passed Derek Bell. Stirling cheekily told him to stop “posing” in the open-top Bentley Supersports.
The experience of being driven by Stirling was, somewhat predictably, unforgettable. Despite saying he intended to drive slowly and wave to the crowds, the competitive racing driver is still buried in there; I doubt many people made it from the line to the house as quick as Stirling.
But what was most memorable was spending half an hour in his company one-on-one. Stirling was interested in knowing about each and every car we passed on our way to the line – he’s an enthusiast at heart. He also never tired of repeatedly opening and closing those gullwing doors to have well-wishers shake his hand.
A true legend – Goodwood just wouldn’t be the same without him.