Sir Stirling Moss, a British Formula One race car driver, won two out of every five races he entered throughout his career, but never won a World Championship, passed away one month ago at the age of 90. Maserati has announced that a prototype of its new MC20 super sports car will pay homage to the gentleman racer.
Moss’s history with the brand goes back to the mid-1950s. He raced his first Maserati, a 250F, in 1954 at the urging of Mercedes-Benz racing boss Alfred Neubauer. His first Formula One victory came that year at the Oulton Park International Gold Cup in Cheshire, England while piloting the car.
The car will still have some camouflage.Photo courtesy of Maserati
In 1956 he won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F after leading the race from the first to the last lap. Another Maserati captured third that day, driven by Frenchman Jean Behra.
Moss continued driving that car for the 1957 season (“his favorite”, as he often recalled) and was beaten only by Juan Manuel Fangio for the F1 driver’s championship. Fangio was also behind the wheel of a 250F.
The list of Maserati cars driven by the British driver also includes the Tipo 60 Birdcage, Tipo 61, and 300 S.
The MC20’s design will be reminiscent of the Maserati Eldoardo, the single-seater that was driven in Monza in its 1958 debut by Moss. That design is distinctive because it was the first time a non-racing brand had been featured on a race car. The Eldorado Ice Cream Company ushered in a new era of sponsorship that lasts to this day with its company colors replacing the ones assigned by the governing body of racing, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Maserati has a long heritage of Formula 1 success.Photo courtesy of Maserati
The MC20 is an important prototype for the Italian automaker because it will be the first car to adopt an engine designed, developed, and produced by Maserati. The brand typically relies on another Italian company, Ferrari, to supply power plants for its vehicles.
It’s a step forward for the brand, which has languished without much innovation for the better part of a decade under the FCA umbrella. Maserati has announced that all their new models will be electrified, adopting either hybrid or battery electric power. This begins with the redesigned Maserati Ghibli, which is set to debut this year.
The car wears Moss’s name on its rear.Photo courtesy of Maserati
The company is also committing to the vehicles being 100 percent developed, engineered, and built in Italy. This is an especially important commitment as Maserati’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is in the process of merging with PSA Group.