How Sir Stirling Moss Won The 1955 Mille Miglia And Set An Impossible Record
How is Sir Stirling Moss’ Mille Miglia Record Still Unbeaten? And How Was It Possible?
As you are well aware, the 1955 Mille Miglia is one of the most iconic, recognizable, and prestigious races in motorsport history. The Mille Miglia was an open-road, motorsport endurance race that was first settled in 1927. The 1000-mile non-stop race around Italy's treacherous roads might seem easy, but back in the 20s and 50s, it was the most dangerous racing event to ever be held. It would seem almost impossible that Moss would take a victory in Ferrari's own play area, and without the local knowledge of the Italian roads, it seemed highly unlikely. Yet, he did, and he made it one of the most epic drives ever. But how you may ask? That's a question many people want to be answered...
The Mille Miglia was such an event to look forward to, many crowds and people came from all over Europe and Italy to watch some of the best cars of all time racing aggressively around them through Italian towns and villages. What more could you ask for? That seems like a dream come true to me. Although, with Ferrari being the praised favorites, the legendary British driver, Sir Stirling Moss was still unbeatable in the absolutely stunning Mercedes-Benz 300SLR. No one had a chance against Moss, yet, he wasn't the only part of this marvelous and record-setting race.
Sir Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson
Sir Stirling Moss was already a name in the making, yet, he knew it would be difficult to beat and show up on his then-current Formula 1 champion teammate, Juan Manuel Fangio. Despite the fact, Fangio was more experienced and much more respected, that did not stop Stirling and his genius coworker and associate, Denis Jenkinson. Denis Jenkinson was the minds behind this whole incredible race and drive. He was the motoring journalist in the form of the brave and fearless navigator of Sir Stirling Moss. He was the detail and the assistant of getting through this 1000 mile hellhole. Moss, Denis, and the 300SLR were a match made in heaven, but how were they truly able to conquer a race like the infamous Mille Miglia?
It was all due to something called the bog roll. This device was the key to winning the 1955 Mille Miglia. The bog roll was a detailed guide to the strenuous Millie Miglia route. It had every corner and every hazard written down on a note guide. Jenkinson was responsible for scrolling through this machine and translating these notes into hand signals for Moss to understand. Once these hand signals were sunk into Stirling's mind he drove like a madman through the thousand-mile race in a matter of 10 hours and 7 minutes. You heard that right, Sir Stirling Moss and Danis Jenkinson crossed the finish in a time of 10 hours and 7 minutes—a record that still stands today... a record that is the fastest driver that ever raced on those roads.
The narrow, ancient roads, led to many serious accidents and incidents. It was deemed as impossible, these brave men and drivers would travel at up to 180 miles an hour on unfaithful roads full of and packed with hazards and potholes. Yet, Sir Stirling Moss managed and was able to get through it will the help of Denis and the bog roll, the icon even topped out at an average speed of 98 miles per hour. Not only did Moss and Jenkinson power through the Italian roads at a speed of 98mph, but they also crossed the finish line over half an hour ahead of everyone else...
If that isn't teamwork then I don't know what is. I mean just imagine it, you are going through one of the most dangerous street 'tracks' in the world at an average speed of 99 miles per hour, and with tires that have little to no grip. It's not even a track, it just roads with people dangerously close to the action, talk about being courageous. However, Sir Stirling Moss's fighting mindset and Jenkinson's immense passion for cars and racing, assisted both of them to complete the iconic Mille Miliga race. Not only did they complete it, but they absolutely annihilated it, resulting in Moss achieving the all-time record, that still stands to this day.
The legend himself even revealed how frighting the Millie Miliga was for him, none of us expected that the Stirling Moss would be frightened. Yet, going at breakneck speeds while pushing one of the best cars in the world to its limit and trying not to swerve off-road and hit someone, seems pants wetting. Moss told interviewers that...
Stirling Moss was signed by Mercedes-Benz to drive the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR for the 1955 Mille Miglia, only two non-Italian drivers had ever won the event, and no one ever expected that Moss would make history then and there. It was one of the all-time greatest race in motoring and motorsport history, which also became one of Stirling Moss' Greatest Victories. And as a gentleman would do, Sir Stirling Moss took his trophy and returned to his good ol' normal life right after... classy.