Stirling Moss’s glorious Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’ was the center of attention as it drove around central London before returning to the Museum…
Heads turned and horns were honked as the legendary Silver Arrow made its way through the heart of the capital paying homage to the racing driver questioned by an inquisitive bobby on the beat many years ago.
It was Stirling Moss who, after his decidedly risky overtaking manoeuvre on the busy streets of London, was questioned by a policeman saying “Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?” The British racing driver sheepishly replied, “Yes sir, I am”. The rest, as they say, is automotive history.
Mercedes-Benz Classic decided it was time to pay homage by shooting a short but interesting movie, ‘The Last Blast’, that takes its inspiration from the Moss anecdotes and various other interesting aspects of the driver’s life and career.
300 SLR ‘722’ – The Last Blast
‘The Last Blast’ shows a police motorcycle outrider reprimands an over-enthusiastic driver of the very Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR made famous by Moss’s win in the 1955 Mille Miglia race. As the camera zooms in on the front wing of the bike, we see a sticker bearing the famous question.
With this, part of a police-escorted drive across central London, ‘The Last Blast’ celebrates the life of Moss, who died on 12 April 2020 at the age of 90. Filming took place at the end of September 2021 in London – where he lived for more than 60 years – yet somewhere the famous Mercedes-Benz racing car, with its legendary Mille Miglia starting number of 722, has never been driven before.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’ in London
It was in this very car, together with navigator Denis Jenkinson, he achieved a famous victory for Mercedes-Benz in the 1955 road race from Brescia to Rome and back. And it is in Moss’s honour that the company had the straight-eight engine howl for one last blast on a drive across central London before the car is retired, returning to its permanent home in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
The end result is a fabulous 3.5-minute movie clip that sees the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR ‘722’ beginning its Sunday morning journey at The Temple, then taking in the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, the Royal Automobile Club, and the Ritz hotel.
On route, “722” passes what was Sir Stirling’s very own 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ – the car in which he travelled from London to the Mille Miglia in 1955. Its drive through the city ends in front of Moss’s own home in a Mayfair mews.
There, his son, Elliot Moss, proudly stands in front of the door and looks at the watch on his wrist, which his father wore for many years. It’s exactly 7:22 am, the original start time of Moss and Jenkinson’s Mille Miglia entry and the reason for the car’s racing number. The 300 SLR rolls to a halt one final time, and its engine is switched off.
Throughout my entire life dad raced this car and of all the cars he raced, and there were a lot, and this just meant more than anything else. It’s literally etched onto the building on his personal balcony
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