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Tuesday, 21 March, 2000, 15:09 GMT
Stirling drives off with knighthood
stirling moss
Stirling Moss has to tell a police officer who he is
Motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss slipped into the driving seat at Buckingham Palace after being knighted by the Prince of Wales.

Sir Stirling, 70, was the UK's favourite Grand Prix racing driver in the 1950s, despite never winning a world championship.

Young Stirling Moss
The young Moss heads for stardom in 1954
After the investiture at Buckingham Palace, he got into the driving seat of his Mercedes - and a Buckingham Palace police officer joked: "Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?"

Pointing to his newly-received honour, he said: "Sir Stirling Moss, actually."

Never a champion

The sportsman had won 16 Grands Prix and by 1961 was the highest paid driver in the world, earning more than 30,000 a year - worth a lot more then than now.

But he said receiving the knighthood had been more nerve-racking than a race starting line.

"I have met the Prince before and got an OBE from the Queen in 1959 but I was still nervous today," he said.

Sir Stirling said the prince asked him whether he was still racing.

"I told him that I was and he asked if my wife worried about me. I told him that she quite often comes with me."

Sir Stirling was accompanied by his wife Susie, daughter Allison and son Elliot.

Sir Stirling retired almost 40 years ago after being badly injured in a crash at Goodwood in 1962.

But he says he cannot give up the thrill of the race.

"I love motor racing and don't want to give it up, although I suppose I should be forced to one day," he said.

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