JANUARY 1, 2000
Sir Stirling Moss
STIRLING MOSS, the most successful Grand Prix driver never to win the Formula 1 World Championship, has been knighted for his services to the motor racing industry. The 70-year-old British driver was runner-up in the World Championship for four consecutive years, three times to Juan-Manuel Fangio (1955-56-57) and once to Mike Hawthorn (1958). He won a total of 16 of his 66 Grands Prix - including three wins at Monaco - and he remained the most successful English driver in Formula 1 until he was overtaken by Nigel Mansell in the 1990s. Although he never won the World Championship he was the man that racing fans went to watch and he became - and remains - a household name in Britain. He suffered serious injuries in an accident at Spa in 1960 but came back to win races again until a second accident on Easter Day in 1962 at Goodwood ended his career at the age of 32. His other major victories included the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio sportscar events, three victories in the RAC Tourist Trophy, two International Trophy wins and a win in the Sebring 12 Hours.
Moss was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1959 and has had to wait 40 years for further recognition of his status as a motor racing "legend".
The annual New Year's Day Honours List also included John Cooper, who was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Cooper began building racing cars in 1946, using Fiat Topolino components. Success in Formula 3 was followed by competitive Formula 2 and sportscar programs. Cooper pioneered the rear-engined revolution in F1 and won the World Championship in 1959 and 1960 with Jack Brabham driving. The company then turned its attention to tuning the Mini. Mini Cooper models enjoyed enormous success in saloon car racing and in rallying in the 1960s, including three Monte╩Carlo╩Rally victories. The company sold 150,000 Mini Coopers before production stopped in 1971. In the late 1980s John Cooper Garages began supplying conversion kits to a new generation of Mini enthusiasts, notably in Japan.
Moss joins Brabham and Frank Williams as motor racing's only knights while Cooper joins March's Robin Herd as a CBE.
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