Stirling & Susi – the Moss couple was so closely associated with the Ennstal Classic for so many years.
When Stirling died three years ago, the sun fell from the sky for his beloved wife. His urn has stood beside her bed ever since: “Every day I talk to Stirling because I miss him so much.” Now Susie has also passed on, in her 70th year. For the last few years we have missed her laughter in the Ennstal, which she loved to visit.
When I think of Susie, one thing immediately comes to mind: “Bentley & Schnitzel”. When Stirling – quasi as figurehead and English ambassador of the Ennstal-Classic – was presented with the official Chopard watch for the event in Vienna in April 2012, I picked him and his wife up at the airport. For this purpose, I had organized a limousine from Bentley Vienna – and my dear friend Inge Limbach from ORF, who was able to do an interview right away. Together with the camera team we waited in the old arrivals hall. Shortly before the London flight landed, a plane from Brussels arrived, an Austrian minister saw the tv crew and came hurriedly towards us. Inge waved her on: “We are waiting for the great Stirling Moss”. And then he came, Susie had to support him, a few weeks earlier Stirling had fallen down the elevator shaft of his apartment building. Susie was always his support.
After the ORF interview, I loaded Stirling & Susie into the Bentley for the drive to the Hotel Sacher. Susie was impressed by the rear of the luxury limousine: “I’m feeling like Liz Taylor – but I’m alive!”. The text that then ran between the couple was also unsurpassed in wit, charm and kindness. I should have installed a microphone. In the evening, after the Chopard chore, we went to eat together in the restaurant of the Hotel Sacher, because the Moss family had also taken up quarters there. When I looked at the menu, I was at a loss; although it was German, I hardly understood anything, and I thought I had already experienced everything culinary. Susie was also overwhelmed. “I had schnitzel here for lunch,” she said to me, “I’ll just have that again.” I looked at her, “I’ll do that too.” To this day, it was the best schnitzel of my life.
Two and a half years earlier, I had already had the Moss family stay at Sacher – when Helmut Zwickl celebrated his 70th, they were the surprise guests at the big birthday party at Laudon Castle. I had already initiated the matter in the summer at the Ennstal-Classic and then finalized it in the fall via email correspondence with Susie. Susie’s communication was also charming and witty and always characterized by British politeness. As befits a lady, Susie was officially a lady since 1999, when Stirling was knighted by the Queen. A few weeks later, I told the story about Zwickl’s birthday surprise during one of my foreign assignments at a dinner with Mercedes managers. “Great. But what was the cost of the operation? So, what was Stirling Moss’ fee?” The Germans couldn’t believe that Stirling & Susie had paid for everything out of their own pockets. Moss was the first highly professional racing driver, and even in retirement he was paid handsomely for his appearances as ambassador of the golden motorsport era – and rightly so. Susie managed the family’s (real estate) business from London, as well as their colorful, travel-filled (professional) lives. Even as Stirling’s health deteriorated, she was always by his side.
Susie was 24 years younger than Stirling. And when the two saw each other for the first time, just five years old – it was in the British colony of Hong Kong and the star racing driver and his then wife were guests of Susie’s parents. At 17, she moved to London, and the two were married in 1980. At the time of the wedding, Susie was four months pregnant – it is son Eliot to whom our greatest condolences go today. He is consoled by the fact that his parents are now reunited.