Pat Moss has died

Written by Super User | Thursday, 23 October 2008 11:59

Pat Moss-Carlsson died 14 October after a long ilness aged just 73. All right it maybe old news but better late than never a tribute to one of the first female rally drivers. If not THE best, as she won the European Ladies' Championship 5 times in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1965 and even won the Dutch Tulip Rally (which was still quite an achievement in those days..).

Moss might have been born into a race loving family (a certain Stirling Moss is her brother). It wasn't all that straightforward though as she first took up showjumping as any horseloving girl would do. An invitation to a treasure-hunt organised by Stirling Moss' manager changed her life completely. She was soon seen rallying her Morris Minor Convertible in various British rallies and not without success. At the same time though she continued to showjump and was very successful at that as well. So successful in fact that she could now afford to buy a Triumph TR2 in 1954 to go rallying.

1955 she finally got her first works drive in an MG TF. After that many years of BMC works drives and victories followed. Then it was into a Big Healey for 1959 and 1960. The year in which she won one of the toughest rallies at the time; the Liege-Rome-Liege. 3100 miles, 4 days and nights over the roughest roads and passes in Europe won Pat Moss and Ann Wisdom their greatest victory.

Moss married rally superstar Erik Carlsson in 1963 and joined him at Saab. 4 years at Saab, the retirement of her husband and the new sluggish Saab 95 V4 made her decide to join Lancia to drive the new Fulvia. This had FWD, which wasn't to Moss' liking but she still managed various top sixes. The arrival of her daughter Suzy meant that her interest rallying began to fade away and at the end of the decade she had effectively retired from rallying.

She wrote a few books, helped her daughter at showjumping in 80s and went to live in Tring, forgetting 'all' about cars. In 2005, already in poor health, she was seen at the 45 year celebration and reunion of the famous Liege-Rome-Liege win organised by the current owner of Big Healey URX 727, Paul Roberts ("I'd already bought the clocks, so I thought I'd better buy the car").

In the end Pat Moss showed that women can rally, oversteer is not necessary for rally wins and that everything depends on determination, not masculinity..