This really happened, at the 1957 Sebring 12 hour race, Stirling took a bottle of Coca Cola on the move and drank it over the course of a lap.

Stirling had seen some of the race photographers at the hairpin the lap before drinking Cokes so he gave them the classic 'thirsty' sign i.e. pretending to bring a bottle to his lips, as he drove by.

Bernard Cahier grabbed a Coke bottle, opened it, and waited for Stirling to come around again on the next lap. As he did, Cahier handed the bottle to him, see the image below.

1957 Sebring 12 hour race Stirling Moss Coca Cola

Stirling drank it during the lap and then promptly deposited it in the grass at the hairpin on the next lap and gave the journalists a wave as thanks. The 1957 Coca Cola slogan was 'The sign of good taste", rather a fitting slogan given the way the story unfolded!

The year before, 1956, Stirling featured in one of six Coca-Cola adverts made for TV in the United Kingdom, the other commercials featured footballer John Charles and professional ballroom dancers, Alf Davies and Julie Reaby, amongst others. This set of commercials were some of the earliest made for TV.

The Davies and Reaby commercial has survived, the Stirling commercial is thought to be lost, so if anyone reading this happens to know of its existence, please contact us via the website!

With thanks to Louis Galanos for providing the information and image on the Coca Cola story.

Image © Smith Peter Kerr