British racing driver John Miles was born in 1943. He passed away in April 2018, aged 74.
A racing star
Miles developed a love of racing cars at any early age; at just 16, he rebuilt the engine of his own Austin Seven. He had a passion for wanting to race fast sports cars, such as Cobras and GT40s.
It wasn’t until 1963 that Miles had his first taste of racing, winning the Redex Sports Car Championship behind the wheel of a Diva GT. After a further win the following season, he went on to gain victories in 15 of the 17 races in the 1966 Autosport Championship, driving a Lotus Elan 26R. He went on to win four other international F3 events in 1968.
In July 1969 Miles made his debut in F1 racing at the French Grand Prix at Charade. He took to the wheel of the notoriously difficult four-wheel drive Lotus 63, earning the title of the official Team Lotus test driver. Miles took part in 15 F1 World Championship Grand Prix races. He earned two championship points, gaining fifth position in the 1970 South African Grand Prix.
According to Bleacher Report, despite his triumphs, Miles failed to get as many miles under his belt as he would have liked. He retired from eight of the 12 races he started between 1969 and 1970.
Although Miles thrived on the buzz of F1 racing, his career soon took a different turn – as did F1 itself with the introduction of facilities such as the France F1 Paddock Club, which can be accessed through packages from sporting events companies such as https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-paddock-club/france/.
Editorial and engineering
Still passionate about fast cars, but less so about driving them and more so about understanding their workings, Miles joined the road test team at Autocar, where he wrote his column Miles Behind Wheel.
After 10 years at the magazine, Miles wanted to get more active with fast cars again, although in an engineering capacity rather than racing behind the wheel. Miles worked for Lotus Engineering for 18 years, where he was charged with improving the quality and variety of road cars, including the Vauxhall Astra and Aston Martin DB9.
Fast cars aside, Miles had a love of jazz music and set up his own jazz recording company in 1985.