Memory of John Miles: grand prix racer turned Autocar assistant

John Miles, the former racing driver, Autocar journalist and engineer, died at the age of 74 years.

The former racing driver, grew at the Jochen-Rindt – team-mate at Team Lotus in formula 1, before he turned his back on the sport, the first an excellent technical journalist at Autocar, later an accomplished engineer specializing in chassis and suspension design, devoted himself to the development of better cars of all types.

Miles founded to promote his own label, his love for jazz specialist.

Born on the 14. In June 1943, miles, whose father, Sir Bernard (later Lord miles), and sister, Sarah, were well-known actors, caught the racing bug early on from his uncle.

He bought an Austin Seven, 16, and meticulously re-the engine itself is built, and would think nothing of it, it is 200 miles to race to Oulton Park, before driving back 200 miles.

Miles grew up with the desire to race a great sports car – GT40s and cobras – but had quite a few successful race for the Diva (financing of works for the company), before he was in a Lotus Elan, in which he “won” almost everything”.

He was discovered by Lotus and racing began working 47-sports cars and F3 single-seater. The led F1; Miles made his debut in the 1969 French Grand Prix at Charade, to the difficult four-wheel drive Lotus 63.

He started in 15 grands prix for Lotus, the conversion to the proven 49C and 72 for the 1970 season, but the relationship never worked; he was soon replaced after Rindt’s death at Monza in 1970. The sole points finish in the grand prix race, a fifth place in the 1970 South African Grand Prix in Kyalami.

He drove sports cars for a few more seasons, then the test drive team came here at Autocar. While the magazine, he created a popular column called “miles” Behind the wheel”, which specializes on improved versions of the normal cars. One of his more famous projects is the development of a cheap, highly effective, the suspension was the rear mod for the Ford Capri, which improves the handling immensely.

After more than a decade at Autocar, Miles, ” the restless nature and the desire to be “my hands” led him to Lotus Engineering, where he was involved for 18 years (especially in an unconfirmed capacity) in improving a variety of cars, from Vauxhall Astra for the Aston Martin DB9.

Miles had a period of importance, when Lotus launched the front-drive Elan II, to draw their clever geometry significantly reduced torque that the affected usually light-weight, powerful front-wheel-drive cars. He then worked for several years at Aston Martin and, more recently, Larry multi – MATIC is Holt always as the man who saw the need for a change of car to drive.

I will always remember him, and help us with the treatment day stories in the early 90s, on a certain occasion, lapping him in an early Honda NSX. I went first, and he was exemplary, tolerant, but when he took his speed and smoothness made it obvious that the talent was still there.

I also remember a younger (and, it must be said, rather ignorant) employee travel with him, and, impressed, asked if he ever did racing. “Yes,” Miles said. “A little bit.”

And then he went away.