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The dynamic life of John Miles

We are sad to report that John Miles, Vehicle Dynamics International’s technical editor, passed away on April 8, aged 74. John has been a source of knowledge, insight and humor to the magazine for two decades and will be sorely missed.

A major figure in the vehicle dynamics sector, and one of the world’s foremost vehicle ride and handling engineers, John qualified in mechanical engineering but truly learned his craft on the track, having started his motoring life as a driver in the 1963 Redex Sports car Championship, which he won twice before going on to win the 1966 Autosport Championship.

In subsequent years John was the primary dynamics engineer for the four-wheel-drive Lotus 63 car, which he also competed in, and after leaving Team Lotus, he became the number two Lotus F1 driver at Rob Walker Racing Team for the 1970 season. A spell as a test driver at BRM followed, and he also raced a Chevron B19 to victory in the 1971 British sports car championship, beating impressive competition, including Wilson Fittipaldi.

John retired from motorsport in 1973, and while he was a modest gentleman in person, he expressed a powerful authority in writing, which he put to good use as a road tester at Autocar magazine in the 1970s. Preferring having oil on his hands to ink, John then went on to apply his dynamics skills to road cars at Lotus Engineering for 18 years (including the FWD Elan), Aston Martin for three years, and Multimatic for the past 15 years. He even found time to set up 'Miles Music', a jazz recording company.

And of course he also found time over the last 20 years to share his knowledge and writing skill with Vehicle Dynamics International, for which we were blessed. John will be sadly missed in the industry, and to ensure his knowledge lives on, we are creating an archive of all his previous articles on our new website, launching soon.

Until then, you can read John's recollections of the 1969 season with the Lotus 63, which he recently shared with us HERE.


Written by Adam Gavine


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