Graham Hill learned to drive at the age of 26. At 29, he was lining up on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix. Four years after that, he was World Champion.
Starting as a mechanic for Lotus, he eventually convinced Colin Chapman to give him a drive. With an unconventional style, he became the only driver to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of motor sport: the Formula 1 World Championship (which he won twice), the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours. As he got older the offers of competitive drives dried up, so he simply started his own team. They were on the brink of a breakthrough when Hill and several members of the team – including promising young driver Tony Brise – were killed in a plane crash.
His son Damon, 15 years old at the time, took up racing. Like his father he made it to the top flight comparatively late in life, but still managed to become world champion, driving for Williams, in 1996. They remain the only father and son to do so. In retirement, Damon became president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and was instrumental in saving the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.