Norman Graham Hill, or as most people knew him Graham Hill, was born on February 15, 1929 in Hamstead, London. He was made famous as an English motor racing champion and is the only driver to win what is known as the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
Graham Hill started off serving in the military, after which he joined Smiths Instruments as a mechanic. Later on he found his skills as a mechanic served him well when he joined Team Lotus as a mechanic during the mid 1950s. Unlike most other drivers, Graha only started his racing career at the late age of about 30 years. Due to Lotus’ attendance at Formula One it wasn’t long before he had a chance to race there. His debut race took place at Monaco Grand Prix in 1958.
Two years later in 1960, Hill joined British Racing Motors (BRM), later winning the world championship with the BRM team. Hill was also part of the alleged ‘British invasion’ of drivers who took part in the Indianapolis 500 during 1965. A year later he won the Indianapolis 500 in a Lola-Ford. With Lotus, Graham Hill was able to help develop the Lotus 49, which contained a new Cosworth- V8 engine.
With the unfortunate and untimely death of team mates Jim Clark and Mike Spence, Hill was left to lead the team, which he successfully did, with a win at his second world championship in 1968. The Lotus was growing in reputation as an immensely fragile and dangerous car, especially since the new aerodynamic aids had also caused similar accidents with Jochen Rindt and Hill during the Spanish Grand Prix in 1969. That same year Hill broke his legs at the United States Grand Prix, putting a spoke in his career.
At the age of 41 years, Graham Hill refused to retire, carrying on his Formula One racing for another 7 more years, but with little success. The last win he ever had in Formula One was in the non-Championships International Trophy in 1971 at Silverstone with the Brabham BT34. Graham was also known throughout his career for his endurance. In 1972 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Matra with Henri Pescarolo. With this win he finished the so-called Triple Crown of Motor Sport: winning the F1 World Championship, the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Till today he is the only person ever to have achieved this.