James [ Jim ] Clark Jr was born into a farming family at Kilmany House Farm in Fife, the youngest child of five, and the only boy. In 1942 the family moved to Edington Mains Farm, near Duns, Berwickshire. He was educated at primary schools, first in Kilmany and then in Chirnside, and then following three years of preparatory schooling at Clifton Hall School near Edinburgh he was sent to Loretto School near Musselburgh.
Although his parents were opposed to the idea, Clark started his racing in local road rally and hill climb events driving his own Sunbeam Talbot, and proved a fearsome competitor right from the start. On 16th June 1956, in his very first event, he was behind the wheel of a DKW Sonderklasse [ raced at Crimond ]. By 1958, Clark was driving for the local Border Reivers team, racing Jaguar D Types and Porches in national events, and winning 18 races.
Then on Boxing Day 1958, Clark raced against the man who would launch him to superstardom. Driving a Lotus Elite, he finished second to Colin Chapman in a 10-lap GT race at Brands Hatch. In 1959 he drove a Lotus Elite, finishing tenth at Le Mans partnered with John Whitmore. He had success also in the difficult Bo’ness Hill Climb and Chapman was sufficiently impressed to give Clark a ride in one of his F1 Junior cars. In March 1960 in his first race in the Junior F1 class at Goodwood he won beating John Surtees into 2nd place. There was no stopping Clark after that and he claimed his first Drivers World Championship in the full F1 class in 1963 and he also competed in the Indianapolis 500. His smooth driving technique where he seemed almost at one with the car saw him gain popularity with drivers and F1 fans alike. Clark became the superstar of F1 between 1963 and 1968 proving an inspiration to ace British drivers who survived him like Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill who held the quiet man from the Scottish Borders in very high esteem.
He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockemheim in Germany in 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever F1 drivers.