Phil Hill
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Phil Hill
Phil Hill
Phil Hill 1991 USA (cropped).jpg
BornPhilip Toll Hill Jr.
(1927-04-20)April 20, 1927
Miami, Florida, U.S.
DiedAugust 28, 2008(2008-08-28) (aged 81)
Monterey, California, U.S.
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited States American
Active years1958-1964, 1966
TeamsMaserati, Ferrari, Cooper, Porsche, Automobili Turismo e Sport, Lotus, McLaren, Eagle
Entries52 (49 starts)
Championships1 (1961)
Career points94 (98)[1]
Pole positions6
Fastest laps6
First entry1958 French Grand Prix
First win1960 Italian Grand Prix
Last win1961 Italian Grand Prix
Last entry1966 Italian Grand Prix

Philip Toll Hill Jr. (April 20, 1927 - August 28, 2008) was an American automobile racing driver. He was one of two American drivers to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, and the only one who was born in the United States (the other, Mario Andretti, was born in Italy and later became an American citizen). He also scored three wins at each of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races.

Hill was described as a "thoughtful, gentle man" and once said, "I'm in the wrong business. I don't want to beat anybody, I don't want to be the big hero. I'm a peace-loving man, basically."[2]


Born April 20, 1927, in Miami, Florida, Hill was raised in Santa Monica, California, where he lived until his death. He studied business administration at the University of Southern California from 1945 to 1947, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Hill left early to pursue auto racing, working as a mechanic on other drivers' cars.[3] Hill began racing cars at an early age, going to England as a Jaguar trainee in 1949 and signing with Enzo Ferrari's team in 1956. He made his debut in the French Grand Prix at Reims France in 1958 driving a Maserati. That same year, paired with Belgian teammate Olivier Gendebien, Hill became the first American-born winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans[4] with Hill driving most of the night in horrific rainy conditions. He and Gendebien would go on to win the endurance race again in 1961 and 1962.[]

Hill driving a Ferrari 250 TR at the 12 hours of Sebring (1958)

Hill began driving full-time for the Ferrari Formula One team in 1959, earning three podium finishes and fourth place in the Drivers' Championship. In 1960 he won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the first Grand Prix win for an American driver in nearly forty years (except the Indianapolis 500, once part of Grand Prix World Championship series), since Jimmy Murphy won the 1921 French Grand Prix. This also turned out to be the last win for a front-engined car in Formula 1. The following season, Hill won the Belgian Grand Prix and with two races left trailed only his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips in the season standings. A crash during the Italian Grand Prix killed von Trips and fifteen spectators. Hill won the race and clinched the championship but the triumph was bittersweet. Ferrari's decision not to travel to America for the season's final round deprived Hill of the opportunity to participate in his home race at Watkins Glen as the newly crowned World Champion. When he returned for the following season, his last with Ferrari, Hill said, "I no longer have as much need to race, to win. I don't have as much hunger anymore. I am no longer willing to risk killing myself."[2]

Hill driving for Ferrari at the 1962 German Grand Prix

After leaving Ferrari at the end of 1962, he and fellow driver Giancarlo Baghetti started for the new team ATS created by ex-Ferrari engineers in the great walkout of 1961. In 1964 Hill continued in Formula One, driving for the Cooper Formula One Team before retiring from single-seaters at the end of the season and limiting his future driving to sports car racing with Ford Motor Company and the Chaparral Cars of Jim Hall. During the 1966 Formula One season, Hill often participated in race weekends behind the wheel of a Ford GT40 prototype, accompanied by a remote-control Panasonic camera in order to produce images for the movie Grand Prix.[5] In that same season, he entered his last Formula One race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, racing for Dan Gurney's All American Racers, but he failed to qualify.[6] Hill retired from racing altogether in 1967.[]

Hill has the distinction of having won the first (a three-lap event at Carrell Speedway in a MG TC on July 24, 1949) and last races of his driving career, the final victory driving for Chaparral in the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in England in 1967.[]

Hill also drove an experimental MG, EX-181, at Bonneville Salt Flats. The "Roaring Raindrop"[7] had a 91-cubic-inch (1.5 L) supercharged MGA twin cam engine, using 86% methanol with nitrobenzene, acetone, and sulphuric ether, for an output of 290 HP. In 1959 Hill attained 257 mph in this car, breaking the previous record of Stirling Moss in the same car, 246 mph.[]

Hill appeared as himself on the December 11, 1961, episode of the game show To Tell the Truth. He received none of four possible votes.[8]

After racing

Following his retirement, Hill built up an award-winning classic car restoration business in the 1970s called Hill & Vaughn with business partner Ken Vaughn, until they sold the partnership to Jordanian Raja Gargour and Vaughn went on to run a separate business on his own in 1984. Hill remained with Gargour at Hill & Vaughn until the sale of the business again in 1995.[9] Hill also worked as a television commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports.[10]

Hill had a long association with Road & Track magazine. He wrote several articles for them, including road tests and retrospective articles on historic cars and races. He shared his "grand old man" status at R&T with 1960s racing rival Paul Frère, who also died in 2008.[]

Hill, in his last years, devoted his time to his vintage car collection and judged at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance more often than any other individual; 2007 was the 40th time he had judged the event.[11]

Hill was married to Alma, and had three children: Derek, Vanessa and Jennifer.[12] Derek raced in International Formula 3000 in 2001, 2002 and 2003, but was forced to retire when Phil became ill with Parkinson's disease.[]

After traveling to the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 2008, Hill was taken to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, where he died after a short illness from complications of Parkinson's disease in Monterey, California, on August 28.[13] Inside Track, a three-volume book set came out at the tail end of 2017 covering the life and career of Phil Hill. It's a work that had started before his death.[]

Turn 9 of the CW13 configuration of Buttonwillow Raceway Park is named after Hill.

Racing record

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

1The M3A, fitted with a cine camera, was allowed to enter the race to capture the start for the film Grand Prix

Non-championship Formula One results


Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1953 United States William Spear United States Bill Spear Ferrari 225 S S3.0 56 DNF
1954 United States William Spear United States Bill Spear Ferrari 375 MM S5.0 60 DNF
(Rear end)
1955 United States Allen Guiberson United States Carroll Shelby Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder S3.0 182 2nd 1st
1956 United States George Tilp United States Masten Gregory Ferrari 857 S S5.0 61 DNF
1957 Italy Ferrari Factory West Germany Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari 290 MM S5.0 106 DNF
1958 Italy Scuderia Ferrari United Kingdom Peter Collins Ferrari 250 TR 58 S3.0 200 1st 1st
1959 Italy Scuderia Ferrari United States Dan Gurney
United States Chuck Daigh
Belgium Olivier Gendebien
Ferrari 250 TR 59 S3.0 188 1st 1st
1961 Italy Sefac Automobile Ferrari Belgium Olivier Gendebien Ferrari 250 TRI/61 S3.0 210 1st 1st
1962 United States North American Racing Team Belgium Olivier Gendebien Ferrari 250 GTO[17] GT3.0 196 2nd 1st
1963 United States Ed Hugus United Kingdom Ken Miles
United States Lew Spencer
Shelby Cobra GT+4.0 192 11th 1st
United States Shelby American, Inc. United States Dan Gurney Shelby Cobra GT+4.0 163 29th 5th
1964 France Ford of France France Jo Schlesser Shelby Cobra GT5.0 203 6th 3rd
1965 United States Shelby American, Inc. United States Lew Spencer
United States Jim Adams
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe GT5.0 173 21st 5th
United States Ken Miles United States Richie Ginther Ford GT40 P+4.0 37 DNF
(Rear suspension)
1966 United States Chaparral Cars Inc. Sweden Jo Bonnier Chaparral 2D P+5.0 27 DNF
(Oil leak)

Complete 24 Hours of Daytona results

Year Team Co-drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1962 United States North American Racing Team Mexico Ricardo Rodríguez Ferrari 246 SP S2.5 82 2nd 2nd
1964 United States North American Racing Team Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Ferrari 250 GTO GT+2.0 327 1st 1st
1966 United States Chaparral Cars Inc. Sweden Jo Bonnier Chaparral 2D P+2.0 318 DNF
1967 United States Chaparral Cars Inc. United Kingdom Mike Spence Chaparral 2F P+2.0 93 DNF
(Accident suspension damage)

Complete Tasman Series results


Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pos. Pts
1965 Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Cooper T70 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 PUK
4th 15


Primary career victories :


  1. ^ a b Up until 1990, not all points scored by a driver contributed to their final World Championship tally (see list of points scoring systems for more information). Numbers without parentheses are Championship points; numbers in parentheses are total points scored.
  2. ^ a b Daley, Robert (1963). The Cruel Sport.
  3. ^ Jim Peltz, Phil Hill dies at 81; only American-born driver to win Formula One title, Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Weber, Bruce (2008-08-28). "Phil Hill, a Racing Legend at Odds With the Sport at Times, Is Dead at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Roberts, Andrew (21 December 2016). "Grand Prix: 50 years since the greatest racing film of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Italian Grand Prix - A Real Italian Victory". Motor Sport (October 1966): 38-41. 4 September 1966. Archived from grand-prix-real-italian-victory the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 2018. {{cite journal}}: Check |url= value (help)
  7. ^ "The MG EX 181 - Specifications and Pictures". May 28, 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "To Tell the Truth". YouTube. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Glenn Vaughn - Restoration Services, Inc Archived 2007-06-25 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "8W - Who? - Phil Hill". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Posey, Sam (September 2011). "A Man Like No Other". Road & Track. 63 (1): 92.
  12. ^ "American racing legend Phil Hill has died". August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  13. ^ Peltz, Jim (August 29, 2008). "Phil Hill, 81; first U.S.-born driver to win Formula One title". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ "Phil Hill - Involvement". Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Phil Hill - Biography". MotorSportMagazine. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "All Results of Phil Hill". Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ Hill, Phil (2017-04-20). "Phil Hill on the Iconic Ferrari 250 GTO". Road & Track. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Phil Hill at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America


  • Daley, Robert. The Cruel Sport. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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