Jump to content


Photo

Phil Hill has passed away


  • Please log in to reply
198 replies to this topic

#1 jonnyspa27

jonnyspa27
  • Member

  • 56 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 25 August 2008 - 18:34

Heard last night on the SpeedTV broadcast that Phil Hill was to be at Monterey this past weekend. Made it there but fell ill and now is in a Salinas hospital recovering well. Thoughts and prayers go out to him!

Advertisement

#2 Cynic2

Cynic2
  • Member

  • 220 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:24

Phil Hill developed an infection on the Friday of Monterey weekend (the 15th). The situation was very serious; paramedics treated him at the hotel and he was then hospitalized in the Salinas/Monterey area. He remains in the hospital, not yet able to return to his home in Santa Monica.

Phil Hil was, and is, one of the true gentleman of our sport. Phil and his family should be kept in your thoughts and prayers.

#3 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 26 August 2008 - 02:20

Well, this is very distressing. I last saw Phil Hill at Revival in 2006, and he seemed quite frail even then. I daresay there has never been a finer gentlemen in our sport, not just as a driver, but as a collector, restorer, show judge, mentor and enthusiast. Sometimes I wonder what his life must have been like, a young American in post-war Europe driving for the already legendary Scuderia, and then to become America's first World Champion. What a life he has had.

Jack

#4 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 26 August 2008 - 02:58

Top of the list, no doubt.

Get well soon, sir.

--
Frank Sheffield
San Diego CA
USA

#5 Hse289

Hse289
  • Member

  • 588 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 26 August 2008 - 09:13

Get well soon Phil, i have been lucky to have had a couple of quick chats with Phil Hill. He really is the nicest and friendliest of people.

#6 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,564 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:20

Just a reminder of happier times. So popular at Goodwood, so relaxed
Posted Image
Roger Lund

#7 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,725 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:53

Even better...

Posted Image

Posted by kaydee in March last year, 42 years after the event.

#8 Gary C

Gary C
  • Member

  • 4,524 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 26 August 2008 - 12:42

Get well soon, Mr.Hill.

#9 hipperson

hipperson
  • Member

  • 556 posts
  • Joined: January 06

Posted 26 August 2008 - 14:38

Posted Image

Revival 2006 with son Derek in Ralph Lauren's Alfa 8C 2900B MM.
My best photo effort that yesr

#10 MattKellett

MattKellett
  • Member

  • 69 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 26 August 2008 - 15:43

Here's to a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon Phil

#11 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 26 August 2008 - 17:26

Get well soon, Dr. phil.* Hill!;)

* That's the way "Taffy" used to call him, "doctor philosophiae", an academic title - from the days when rival drivers respected each other... :sigh:

#12 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 2,998 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:31

Phil attended the Monterey Historics and the Portland Historics every year from the mid seventies on. He was always approachable and he would join in our bench racing at the champagne piss up that seemed to occur after all these events. One year I reacted too slowly as he was opening a bottle of champers and collected the cork right in eye! When I think back now it was only 15 years or so since he had been World Champion and he was a very able driver who could walk away from other competitors in similar cars. Anyone at the "Tribute to Bentley" in 1978 saw that. His performance in his own four and a half Blower was stunning-I had never before nor since seen someone take a Blower Bentley by the scruff and Thrash it the way Phil did that day-great stuff!
I hope he makes a quick and full recovery.

#13 kris-kincaid

kris-kincaid
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 27 August 2008 - 04:39

It's truly a shame that not many Americans know who he is or any of his achievements. Too bad. Hope he gets well soon!

#14 lotus19

lotus19
  • New Member

  • 16 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 27 August 2008 - 15:50

Get well soon, Mr. Hill.

Posted Image

#15 rl1856

rl1856
  • Member

  • 158 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 13:10

I had always wondered why his retirement was so abrubt. He won his last race and had driven well all season. He was still considered to be among the best sports car drivers around. By 1968, Porsche was substantially increaseing their sports car program and Gulf Mirage was expanding theirs. Surely a driver of Hill's skill and development ability would have appealed to both ? He could have easily gone on for another 5yrs and added to his long list of accomplishments.

On another note, Mr. Nye's BRM V-2 revealed that BRM had considered Hill for the 1962 season. How might things have been different for him had he left Ferrari a year earlier.

Best,

Ross

#16 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,564 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 13:36

I often think that people forget about his subsequent life as a highly regarded restorer at Hill and Vaughn.
Roger Lund

#17 Cynic2

Cynic2
  • Member

  • 220 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 28 August 2008 - 18:26

I deeply regret to say that Phil Hill just passed away.

#18 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 28 August 2008 - 18:37

:( :( :( :cry:

#19 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 6,127 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 28 August 2008 - 18:56

News had not been good the last few days about him.

I am crushed by this. Although clearly ill with Parkinson's, he was still getting about.

All I can say is basically summarised in one line:-

A true ambassador to the sport, but much more important than that, a true ambassador to the human race.


I only hope I one day do anywhere near anything he ever did.

Godspeed Phil. :cry: :cry:

Advertisement

#20 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 28 August 2008 - 18:57

Philip Toll Hill.... One of the classiest racing drivers, and human beings of this earth.
In all my years of participating in motorsports, he was one of the very few of whom I never heard a dispariging word uttered...........

ZOOOM

#21 renzo

renzo
  • Member

  • 821 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:00

sad news indeed.
but what a life! :up:

#22 Gokart Mozart

Gokart Mozart
  • Member

  • 195 posts
  • Joined: August 04

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:17

I had the pleasure of meeting Phil a few years back at Road America for the BRIC. He was signing autographs under an umbrella near a memorabilia stand and was one of the most personable individuals I've met in my lifetime, racer or not. He seemed impressed that I, in my teenage years, knew what an ATS was, and we spoke of the ups and downs of the Monza banking until I realized that a line had formed up behind me...

A wonderful man and a legend. He will be missed.

Respectfully Yours,

Jacques N. Dresang

#23 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 2,998 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:18

What sad news! My condolences to his family and friends :cry:

#24 ex Rhodie racer

ex Rhodie racer
  • Member

  • 3,002 posts
  • Joined: February 07

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:25

We all have to die. Let us celebrate a life well lived, rather than grieve for a life lost. He packed more into his extraordinary life than most men will ever imagine. Sleep well Phil. You will never be forgotten :cry:

#25 Coral

Coral
  • Member

  • 2,714 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:25

Oh no. This is so sad. R.I.P. Phil... :cry:

#26 Allan Lupton

Allan Lupton
  • Member

  • 3,016 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:45

Originally posted by ex Rhodie racer
[B]We all have to die. Let us celebrate a life well lived, rather than grieve for a life lost.

Quite agree with this.

#27 MattKellett

MattKellett
  • Member

  • 69 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:46

Very sad to hear.......

RIP Phil and thank you for all the memories - a true racer and gent


Matt

#28 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,306 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 19:58

All who knew and worked with Phil are bereft at his passing. Please spare a thought for Alma, Derek, Vanessa and the grandchildren. There, ladies and gentleman, was a truly great man.

Doug Nye

#29 Rosemayer

Rosemayer
  • Member

  • 1,253 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:02

:cry: RIP Phil.

#30 JacnGille

JacnGille
  • Member

  • 1,580 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:05

aaaaaawwwwwwwwwww :(

#31 dmkerry

dmkerry
  • New Member

  • 27 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:16

My thoughts are with Phil's family, he brought joy to many

sad sad day..... :cry:

#32 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:16

Just seen this on SpeedTV's site, they are running a very good obit for Phil.

RIP - a long life lived well, and a man who put back far more into the sport than he took from it.

#33 TooTall

TooTall
  • Member

  • 336 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:37

I had the privilege of meeting and talking to Phil a number of times over the years. I never saw him race in his prime but I did see him drive at the Monterey Historics in the '70s and '80s and he could be very impressive. A great driver, a great champion, a true gentleman. Congratulations on a life well lived. You will be missed.

My deepest condolences to his family and many close friends.

Kurt O.

#34 m.tanney

m.tanney
  • Member

  • 341 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:38

Sad news, indeed. A great racer and a fine man. It's a shame he never wrote a memoir. He was such a thoughtful, intelligent fellow, his observations on racing "back in the day" would have been fascinating.

Here is a link to an interesting Sports Illustrated piece about the man in retirement. I remember reading it when it first came out. Hard to believe that was 30 years ago.

Mike

#35 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,316 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:41

R.I.P. Phil . A class act all the way . :cry:

Posted Image

#36 Slartibartfast

Slartibartfast
  • Member

  • 4,220 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:42

Originally posted by ex Rhodie racer
We all have to die. Let us celebrate a life well lived, rather than grieve for a life lost. He packed more into his extraordinary life than most men will ever imagine. Sleep well Phil. You will never be forgotten :cry:


Well said.
Forums such as this can keep his memory alive.

#37 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 23,836 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:43

RIP Phil. :cry:

#38 Gary C

Gary C
  • Member

  • 4,524 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:45

I am very sorry to hear this news. Phil always came across as someone who loved his motor racing and even more enjoyed the history of the sport. RIP.

#39 WGD706

WGD706
  • Member

  • 956 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:47

Phil Hill, a reserved Californian who became a gifted race-car driver and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One international auto-racing championship, died today He was 81.

Hill died at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula of complications from Parkinson's disease, according to John Lamm, a close friend who is also editor-at-large of Road and Track magazine.

"It's a sad day," said Carroll Shelby, a close friend of Hill's who won Le Mans himself in 1959 and then became a celebrated sports car builder. "Phil was an excellent race car driver with a unique feel for the car, and his real expertise was in long-distance racing."

Hill won the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1961. He also was the first American to win the 24-hour endurance sports-car race at Le Mans, France -- a race he would win twice again -- and he won the Sebring 12-hour race three times, among many other victories.

"Phil set the standard" for other American drivers who competed overseas, such as Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti, said the late Shav Glick, longtime motor sports writer for the Times, in 2006.


(The Italian-born Andretti, whose family emigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, won the Formula One title in 1978.)

Hill "also was a great representative of the sport," Glick said, adding that he was "quiet and not given to self-promotion. A very gracious man."

Shelby recalled Hill as a man with "multiple talents."

"Phil tuned pianos, he could take anything apart and put it back together, and he loved opera," Shelby told The Times.

Hill won his Formula One championship at the season's penultimate race in Monza, Italy, after he had swapped the series lead all year with his Ferrari teammate Wolfgang von Trips of Germany.

In the same race, Trips died in a crash that also killed 14 spectators. As a result, Ferrari did not participate in the season's final race in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Hill was unable to celebrate his championship in his home nation.

Hill, despite driving with safety gear in his race car that paled by today's standards, never suffered a serious injury in his career. He retired from driving in 1967 at 39.

"I had an amazing amount of luck to race for 22 years and not a drop of blood or a broken bone," Hill once said. Then he quipped: "Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough."

But racing was not always easy for Hill. According to Formula One's website, Hill was "profoundly intelligent and deeply sensitive," a driver "always fearful and throughout his career he struggled to find a balance between the perils and pleasures of his profession."

At one point in the early 1950s he stopped racing for 10 months because of stomach ulcers, but then returned and "by the mid-1950s he had become America's best sports car racer," the website said.

Philip Toll Hill was born in Miami on April 20, 1927, and was raised in Santa Monica. His love of cars began at an early age and, when he was 12, his aunt bought him a Model T Ford that he would drive on private roads in Santa Monica Canyon.

He studied business administration at USC in 1945-47 but eventually dropped out because his passion was race cars.

Hill worked as a mechanic on other drivers' cars and, in the early to mid-1950s, drove in races in Santa Ana, Pebble Beach, Mexico and Europe and eventually joined the Ferrari team.

In September 1958, Hill finally got the ride he wanted in a Ferrari Formula One car, which would culminate with his world title. The first of Hill's Le Mans victories also came in 1958, where he co-drove a Ferrari with Olivier Gendebien.

After retiring, Hill focused much of his attention on his lifelong love of classic automobiles, as well as his collection of player pianos and other antique musical instruments.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Hill is survived by his wife Alma, son Derek of Culver City, daughter Vanessa Rogers of Phoenix, stepdaughter Jennifer Delaney of Niwot, Colo., and four grandchildren.
http://www.latimes.c...story?track=rss

Advertisement

#40 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,306 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:51

Phil's contribution to racing history is due to be published in the book of his majestic colour photography on which we have been working and which I have failed to complete in time for him. The Pat Jordan piece for 'Sports Illustrated' was - I think - the best written about him. Phil had his reservations, I think. Like his book with Bill Nolan, I believe Phil considered that some of what was published in there - quite apart from the inevitable errors which of course dismayed him - "came too close".

Although a public figure he was in many ways a very private man - and I cannot find adequate words to put across just what a wonderfully capable, humble, discreet, thoughtful, conscientious, splendid guy he truly was. Phil Hill's qualities as a man far outstripped those of merely Phil Hill the World Champion racing driver.

DCN

#41 wolf sun

wolf sun
  • Member

  • 460 posts
  • Joined: September 05

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:56

Sad, sad news! But indeed, a live well lived. RIP Phil, and sincere condolences to the family. :cry:

#42 jj2728

jj2728
  • Member

  • 2,773 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 28 August 2008 - 20:58

A true gentleman and a great racer. Here's to thinking he and "Taffy" are turning a few laps in their sharknoses.

#43 Paul Parker

Paul Parker
  • Member

  • 1,684 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:02

Another sad day.

#44 VWV

VWV
  • Member

  • 279 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:04

My sympathy to the Hill family on their loss.

You can sign a book of condolences at the Phill Hill web site http://www.philhill....remember_2.html

Rest in peace :(

#45 WGD706

WGD706
  • Member

  • 956 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:09

"Personally I am deeply saddened," said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, "as is everyone at Ferrari. He was a man and a champion who gave a lot for Ferrari and who has always represented our values both on and off the race track. Phil Hill drove for us and won many races both in our sports prototype cars, in events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and in our single-seater with which he became the first American to win the Formula 1 World Championship. We often kept in touch over the past years and I will miss his passion and his love of Ferrari."

#46 sterling49

sterling49
  • Member

  • 10,810 posts
  • Joined: September 06

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:10

I often read about Phil, and knew that he was the WDC in the Sharknose, but, at a young age, wondered why he no longer drove in F1 in the latter part of his career. I was so excited when he was due to drive the 2F at Brands, and what a great day it was too! I believe the only time I saw him race, and he never put a wheel wrong! He lead an active and fulfilled life, but it still saddens me that the "old guard" are moving on. R.I.P. :cry:

#47 wildman

wildman
  • Member

  • 288 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:22

I can think of very few, if any, of today's "one-trick pony" drivers who could fill Phil's shoes. A very fine man, indeed. I will be eagerly awaiting the eventual publication of DCN's book, after reading about it on philhill.com.

#48 Maximus

Maximus
  • Member

  • 556 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:23

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Phil's contribution to racing history is due to be published in the book of his majestic colour photography on which we have been working and which I have failed to complete in time for him. The Pat Jordan piece for 'Sports Illustrated' was - I think - the best written about him.

Would this be the piece in Sports Illustrated you meant Doug?

#49 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:26

Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
Well, this is very distressing. I last saw Phil Hill at Revival in 2006, and he seemed quite frail even then. I daresay there has never been a finer gentlemen in our sport, not just as a driver, but as a collector, restorer, show judge, mentor and enthusiast. Sometimes I wonder what his life must have been like, a young American in post-war Europe driving for the already legendary Scuderia, and then to become America's first World Champion. What a life he has had.

Jack


I cannot add much to what I have already said above last week, except now to express my very great sorrow and to wish for comfort for Phil's family. He had a long life, well lived. We dare not ask for more than that.

Jack :cry:

#50 Jack-the-Lad

Jack-the-Lad
  • Member

  • 1,388 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 28 August 2008 - 21:29

Originally posted by Doug Nye


I cannot find adequate words to put across just what a wonderfully capable, humble, discreet, thoughtful, conscientious, splendid guy he truly was.

DCN


Worth repeating....and well worth emulating.

Jack