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Jim Hall's early days


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#1 cabianca

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 01:08

Jim Hall is a very private man and information about his early days is hard to come by. Born in 1935, raised in Colorado and New Mexico, but with Texas roots. Attended California Institute of Technology 1953-1957, gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Would have been eligible to race on his birthday (23 July) in 1956. Began racing in his brother's Austin-Healey and had worked up to a Maserati 200S by graduation from college.

His parents went down in a private plane crash. This may have been during his college years. Does anyone have details on this. Was there another family member, perhaps brother or sister, involved?

He and his brother, Richard, were partners with Carroll Shelby in a dealership called Carroll Shelby Sports Cars in Dallas, through which passed many significant Ferraris, Maseratis and Listers. As an example, Richard Hall (perhaps in partnership with Jim) owned the Ferrari Monza that Shelby used to win Pebble Beach in 1956. Same car finished 2nd at Sebring in 1955 when owned by George Tilp.

Finally, what kind of "oil man" was he. My impression is that he is what is called an independent producer. These people are more investors than operators. If they see a prospect they like, they will invest in it. If they don't like it too well, they may spread their risk by bringing in other investors. Can anyone elaborate on Hall's role in the oil business.

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#2 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 01:48

His sister was killed in the plane crash. His brothers, Richard and Charles, ran the family oil-well development business, while Jim continued his course in geology. He later changed direction to mechanical engineering. He was married at seventeen and had fathered two children before starting his studies at the California Institute of Technology.