Phil Hill autobiography
Posted 10 July 2004 - 03:20
Posted 10 July 2004 - 08:29
Posted 10 July 2004 - 18:41
Posted 10 July 2004 - 21:43
I tried to order it from W. H. Smiths last year but they assured me that it didn't exist, despite the fact that I had seen it numerous times at Silverstone etc.
So what's the difference between that and this other book?
Posted 10 July 2004 - 22:00
Posted 10 July 2004 - 23:33
Barry, I published the revised edition of William F. Nolan's "Phil Hill: Yankee Champion." In the UK it would only be found in the specialty book stores, but I assure you it does exist. See http://brownfoxbooks.com/
On the detailed page at our Brown Fox Books web site you can get a sample of Nolan's book in a PDF format.
Chuck Queener painted the great watercolor featured on the cover of our new book "Red Wheels and White Sidewalls" by Bill Pollack.
Posted 10 July 2004 - 23:35
Someone at Goodwood had a copy of Yankee Champion . looking at the programme, could have been Chaters, Collectors Car Books, Andrew Currie, Mill House, David Thomas, or Pooks. (and I also saw The Half Ton Formula at one of them)
Posted 11 July 2004 - 03:58
Posted 11 July 2004 - 09:03
Get him and Brian Redman together and they perform said piece as a duet... :
Phil was also hyper-nervous, hyper-active and hyper self-critical but combine his F1 and sports car records and you see proof of a formidable world-class driver, indeed. Above all - and quite unusually compared to so many other drivers of similar achievement before and since - he's a lifelong car and motor racing nut!
He says of himself "By the time I was 11 I was already completely absorbed in the romance of motor racing...". He'd read and memorised imported copies of 'The Autocar' and 'The Motor' and knew the 'Bira' books, for example, from cover to cover.
As a trainee British sports cars mechanic he was in England on a course in time to see the V16 BRM's debut at Silverstone and he also witnessed the early races at Goodwood. If ever a great racing driver could be described as being pretty much 'one of us' - he is it...
I'm sure the forthcoming new Dalton Watson Phil-on-Ferrari compendium book should do well, and I understand there's another project in the offing which could/should be pretty extraordinary.
Posted 11 July 2004 - 17:56
You can guess one of the questions I'll ask him...
Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:00
Posted 11 August 2004 - 03:16
Phil's biography was a subject and he talked about the volume presently done with John Lamm's brilliant photography and stories.
Indeed, there is a great need for telling the life of this great champion, much too ignored by the current racing media. For God sake, I remember the clips from the Italian and French press, saying that this American "lucked out" in this 1961 world championship that von Trips SHOULD have won, such an unfair circumstance. Really now!
I have seen Phil race, from the 1958 Ferrari TR with Olivier at le Mans to the 1961 158 Shark Nose to the GT40 to the Chaparral 2F, and he never let me think a minute that he was a moving chicane.
I would love someone of the writing caliber and inspiration of DCN to do him justice.
Posted 11 August 2004 - 14:33
Phil Hill – Gentleman, Sportsman, Champion
For an American motor sport enthusiast or would-be race driver – there could be no better role model than Phil Hill.
The quiet but intense man from Santa Monica simply did it all, and he did it with grace and style. Phil Hill was the first American World Champion, the first to win the classic Le Mans 24-Hour race, and the first since Jimmy Murphy in 1921 to win a major European Grand Prix.
When Phil Hill arrived in Europe on a full-time basis in 1956 he was a mature 29-year old and well established as the premier American road racing driver of his era.
He had been an early participant in the rebirth of road racing in America, particularly in his native California where by the early 50’s he was clearly the man to beat on circuits such as Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Carrell Speedway, Palm Springs and many others. By the time he first raced at Watkins Glen in 1952, he had attained a national reputation. At the inaugural race on the new Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake in 1955 Phil Hill in a Ferrari Monza won a thrilling duel from Sherwood Johnston in Briggs Cunningham’s D-Type Jaguar. People still recall this as one of the closest and most exciting races in the history of the Wisconsin circuit.
His international reputation was already developing. Epic drives in the Carrera Pan America – Mexico’s answer to Italy’s Mille Miglia - proved his mastery of rugged road racing under the most trying circumstances and honed his intuitive skills and ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
When Phil Hill joined the works Ferrari team in Europe for the 1956 season, he was very much the junior man on a team of giants. These drivers included Juan Manuel Fangio, Eugenio Castelloti, Luigi Musso, Peter Collins, Alfonso de Portago, Paul Frere, Olivier Gendebien and Maurice Trintignant. On this intensely hierarchical team, and despite being the sole non-European with the disadvantage of seeing most of the circuits for the first time, Hill quickly established himself as fast and dependable and co-drove the winning car with Trintignant at Kristianstad in the Swedish Grand Prix to clinch the manufacturers’ World Championship for Ferrari.
1958 was a year of growth and recognition for Phil Hill. He had his first real drive in a Grand Prix car in January during practice for the Buenos Aires GP. Impatient for his opportunity in Formula One, and despite pressure from Ferrari not to do it, he drove a privately entered Maserati 250F at Reims for the French Grand Prix. This was the final Grand Prix start in the great Juan Fangio’s career, and also the race that claimed the life of Luigi Musso. But for Phil Hill it was the beginning of a formula one career that was to lead him to the World Championship.
This was also the year that Phil Hill won LeMans for Ferrari co-driving with Olivier Gendebien and the Sebring 12-Hour with Peter Collins. His experience at Sebring that year helps portray his unique character. He drove to Sebring, Florida from Santa Monica, California in the classic 1939 Packard he had personally restored. He entered the Packard in the Concours d’Elegance and won his class, and then drove the car back to California. And of course he had won the 12-Hour race itself for Ferrari – the first of three times he achieved that feat.
In October of 1958 Phil Hill again helped make history at Watkins Glen. He qualified on pole position in a Ferrari 4.1 Testa Rosa for the International Formula Libre – the race that set the stage for Watkins Glen to eventually be awarded the United States Grand Prix in 1961.
By 1959 Phil Hill was Ferrari’s number one driver in formula one and sports cars. His victory at Monza in the1960 Italian Grand Prix was the first European Grand Prix win for an American in 39 years. It was also the last ever championship win for a front-engined formula one car.
Phil Hill’s championship year in 1961 has been well chronicled. Winner of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, he clinched the World Championship at Monza by winning the Italian Grand Prix. The tragic death early in the race of his teammate and closest competitor, Wolfgang Von Trips, along with 12 spectators, doubtless stole from this sensitive individual some of the satisfaction he richly deserved. The final race of the season, his home Grand Prix of the United States at Watkins Glen, should have been the site for his title celebration. Instead Enzo Ferrari withdrew his team in response to the Monza tragedy and Hill was honored at Watkins Glen as Grand Marshal.
Although never again to find himself in the right car at the right time in Formula One Grand Prix events, Hill remained a major factor in every race in which he competed. He won Can Am and World Championship sports car races where he was always a force to be reckoned with – and often a dominant one.
Phil Hill ended his driving career in characteristically understated fashion after winning his final race – the 6-Hour BOAC 500 World Championship of Manufacturers race at Brands Hatch in 1967. He was co-driving the works Chaparral with Mike Spence.
Since ending his racing days he has fulfilled his many other passions and interests. These include restoration and collecting of objects of art ranging from musical instruments to fine vintage automobiles. Single throughout his race career, Phil Hill married in 1971 and enjoys a happy and fruitful family life. His son Derek is today considered one of America’s brightest hopes for international racing success and Phil takes a keen and dedicated interest in his career. Younger race fans now recognize Phil Hill’s byline as a prolific and uniquely insightful correspondent for the American magazine, Road & Track.
This writer is hard pressed to think of another man who so exemplifies what was fine and admirable about Grand Prix drivers in the post war era. Great drivers they were, certainly, but the best of them were so much more – they had grace and wit and a myriad of interests and enthusiasms. Phil Hill represents all of that and America has never had a finer champion in any sport.
Posted 11 August 2004 - 14:44
Posted 11 August 2004 - 15:22
Posted 11 August 2004 - 19:08
But was Phil no.1 over Tony Brooks in the F1 team in 1959?
Posted 11 August 2004 - 19:39
Posted 11 August 2004 - 20:30
Posted 12 August 2004 - 03:47
Posted 12 August 2004 - 05:10
Posted 13 August 2004 - 14:28
Originally posted by T54
.....he never let me think a minute that he was a moving chicane.....
Nor me, though I wasn't prepared for it at the time...
My introduction to following the F1 series came with the 1962 season, and we all know that after the first couple of races in that season there wasn't much Phil Hill noted in the 'performances worth mentioning' columns.
So when he came here for the 1965 Tasman Cup, he could be thought to be well past his prime. Yet I have to agree that his last ever open wheel race at Longford was something worth seeing... repeatedly forging his way to the front so he could fend off Brabham and help his team leader win... sending all onlookers into bewildered questioning mode when he passed Jim Clark over the Long Bridge and taking chunks off the lap record.
A performance worthy of some detailed attention...
Posted 13 August 2004 - 14:52
Posted 30 June 2016 - 19:08
Congratulations to all involved in the project, Doug Nye, Steve Dawson, Derek Hill, Ian Lambot and Christianne Long at Watermark Publications and Paul Vestey for making this available to motor sports enthusiasts and particularly Phil Hill's many fans and admirers.
My purchase order has been placed!
Edit: My goodness, 12 years since the previous post!
Edited by Jack-the-Lad, 30 June 2016 - 19:45.
Posted 01 July 2016 - 06:22
Yes - absolutely imminent. Sorry that even the cheapest volume will still be quite costly, but the pictorial and textual content will offer great value for that money... Phil's photos are jaw-dropping in content and quality. The website, by the way, shows book content and design still under finalisation for publication this coming winter... Every proof stage it's looking better.
Posted 01 July 2016 - 09:38
Thank god for Kodachrome (and Leicas too....), the taster pics look amazing. Can't wait to see the book - I had no idea he was such a keen photographer. If they are struggling to find a good home for his collection I'd be very happy for them to park it at oldracephotos....
yes I know Doug, I can see 12 pigs at 10 o'clock out my window.... Seriously though, we both know how rare and special those photographs are. They really broke the mould when they made Phil Hill.
Posted 01 July 2016 - 16:53
Will prints of any of Phil's photographs be available for purchase?
Posted 01 July 2016 - 17:21
That site cited omits the race he reckoned was the best he ever drove!
Doesn't even mention the series.
Posted 01 July 2016 - 17:46
Incredible...That site cited omits the race he reckoned was the best he ever drove!Doesn't even mention the series.
Which one is that, Ray?
Posted 01 July 2016 - 18:47
I just re-read Ray's post nearby upthread, but 12 years old!
Posted 01 July 2016 - 18:49
Posted 01 July 2016 - 20:33
Can we all please focus on what's in the book rather than what isn't?
(Edit: this was directed at Ray, just a friendly suggestion about respecting what is surely one fine production)
Edited by E1pix, 01 July 2016 - 21:01.
Posted 01 July 2016 - 22:48
Ha! Tassy is just that kind of place James! Must be the clean air and water.......
Posted 01 July 2016 - 22:54
No, it's F5000.
Posted 02 July 2016 - 06:05
Originally posted by Jack-the-Lad
What was Phil driving and who was his team leader at that race? (I could look it up, but then I wouldn't have the benefit of your eyewitness account!)
I am sorry I missed this all those years ago!
His team leader was Bruce McLaren and Phil was driving a 1964 Tasman Cooper in the '65 series, he had a long stroke engine while Brabham and McLaren both had short stroke versions.
Here's how the field shaped up:
It was just before 3:00pm on a hot Monday afternoon that the cars faced the starter. It was a field filled with class drivers. Taking past and future titles into account these drivers accounted for eight World Championships, four Tasman Cups, seven Australian Grands Prix, seven New Zealand Grands Prix, six New Zealand Gold Stars, five Australian Gold Stars, seven Australian Sports Car Championships, a Sports Sedan Championship, four Touring Car Championships, a Formula Junior Championship, an ANF1½ Championship, three British Saloon Car Championships, a European F5000 Championship and a Springbok series – there was even an Australian Hillclimb Championship.
Even among those backing them up there was a fine record, Team Managers had two Gold Stars and a Touring Car Championship behind them. Altogether it could be said there was a lot of race-winning determination and experience here. To top it off, the cinematographer filming Graham Hill’s tacho at the start of the race was later to win the Australian Sports Car Championship!
Phil Hill's first major job was to stay ahead of Jim Clark, this battle keeping him occupied until after half-distance:
The race between McLaren and Brabham was one of high speed stalking, not a cut-and-thrust duel. Lap times fluctuated as slower cars were caught and passed, McLaren lapping in 2:20.8 on lap 10. On the other hand the race between Clark and Phil Hill was alive and enthralling, passing and repassing, passing in unlikely places, Clark showing his great skill in making up for that high speed miss while Phil Hill was revelling in the dice, the opportunity to race at these speeds on this kind of circuit. One lap he surprised everyone by passing Clark on the Long Bridge while another he lost the advantage as he missed a gear at Newry. They were also making a little ground on Graham Hill.....
It was 'no holds barred' and then, after Brabham's altercation...
McLaren had lapped in 2:18.4 that time round, he came by 11.5 seconds ahead of Graham Hill. But it didn’t take long for things to start to develop behind him. Brabham caught and passed Clark on lap 19, Phil Hill latched onto the tail of the Brabham as he sought to gain an advantage over Clark. The second Cooper driver put in a 2:18.3 on that lap, then the next time round he lowered the record again to 2:18.2 – with a long stroke engine – and repassed Brabham. And they were rapidly closing on Graham Hill.
Lap 22 – with four laps to go – the pair of them passed Graham Hill. Brabham equalled Hill’s record the next lap and was back in second place, but McLaren had done 2:18.5 and was still eleven seconds ahead. Graham Hill lapped in 2:19.7 the next tour, his best lap of the race, but Brabham outdid them all with a 2:18.0.
Then it was clear that McLaren was in trouble, his times slowed as he had a clutch problem. Brabham was hunting him down and Phil Hill was making it hard for Jack, getting in his slipstream and looking for a way by. There was drama in the pits too, Phil Kerr approaching McLaren’s crew and asking them to slow down Phil as he was holding up Jack.
All in all, there was plenty for Phil to remember about this event, the last open-wheeler race he ever drove.
Posted 05 July 2016 - 08:24
£1200 (or £1400 post publication) is an obscene amount of money for the Connoisseurs Edition, no matter what the content or rarity. Buying the 3 volumes (collectors and autobiography) separately still comes to £600. That is very disappointing as it essentially prices out everyone bar the extremely well to do from purchasing what I am sure will be 1 of the finest books in years. Even the bookshop edition at £160 is a triflingly high price, but 1 I shall begrudgingly pay as I wish to see and read the work of the great man. Oh, and I'm a publisher so I know how much it costs to publish books.
Posted 05 July 2016 - 19:18
Thanks for filling in the blanks, even if it did take 12 years!
I knew very little about that race. Do you think there's video of it somewhere? Phil's post-F1 career was quite interesting and diverse.
Posted 05 July 2016 - 23:03
But it wasn't televised. I don't know who Peter Hopwood was filming for, but seeing as it was a Shell-sponsored car it might have been Shell Australia.
Posted 07 July 2016 - 08:18
That site cited omits the race he reckoned was the best he ever drove!
Doesn't even mention the series.
Ray, mate, if you're going to go off on one one concerning your specialist subject, it would be nice if you'd get it right.
Quote from 'That site' - "He also drove for Ford GT team-mate Bruce McLaren’s emergent personal team in the 1965 Tasman Championship series ‘down-under’ in New Zealand and Australia, shining in the final round at Longford, Tasmania, in what would prove to be his single-seater racing swan song."
Not at all Aggrieved - of Farnham
Posted 07 July 2016 - 12:47
Posted in downtown Tucumcari.
Edited by Ray Bell, 07 July 2016 - 16:52.
Posted 07 July 2016 - 13:30
Yes - and accepted.
Posted from up a tree in Lower Bourne
Posted 07 July 2016 - 18:32
You might enjoy my friend's series of vids, "Genuine Life on Route 66."
Posted 01 August 2016 - 13:28
The near-definitive (though still developing) Phil Hill book(s) website is now up and running - with sample pages showing some of Phil's fabulous photography as available in the winter-published volumes - at:
Edited by Doug Nye, 01 August 2016 - 13:28.