Thursday, April 20, 2017

Phil Hill Born In Miami, Florida - April 20, 1927

April 20, 1927 – August 28, 2008
Phil Hill
(Photo; philhill.com)
Born in Miami, Florida, USA.
He is only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (Mario Andretti, an American driver, won the World Drivers' Championship in 1978, but was not born in the United States). He also scored three wins at each of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races.

Following his retirement, Hill built up an award winning classic car restoration business in the 1970s called Hill & Vaughn. Hill also worked as a television commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports. Hill had a long and distinguished 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 '60s 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.

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

After traveling to the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in August 2008, Hill was taken to a hospital, where he died after a short illness from complications of Parkinson's Disease in Salinas, California on August 28.

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."

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