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Phil Hill, Racing Legend, Dead At 81

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Phil Hill, the first American to win a Formula One World Drivers Championship, passed away at 10:30 this morning at the age of 81 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Hill will be remembered as one of the greatest race car drivers in American history, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Italian Grand Prix, among others. He will also be remembered as a great writer, known to many for his years of work writing about cars and automotive history for Road & Track. Phil Hill is survived by his wife Alma, one son and two daughters. More information as it becomes available.

I can't find any more info to confirm this yet. Does anybody have anything else? If true, it is a sad day.

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Phil Hill was a gentleman champion who was also a champion gentleman.

I will always treasure my memories of him whether vicariously through his articles in Road and Track, actually shaking his hand on the lawn at Pebble Beach, watching him confidently throw his Bentley through the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, or just drooling at a perfect MG-TF in the window at Hill & Vaughn in Santa Monica when I was in college.

I didn't see Mr. Hill at Pebble this year, but I understand he was at The Quail to attend the celebration honoring his friend and contemporary racing genius Dan Gurney.

Rest easy, Phil, and congratulations on a life well lived!




Photo by Jesse Alexander

"If everything is under control, you're going too slow." - Mario Andretti

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Very sad news, he did look quite frail in the last few pics I saw of him. We are losing a lot of legends from the great age of postwar racing lately.

Still, celebrate a life lived to the full when so many of his contemporaries died young. Strangely I was just looking at this pic of him the other night, isn't it great? Where would we all be as car nuts without guys like him? Stirring stuff. RIP Phil.


Edited by LooseCannon

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I always believed the best way we carry on a persons memory is through the stories we tell of those departed. I have not personally met Phil but I know through his eloquence in reporting on cars through Road & Track, his obvious talent at turning the wheel and his nature at public events that he was quite a man. The scenes in Grand Prix (whilst minor and probably not his proudest moments) give credibility to the movie which I see frequently. Interesting how such minor appearances are things I pay closest attention to in the film.

Phil Hill, Formula 1 World Champion. You leave behind quite a legacy Mr. Hill. We shall not soon forget you.

Mel Gibson only acted the part

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