Phil Hill

Sad News - Phil Hill: 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 Thursday. He was 81. Hill died at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula of complications from Parkinson’s disease, said John Lamm, a close friend who is also editor-at-large of Road & Track magazine. Hill won the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1961. He also was the first American to win the 24-hour endurance 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.(The Italian-born Mario Andretti, whose family immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager, won the Formula One title in 1978.) Hill won his Formula One championship in 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 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Hill was unable to celebrate his championship in his home country. Hill, despite driving with safety gear that paled by today’s standards, never suffered a serious injury in his career. He retired from driving in 1967 at 39. Philip Toll Hill was born in Miami on April 20, 1927, and was raised in Santa Monica. 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.(Los Angeles Times)(8-29-2008)

Yea that is sad news. I used to read his good classic car articles in Road and Track. I believe he drove Chaparells a few times.(spell)