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Phil Hill, Leicas, Kodachrome, and Racing History
Old 10-12-2017   #1
Larry Cloetta
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Phil Hill, Leicas, Kodachrome, and Racing History

For fans of all four, something of interest might be the fact that Hill was an avid photographer who documented his entire racing career with photographs, most in Kodachrome, most with Leicas, in typical Phill Hill style, that is to say intelligently and gracefully.
The thousands of photographs have remained in his private collection until their recent publication in a series of elegantly presented (i.e. not inexpensive) books. Wish I could afford them, but that's my problem, not the book's.

http://phil-hill-book.com/about-phil

http://issuu.com/watermarkpublicatio...07188/51638730

http://phil-hill-book.com/home
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Old 10-12-2017   #2
willie_901
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Thanks Larry,

After viewing the 70 mm/6-Track version John Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" in 1966, I was never interested in oval motorsports again. I became a fan of road-course, motor-sports events.

In 2002 I attended the Daytona 24 Hour race. I saw Phill Hill chair the pre-race drivers meeting. This was one of the highlights of my road racing experiences.
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Old 10-12-2017   #3
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I was a fan of his in the 50s. But living in Washington and Oregon I never got to see him race. Be sure to click on the Watermark publication link above. I didn't realize he was a photographer.
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Old 10-12-2017   #4
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Having grown up in Santa Monica, Phil Hill was one of the guys I looked up to. I can remember following F1 religiously back in the mid-60's.
He's in the SAMOHI Hall of Fame, my high school alma mater. I remember riding my bike past his house. A friend of my brother's actually got his start in restoration working at Hill & Vaughn. Never got to meet him myself. I may just have to save up for a copy of one of his books.
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Old 10-12-2017   #5
Steve M.
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Phil Hill, the first and only American born driver to win a F1 championship, was a stellar representative to his sport. He was like Pablo Montoya in that he could drive anything and win. Those were great (and highly dangerous) times when he raced, when racing cars sounded and looked like racing cars. I am no fan of today's over the top, high tech, hybrid cars (nor the anti tech, slow mo, NASCAR dinosaurs). At least safety has come a long way since Phil's times. Some of the crashes I see F1 and Indycars sustain today, it's amazing anyone walks away from them. And yes, Grand Prix is still the best racing movie ever made. Graham Hill, Sterling Moss, Dan Gurney, wow. What legends. I love looking at films of those old races. There were NO guard rails in many areas, and the fans and photographers could stand right on the edge of the grass/pavement and nearly reach out and touch the cars as they flew by.

Can you imagine what it must have been like being hired by Enzo Ferrari himself, and then going out and winning a World Championship for that team? The second link below shows him sitting comfortably in his den at home holding what appears to be a Leica M3 w/ a collapsible 50 Summicron on it. Ck out the beautiful photos on his desk. Thanks Larry for sharing this.

https://www.google.com/search?q=phil...Dr4n5w91qnXMM:

http://collectorscarworld.com/news/life-phil-hill/
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Old 10-12-2017   #6
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Steve and AlwaysOnAuto, They lost me when they started with the ground effects. Jim Hall, I think, started it, and I loved it then but quickly lost interest.

Phil Hill win F1 Championship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW0LqLgRCcw
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Old 10-12-2017   #7
Larry Cloetta
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Since there turned out to be at least a few racing fans here, and no one has mentioned Jim Clark, yet, for anyone who might be interested in another look at when racing was a little more pure:.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L1tHavnd9w

For me, he will always be the best ever, and I still remember where I was when I learned he had been killed due to a suspension failure at a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim. The mechanics allude to it in this video, but I remember the Goodyear mechanics saying that no matter the course, no matter the weight balance of the setup on that particular day, Clark was unique among all the other drivers in that all four tires would always show the same amount of wear, and in exactly the best place, after a race; the comment from the Goodyear reps was that it was as if he danced with the car instead of driving it.
Anyway, my bit of nostalgia for the day, thanks for indulging me.
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Old 10-12-2017   #8
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I met him at the LA Times Grand Prix Can-Am race in Riverside CA 50 years ago this month. My dear friend Eric and I walked up to his trailer, knocked on the door, and he came out to autograph our tickets. He is what the word "legend" is all about.
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Old 10-12-2017   #9
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I was probably at that LAT GP. Dad got us into the habit of going, taking us when we were too young to drive our selves out there.
Miss that track, my brother raced his Speedster there in the last race they held before tearing it down.
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Old 10-12-2017   #10
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Thanks for the thread Larry, much appreciated! He raced during a wonderful period in Formula One, in some of the most beautiful cars Ferrari ever made. I never met Hill but did meet one of his competitors a couple of times, Sir Jack Brabham. Here's a video of Hill's son Derek driving a 250GTO briskly, that his father had some success in. It's a beautiful noise. There's another without commentary from a camera mounted inside the car simply showing Hill drive it, which is perhaps even better. But Hill's son's comments about the car and his father in the first are worth hearing too I think.
Cheers,
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Old 10-12-2017   #11
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Count me in on GP in the late 50's and 60's. Had no interest in "stock car" racing and I lived right in the middle of it in the Carolinas.

Phil Hill was one of several great drivers of the era. Didn't know he was a photographer.

Sterling Moss was my favorite of the era. I could relate to Maston Gregory - he was almost as near sighted as myself.
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Old 10-12-2017   #12
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I am with you on that: to me Clark was "it." And as such, I put out a little display in his honor every March 4, and think of him every April 7, if not more often.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Since there turned out to be at least a few racing fans here, and no one has mentioned Jim Clark, yet, for anyone who might be interested in another look at when racing was a little more pure:.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L1tHavnd9w

For me, he will always be the best ever, and I still remember where I was when I learned he had been killed due to a suspension failure at a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim. The mechanics allude to it in this video, but I remember the Goodyear mechanics saying that no matter the course, no matter the weight balance of the setup on that particular day, Clark was unique among all the other drivers in that all four tires would always show the same amount of wear, and in exactly the best place, after a race; the comment from the Goodyear reps was that it was as if he danced with the car instead of driving it.
Anyway, my bit of nostalgia for the day, thanks for indulging me.
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Old 10-12-2017   #13
charjohncarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Since there turned out to be at least a few racing fans here, and no one has mentioned Jim Clark, yet, for anyone who might be interested in another look at when racing was a little more pure:.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L1tHavnd9w

For me, he will always be the best ever, and I still remember where I was when I learned he had been killed due to a suspension failure at a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim. The mechanics allude to it in this video, but I remember the Goodyear mechanics saying that no matter the course, no matter the weight balance of the setup on that particular day, Clark was unique among all the other drivers in that all four tires would always show the same amount of wear, and in exactly the best place, after a race; the comment from the Goodyear reps was that it was as if he danced with the car instead of driving it.
Anyway, my bit of nostalgia for the day, thanks for indulging me.
Actually, as I said I lost interest the European car racing with the advent of ground effects, but when Jim Clark died, as stated above, he was the best. So car racing lost the best (how could that happen) and cars started looking stupid.
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Old 10-13-2017   #14
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Some photos from F1 days long past have an unexpected poignancy which has probably got something to do with hindsight.

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 11.05.24 by dralowid, on Flickr
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Old 10-13-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Since there turned out to be at least a few racing fans here, and no one has mentioned Jim Clark, ....
Jim Clark was other-worldly good.

I lost the link, but there is some vintage footage of Cark taking perfect apex after perfect apex just blew my mind. He was able to apply maximum throttle so early.
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Old 10-13-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Jim Clark was other-worldly good.

I lost the link, but there is some vintage footage of Cark taking perfect apex after perfect apex just blew my mind. He was able to apply maximum throttle so early.
Yes - I used to follow the sport very closely.

The list of seriously good drivers is hardly a long one, but the list of 'other-worldly' talents is very short: Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna... ummmm... that's it.
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Old 10-14-2017   #17
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Thank you for posting this. I've only missed three F1 races since i became a fan. Unfortunately, i began rather late, with the 95 season..... But, i love the vintage F1 racing photographs, and even found some super old Monaco GP races on youtube.
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