Sunday, November 13, 2011

Concours d'Elegance

Exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrating the life and career of Phil Hill

Although the stereotype of American automotive racers is that of brash and impatient "alpha" males, the first great American-born international champion, Phil Hill, was a reflective and quiet man.

Not only did he excel on the race course, back in the days of motor mayhem and high driver fatalities, but he also dedicated himself to restoring classic cars, preserving the material history of automotive culture. Long after his Grand Prix championship was in the rear view mirror, Hill continued to promote vintage vehicles.

In fact, his influence as a "car man" may be more lasting in his work with classic cars than in racing for Ferrari or Ford. Certainly, the Pebble Beach Concourse d'Elegance, one of the most important events for antique auto enthusiasts, would be far less prominent, if not for the high profile support that Hill provided over the years.

In celebration of the fifty year anniversary since Phil Hill won the Formula One World Championship, the Petersen Automotive Museum is hosting an exhibition, showcasing both sides of his contribution to the automotive world: the cars in which he raced and the vintage treasures that he restored.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO; debuted at 12 Hours of Sebring in 1962

The cars were so awesome, I felt significantly cooler just standing next to them. ;-)

Here are a few more photos of the exhibition:

1959 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa Spyder by Pininfarina/Fantuzzi

Awards and memorabilia, including Phil Hill's racing notebooks!!!

1953 Ferrari 375 Mille Miglia by Vignale

1927 Packard by Murphy of Pasadena; Best of Show at the '77 Concours d'Elegance

"Phil Hill: The Life of a Legend" runs until November 27, 2011, at the Petersen Automotive Museum

And here's a vid of that fantastic Ferrari 250 GTO:


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