Race Legends Vintage Motorsport Agency

Phil Hill, American Motorsport Champion Dies at Age 81

Phil Hill and son Derek at Road America, 1995
Phil Hill 1961

Phil Hill, World Drivers Champion in 1961. Hill’s career spanned 20 years and counted 3 Le Mans victories among a host of other achievements. Photo via Phil Hill.

Phil Hill, the first American to win the Formula One World Championship, died August 28, 2008 at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula of complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to a representative of the family. He was 81 years old.

Hill had a varied racing career beginning in 1947 and stretching over 20 years. He was remarkable in winning both his first and last race outings. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times for the team of Enzo Ferrari, Sebring 12 Hours three times and a host of sports car, endurance and Formula One races. He was also the fastest man in an MG, setting a land-speed record for the British firm. Hill was a long-time contributing editor to Road & Track Magazine.

Hill is survived by his wife, Alma, son Derek, daughter Vanessa Rogers, stepdaughter Jennifer Delaney, and four grandchildren.

The public is invited to visit the Phil Hill website www.philhill.com. Memorials may be made in Phil Hill’s name to the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.

Written by

President and Co-founder of Race Legends.