Graham Hill

Birthday : 1929-02-15
Deceased : 1975-11-29
Norman Graham Hill was born in north London on February 15, 1929, with a natural sense for humour inherited from his father, a stockbroker, and an iron determination to achieve his goals, inherited from his mother. Qualitities that made him immortal in race circles.

Graham Hill’s racing career started in 1953 after he tried a few laps in a F3 car. He was immediately bitten by the race bug. Despite his lack of budget, he managed to buy a 1934 Morris and he thaught himself to drive on public roads. By quitting his job, he took a serious risk, but he managed to enter a racing school as a mechanic, soon to become an instructor.

Graham Hill 1960 Targa Florio 718 RS60
Graham Hill / 1960 Targa Florio /718 RS60

He competed in a couple of races and met Colin Chapman, then in the early stages of developing his Lotus cars. After persuading Chapman to give him a part-time job (at one pound per day) Hill soon became a full time Lotus employee, and was rewarded with the occasional race. 1958 was the time Colin Chapman was concinced Graham Hill was ready for the F1. Since the Lotus F1 cars were too slow, Hill switched to BRM in 1960. In 1962 he won in Holland, Germany, Italy and South Africa to collect a World Championship he fully deserved. As well as establishing himself as a driver of the top rank he was also a frontrunner in terms of public acclaim.

In 1973 he set up his own Formula One team, but Embassy Hill Racing and its famous driver were embarrassingly off the pace. Finally, following the humility of failing to qualify for the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix, Hill announced he was retiring as a driver but would continue to run the team led by his highly talented discovery, Tony Brise. However, fate struck hard when November 29, the plane with Graham Hill as a pilot, crashed on its way home from Paul Ricard race circuit. Graham Hill and 4 passengers, including the promising Tony Brise, didn’t survive the crash.