To honor Phil Hill, a Formula 1 World Drivers Champion who had an unceasing passion for all manner of automobiles, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, working through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, has established the Pebble Beach Phil Hill Scholarships. Hill passed away a few days after the last Concours, at age 81.
“Phil was a friend of this Concours from the very beginning, and he remained devoted to this event right up to his final days,” said Pebble Beach Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “We all miss him, and we want to do something very special to honor his memory.”
Hill began his association with Pebble Beach by capturing wins at the 1950, 1953 and 1955 Pebble Beach Road Races, which were held on the narrow and winding roads of Del Monte Forest. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was initially held in tandem with the races and Hill seldom missed it. In fact, Hill took top honors at the Concours on two occasions—first with his 1931 Pierce-Arrow 41 LeBaron Convertible Town Cabriolet in 1955 and then with a 1927 Packard 343 Murphy Convertible Sedan in 1977. He also served as a Class or Honorary Judge a record 39 times.
Phil loved old cars and new cars, fast cars and leisurely tourers. He also loved a host of mechanical and musical and artistic things—and the people who created them. The Pebble Beach Phil Hill Scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing degrees in various fields related to Phil’s many passions.
“I am deeply touched that the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance wants to honor Phil’s memory by offering scholarships in his name to help fund the education of students who share his interests,” said Hill’s wife, Alma. “Phil often admired the talents of young mechanics, engineers, designers, and artists, but today many of these gifted young people do not have the economic means to develop their craft.”
Funding for the Pebble Beach Phil Hill Scholarships will come from several sources, including some automobiles to be sold at the 2009 Pebble Beach Auction presented by Gooding & Company. Scholarship donations are also being accepted from Concours sponsors and participants.
The Pebble Beach Company Foundation will administer the scholarships, and Concours announcer Paul Woudenberg, who has served as the voice of the Concours for three decades, has agreed to head a committee to draft scholarship application and distribution guidelines.
“We’re glad to be involved in this effort to honor Phil Hill and to support some very talented young people,” said Mark Verbonich, President of Pebble Beach Company Foundation. “We were privileged to host Phil at Pebble Beach so often. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know him.”