Friday, May 6, 2011

Pop Culture Lesson Of The Day: Graham Hill

"I am an artist. The track is my canvas, and the car is my brush."
- Graham Hill

Graham Hill by the Numbers:
2 World Championships
14 Grand Prix Wins

A Quick Look At The Mustachioed Man of Speed

  • This Brit was one of the first Formula One media stars. His quick wit and love for the spotlight made him a fan favorite.
  • Was not as talented as other drivers, but through determination, acute attention to detail and hard work, he rallied with the best.
  • Born Feb. 15, 1929, Hill grew up in London during WWII and the Blitz. 
  • When he was a teenager he got in a motorcycle accident one night that broke his thigh making one of his legs permanently shorter than the other.
  • Was forced to do his national duty and join the Royal Navy. Not too fond of this, he grew a neat thin mustache against naval regulations as a little sign of rebellion. It would become his trademark.
  • Began racing after randomly trying a few laps in a F3 car. He had been "bitten by the racing bug" as he put it, and there was no cure. After overcoming his two main setbacks - one, that he barely knew how to drive a road car let alone a racecar (he didn't get his road license till he was 24), and two, that he had no money to fund his newfound love - he began to etch his name into the history books.
  • To raise money and learn about cars he got a job as a mechanic at a racing school where he soon became an instructor. Talk about starting from the bottom up.
  • Started racing with Team Lotus in 1958.
  • He was a mustachioed man of mischief pulling such shenanigans as dancing on tables, giving impromptu strip tease acts, streaking, flirting shamelessly with the ladies despite his married state.
  • Had a serious dark side with a fierce temper and sharp tongue.
  • Hill was the only driver to this day to win the Triple Crown of Motorsports: The Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of La Mans, and Monaco Grand Prix.
  • He died, not in a car, but while trying to land his plane in thick fog in 1975.

Check out this cool little video about Hill below. That slicked back hair, that thin little mustache, those piercing eyes... he was quite a handsome devil if you ask me. 

- Amy
Listening to: Dead Man's Bones' "In The Room Where You Sleep"

[ C. 1963: Graham driving a replica of Henry Ford's first vehicle the Quadricycle. ]

[ Graham and his son Damon, who also became a driver. They are the only father/son pair to both win the Formula One World Championship. ]

[ Graham Hill: Ladies Man. ]


  1. Wow! A terrific lesson! I am somewhat of an anachronism, but suddenly, I feel like Hemingway. Great shots!

  2. Amy, great photos of a great man.It was such a sad day when he crashed his plane.
    The world lost an artist in more ways that one.
    Best Regards


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