A Driver’s Work is Never Done

Raised in the Pits

A Bit of a Wiggle-Woggle

Graham Hill on the “Proper Road Race”

G. Hill Looking Beyond Bad-Ass

If this photo of Graham Hill isn’t the original photograph, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to believe that this was just desaturated and cooled in Photoshop. I want to continue believing that this photo is the kind of thing Instagram strives to achieve with it’s technology, not the result of digital retouching.

The hues. The angles. The drama. I can’t reasonably articulate why it matters to me whether this shot was composed “in camera” or on a laptop. It just does.

Thanks, Sex, Drugs n Rack & Pinion.

The Margin Between Champagne and Orangeade

German Grand Prix ’67

Great soundtrack in this recap of the ’67 German GP. 1967 was the first year of the Hohrenhain chicane leading into the start/finish straight, which attempted to reduce the speeds. Even so, it’s still the Nurburgring, which with these light f1 cars means liftoff at Pflanzgarten.

Bad luck for Dan Gurney in this race, he broke the lap record 4 times in the early stages of the race (so much for attempts at reducing speeds!) only to suffer from a broken U-joint 2 laps from the finish.

Enough has been written about the differences in modern Formula 1 and the GP drivers of the pre-downforce era, but I’m especially struck by the starts. The narrower cars and wider classic tracks means that the start is a mob scene. Groupings of 6 and 7 wide weren’t uncommon in the dash to turn one. Today’s narrower tracks allows for a much more controlled and less chaotic, and certainly less exciting, start.

Around Rouen with Graham Hill

With a first row start and fastest lap in the race, the 1962 French Grand Prix really should have belonged to Graham Hill. But a minor bump with a privateer and later engine problems forced Graham to finish 10 laps off the pace. This race was made famous, of course, by Gurney’s win in a Porsche — the first Formula 1 win for both. Let’s take a spin around the forests of Normandy with Graham Hill at the wheel of his unlucky BRM, shall we?

Available in Germany: Graham Hill’s Lotus 11

Ex-Graham Hill Lotus XIOften when you say that a car is ex-racing driver it means that a driver of some note once piloted the machine. By that definition, this is certainly an Ex-Graham Hill. Very rarely however, can that same term be used to describe both the driver and the builder of a racing car. But that, amazingly, is the case with this very special Lotus 11. Graham Hill built this car with his own hands from a Colin Chapman supplied kit in April and May of 1956.

Hill was an employee of Chapman’s at the time, toiling by day at Lotus Engineering as a mechanic in order to stay close to the racing scene he loved so dearly. Hill had been racing for some time by ’56, but lacked the funds to keep a car together on his own. Taking a day job at Lotus was a great way to be in earshot of an opportunity at some seat time. And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Old Colin Chapman kept Hill on for the very same reason.

Hill campaigned this Lotus 11 in the Autosport Production series as a works car. Chapman provided the kit, but maintained sufficient ownership of the car for her to run as a works machine: making this a very busy 11 indeed. Hill put her on the podium 9 times in ’56, winning 4 races (Hill must’ve loved Brands Hatch, it was the location of all of his wins in this car that year). The car’s work, however, wasn’t done there. Chassis #208 was also the factory’s show car and press mule. And, it is speculated, served as Hill’s road car for the drives to and from the races.

Ian Walker purchased #208 in 1957 and competed with a swapped engine. Eventually the car fell out of competition. Now, however, the car is reunited with her original 1,172cc side-valve and is fresh off a masterful Mike Brotherwood restoration and fantastic, patinad coachwork and paint by Sovereign Coachworks. Together they’ve done a tremendous job of making a complete restoration look lived in and not over-restored. Jan Lühn now offers the car. An amazing vehicle with fantastic history that will surely give the buyer entry in to the races of his choice.

Further reading:
Jan Lühn has photos, with more information to come.
Sovereign Coachworks also features a gallery of the bodywork. Wonderful.