Saturday, September 20, 2008
Two of the greatest legends in automotive racing history, one living and one gone to that great racetrack in the sky. Both my my son Will and I have met both of them and we were blessed not only to know them but to call both of them our friends. Will only met Phil Hill one time but fortunately it was after Will had become a young man and was able to truly appreciate all that Phil had accomplished. Regarding Carroll Shelby, I had know him since the late 60's and he always had a fond place in his heart for Will, always making time to spend some one on one time with him. One of the things that impressed me most about Carroll Shelby was his ability to remember almost anyone he met, the Shelby he owned and conversations he had with you 15 years ago. Funny, but I know for a fact that Bob Bondurant was the same way and from what I have been told, so did Phil Hill before he became ill with Parkinson's disease.
How many times have I read or heard guys say, "I wanted to do something exciting like race down Mexico way in La Carrera Panamericana way back in the days when men like Shelby and Phil Hill raced it." It all seems trivial now, but one thing I regret is never haven talked to Hill or Shelby about the time that they raced in La Carrera Panamericana. Just imagine sitting back and watching their eyes light up as they recall those days.