Let's put an end to the insulting notion that Graham Hill was just a determined plodder, shall we? None of us should rest until the putdown "He's a Graham Hill" has been transformed to mean, "He's a great champion, an unforced hipster, a man with bags of personality and charm--and a natty mustache."
OK, Jimmy was maybe a little faster sometimes, but who in the history of F1 can touch Graham's kind of cool? Certainly nobody from the last 15 years....
I bought this book as an Xmas present for a friend, but once I opened the Amazon box and started to read I just couldn't stop. I stayed up the whole night to read it cover-to-cover before wrapping it up and forcing myself to send it on its way.
I should have kept it.
But you don't have to be a rabid Hill fan to appreciate the quality here.
This era is unrivaled for the irresistible sense of fun and simple glamor. There is barely anything in this book that resembles F1 as it is practiced today. And the stakes were so much higher back then....
The book is large-format, and every page is packed with fascinating photos and racing memorabilia. You also get lots of first-person commentary on these photos from friends, his wife Betty and colleagues--this adds real immediacy to Graham's story. And you hear from no one as much as you hear from Mr. Hill himself, which really surprised me--I did not expect the book to carry so much autobiography. It's all wonderfully specific and colorful stuff--lots on the cars, the competition, the parties. The authors strike a great balance between the personal and the professional, with the behind-the-scenes anecdotes amplifying the detailed race-by-race documentation. We even get to see Hill's yearly Xmas cards, which are wonderful.
And they say there is a second volume to come!
A perfect tribute to Graham and the entire era--you'll dig it.