Phil Hill’s ‘treasures from the garage’ now available for bidding with Gooding & Co
Even relatively low-level car enthusiasts have a habit of accumulating quite large quantities of 'stuff' relating to their passion - books, magazine, photographs, models, tools, mascots. You know the sort of thing.
So imagine how much automobilia you'd end up with if you were an F1 world champion, triple Le Mans winner, works driver for Ferrari, Ford, Aston Martin, Chaparral and Shelby America Inc - and then went on to run an award-winning restoration business and become the longest-serving judge at the Pebble Beach Concours. That's right. A lot.
Which is why it has already taken Gooding & Co. two separate 'Geared Online' auctions to shift almost 550 lots of Phil Hill memorabilia left behind by the racing legend following his death in 2008 at the age of 81.
The most recent sale, which ended in late February, brought the total realised so far to $1.4m with the highlight of the event - dubbed 'A Life in Racing' - being Hill's famous Herbert Johnson helmet that fetched $193,750.
It was followed by a Rolex Cosmograph presented to Dan Gurney's All American Racers team for winning the 1993 Daytona 24 (Hill's role in the win remains unknown) and an original script for the 1966 movie Grand Prix to which he contributed driving scenes ($63,750).
If you missed the opportunity to snap-up a piece of Hill memorabilia that time, there are more chances to bid in the third and final online sale which remains live until March 26.
This one is called 'Treasures from the Hill Garage' and features 192 lots, all of which are offered at no reserve and none of which is likely to attract the heady sums seen at the previous sale - meaning there's more chance to secure an interesting but affordable piece of Hill memorabilia.
Among the items that instantly grabbed our attention was an original, framed poster for Grand Prix that's estimated at $1,000 - 2,000, an early and genuine Monte Carlo Rally plaque ($250 - 300) and a rather delightfully 'patinated' Pierce-Arrow bicycle dating from the 1930s ($800 - 1,200).
The sale also provides a rich hunting ground for period tools and spare parts, many of which date from the restoration shop, Hill and Vaughn, that Hill ran with business partner Ken Vaughn during the 1970s.
Among the items is Hill's personal, rolling toolbox that remains crammed with the spanners, screwdrivers, sockets and odds and ends that he used throughout his many years as an expert mechanic ($1,000 - 3,000), while an extensive selection of tins and containers that once housed long-defunct automotive products is worth buying for its decorative value alone - especially at the modest estimate of $25 - 75.
The more sartorial side of Hill's life is also represented in the sale of dozens of silk ties, some by Hermes and others relating to his time with Ferrari and his 40 years as a Pebble Beach judge.
Estimates vary from $50 - $1,000 per group lot, with the racer's interest in the more gentler things in life also being represented by vintage wine books, copies of the magazines House Beautiful and House and Garden, a quartet of antique musical boxes and his extensive record collection - more than 30 crates full, which are estimated to realise up to $4,000 between them.
There's even a Kennedy toolbox that polymath Hill used for carrying out home tune-ups. Not on cars - but on pianos. To see the full catalogue check out the Classic Driver Market.