The Phil Hill scholarships were established in 2009 to honor the memory of Phil Hill, America's first Formula One driving champion and a longtime participant and friend of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The grants are intended to encourage the ongoing preservation and restoration of historic automobiles by supporting students in automotive arts and technical programs. 

Phil Hill, who became the Formula One World Drivers’ Champion in 1961, began his association with Pebble Beach by entering the early Pebble Beach Road Races — and winning three of them. Hill also participated in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which was initially held in tandem with the races, and his cars took top honors twice — with his 1931 Pierce-Arrow 41 LeBaron Convertible Town Cabriolet in 1955 (it was the first collector car to win Best of Show), and then with a 1927 Packard 343 Murphy Convertible Sedan in 1977. Hill also served as a Class or Honorary Judge 39 times. Hill passed away in 2008.

“Phil Hill was a friend of the Pebble Beach Concours from the very beginning, and he loved cars of every kind,” said Pebble Beach Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “We’re pleased to honor his memory by recognizing some rising stars dedicated to preserving and restoring the cars Phil treasured.”

The first three Phil Hill Scholarships were awarded in 2011, and several scholarships have been awarded annually since then. Funding for the scholarships comes in large part from generous donations to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation from Concours entrants, judges and sponsors.

2015 Phil Hill Scholarship Recipients at McPherson College

We are pleased to note that the Pebble Beach Company Foundation is once again providing three Phil Hill Scholarships to students enrolled in the Automotive Restoration program at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas. McPherson is the only four-year liberal arts college to offer such a program. The Foundation has also supported several McPherson interns, helping to defray living expenses while they gain experience.

Senior Zach Oller:

Oller’s first love, at age five, was a green 1978 Camaro that measured no more than a few inches. Now he’s “turning all those childhood dreams of playing with Hot Wheels and making them a reality, working on and restoring old cars.”

Junior Justin Smeltzer:

Smeltzer grew up in Glendora and was exposed to classic cars through the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts and the V8 Early Ford Club. At McPherson he is active in the College Automotive Restoration Student Club and the Business Club. A prewar auto enthusiast, he would like to open his own shop someday.

Sophomore Dalton Whitfield:

Whitfield is passionate about learning the “old school” ways of restoring cars. For as long as he can remember, he has wanted a career shaping, folding and bending metal into beautifully crafted automobiles and works of art.

Phil Hill Scholarship Recipients at Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University has joined with us in honoring Phil Hill by agreeing to provide several more two-year scholarships to its highly regarded industrial design program, led by respected automotive designer Tom Matano. Joining the first six AAU scholarship recipients are the following two recipients.

Junior Kinga Kurczbach:

“Having been surrounded by friends with rally cars and race motorcycles, developing an interest in these speed machines was inevitable, especially with a father who has a passion for boating and hands-on work. All of these influences have led me to become an automotive modeler.”

Junior Eric Stanley:

“I began my design journey in elementary school, sketching shoes, women’s fashion and new gaming consoles. I soon but surely was captivated by transportation design. Forwarding to now, I have the drive and passion to create the next expressive impact on the auto industry, inspiring the next design generation.”


Our Partnership with The Revs Program at Stanford University

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is partnering with The Revs Program at Stanford University, a transdisciplinary program focused on the past, present and future of the automobile, to introduce its students to some of the world’s greatest cars and help them better understand each car’s technology, beauty, history and importance. In a class each spring, students are given a select list of cars headed to our show field that year, and they spend months researching those cars and debating how to judge their importance. The students also attend the Concours to see the cars in person, and present The Revs Program at Stanford Award to the car they determine to be the most historically significant.