Phil Hill’s 1931 Pierce-Arrow LeBaron Convertible Town Cabriolet won Best of Show at the 1955 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Photo by Julian P. Graham. Used courtesy of Pebble Beach Company Lagorio Archives.

Phil Hill Scholars

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has announced the first winners of the Pebble Beach Company Foundation Phil Hill Scholarships, established to honor the memory of America’s first Formula One Driver's Champion and a longtime Concours participant.

The recipients are Jared Coho of Bellwood, Pennsylvania; Kalila “Frankie” Haddad of Kansas City, Missouri; and Casey Maxon of Lawrence, Kansas. All are students in the Automotive Restoration program at McPherson College, a liberal arts college in McPherson, Kansas.

The grants are intended to encourage the ongoing preservation and restoration of historic automobiles, and the Pebble Beach Company Foundation has entered into a formal agreement with McPherson College – the only college to offer a four-year degree in automotive restoration – to award up to $20,000 in scholarships annually to their students.

“I had the opportunity to visit the college and to see the students at work, and I could immediately sense that this was a place my father would have fallen in love with,” said Hill’s son Derek. “We are thrilled to see that my father’s name is continuing to support something he cared so much about.”

Phil Hill, who became the Formula One World Drivers’ Champion in 1961, began his association with Pebble Beach with wins at the 1950, 1953 and 1955 Pebble Beach Road Races, held on the winding roads of Del Monte Forest. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was initially held in tandem with the races, and Hill took top honors at the Concours twice — with his 1931 Pierce-Arrow 41 LeBaron Convertible Town Cabriolet in 1955 (this was the first win by a classic car rather than a new car), and then with a 1927 Packard 343 Murphy Convertible Sedan in 1977. He also served as a Class or Honorary Judge a record 39 times before passing 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.”

Funding for the scholarships comes in large part from generous donations to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation from Concours entrants, judges and sponsors.

“We’re pleased to be involved in this salute to Phil Hill and to support some very talented young people,” said Susan Merfeld, President of Pebble Beach Company Foundation. “We were fortunate to know Phil Hill and to host him at Pebble Beach Resorts so often. This scholarship program is a fitting tribute to a true gentleman.”