Today’s Photo Story – Phil Hill becomes first US-born driver to win Le Mans in 1958
Back

Today’s Photo Story – Phil Hill becomes first US-born driver to win Le Mans in 1958

On 7 December 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the American constitution. The constitution did not become federal law, however, until 21 June 1788 when it was adopted by a ninth state – New Hampshire. On 22 June 1958, Phil Hill became the first US-born driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari 250, shared with Olivier Gendebien.

You have to go way back to 1929 to find the first American driver, Charles Moran Jr, to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans in an American car, a Continental. Five years later, George Stewart was the first American to cross the finish line at the Circuit de la Sarthe, taking 14th place. Italian-born Luigi Chinetti claimed victory in the first post-war 24 Hours in 1949, three years after becoming an American citizen. Finally, in 1958, Phil Hill, became the first driver born in the USA, in Miami, Florida, to climb on to the top step of the Le Mans podium.

Photo (copyright ACO archives):  Phil Hill gives Olivier Gendebien a ride on the back of the winning Ferrari 250.