65. Hill GH1 1975

S5670 Hill GH1 No.23 Monaco GP 1975 – Graham Hill
S5673 Hill GH1 No.23 Swedish GP 1975 – Tony Brise

The team “Embassy Racing with Graham Hill” appeared in late 1972 for the first time. When Graham Hill, disappointed by his employer Brabham, decided to start his own team. In the first year Hill borrowed a Shadow DN1 for his project. In the second year he switched to Lola who sold him a T370. This was also used in early 1975. But was replaced by the new Hill GH1 from the Spanish Grand Prix on. Hill was only sporadically in action at that time. Rolf Stommelen outpaced him regularly. And with Tony Brise Hill had a brilliant newcomer which drove the car from the GP of Belgium on. Actually the Hill GH1 was a Lola copy. More specifically: The first Hill was a renamed Lola T371. Designer Andy Smallman had designed the car for the British racing car manufacturer but then decided to work “fulltime” for Hill. The first appearance in Spain ended in disaster. Stommelen led the race surprisingly when the rearwing broke. The car flipped into the spectators and killed four people. Stommelen was seriously injured in the accident and was only ready for action again at the end of the season. His replacement was this young Brise which many believed he could be the next champion. Already in his second Grand Prix for Hill the man from London was sixth. But fate had other plans. On the return flight from a test at Le Castellet with the successor model GH2, Graham Hills twin-engined Piper Aztec crashed during landing approach to the airfield Elstree. Hill, Breeze and four other team members, including team manager Ray Brimble and designer Smallman, died. The cause of the accident may well be due to human error. Hill was indeed a good pilot. The plane he flew was bought by the prize money he got for his victory in Indianapolis years before. But apparently the father of the later world champion Damon Hill was confused at the landing approach not only due to heavy fog, it is well possible that he confused a red position lamp with a likewise red radiant antenna of a radio station. Because the height was no longer correct Hill grazed a treetop with the machine and crashed on a nearby golf course. Because the team consisted of only two mechanics and the deputy team manager after this tragedy it was dissolved. The GH2 which never raced disappeared in the National Motor Museum Beaulieu.

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