Profiles

Profiles, Phil Hill
March 12, 2018

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Profiles, Phil Hill</br>March 12, 2018

More than five decades ago he was the first American to win the open-wheel F1 World Drivers Championship. For 17 years his record was unchallenged and today is only shared with one other American . . . named Mario Andretti. But Hill is still the only American-born F1 champion. It wasn’t easy. There was plenty of tragedy. But Hill stood out as one of racing’s best. What made him unique? What made him special?

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Profiles, Tom McCahill
February 26, 2018

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Profiles, Tom McCahill</br>February 26, 2018

Thomas Jay McCahill III never planned on being the first and foremost authority on rolling metal and glass.
His interests were simpler: An evening sail, an afternoon drink of scotch, or the morning snore of an idling V-8 on the winding driveway of his 80-acre ranch located off State Road 628, just outside 1,600-person Glen Gardner, N.J.  “A good sports car,” said McCahill before his death in May of 1975, “(is) like any other piece of good sporting equipment.”

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Profiles, “Bunkie” Knudsen
February 5, 2018

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Profiles, “Bunkie” Knudsen</br>February 5, 2018

Simply, Knudsen was a visionary, someone who would be remembered by one-word nameplates such as GTO, as in Pontiac, and Boss, as in Ford Mustang.  Some might say Knudsen was born to create dynamic vehicles and exhilarating rides. He came by his work naturally.  Born in 1913, he was the son of William S. Knudsen, an emigrant from Denmark who rose through the ranks to become president of General Motors in the late 1930s.

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Profiles, Frank Williams
October 30, 2017

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Profiles, Frank Williams</br>October 30, 2017

Auto racing is so dangerous that there is perhaps a sense of irony, or disbelief, when someone involved in the sport (even a team owner) is injured or killed doing something that’s considered normal, like driving down the road. On March 6, 1986, Frank Williams, who had become a formidable player in Formula One, the world’s premier auto racing series, was at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.

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Profiles, Roger Smith
October 9, 2017

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Profiles, Roger Smith</br>October 9, 2017

It was the early 1980s and General Motors was on top, sitting comfortably with a 46 percent share of the North American market. (Today, it’s less than 20 percent.)  The question: could the Asian and European automakers really compete with GM using low-cost cars?  What Smith said spoke volumes about his tenure as GM’s chief executive officer (CEO).  “Why, our answer to that is a two-year-old Buick.” And that was all you really needed to know about Smith, a man who died in 2007 at age 82.

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Profiles, Steven McQueen
August 14, 2017

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Profiles, Steven McQueen</br>August 14, 2017

More than 35 years after his death in 1980 at age 50 of mesothelioma, a rare and painful form of lung cancer, the Rolex-watch wearing, fast-car driving McQueen is still larger than life mainly because so few lived one as fast and furious as he did. His impact on the movie and automotive scene can be counted in the number of vehicles he owned (265 before his estate was auctioned off in 1984) and the influence he left on both worlds.

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Profiles, Peter Revson
February 27, 2017

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Profiles, Peter Revson</br>February 27, 2017

Peter Revson was heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune, but he was much happier hanging it out on a hairpin than creating new and different ways to use one.
He could have been content to stay with that life in his native New York, but he instead died pushing the edge of the envelope. There haven’t been many Americans who have made an impact in Formula One racing, what many view as the ultimate series. Revson was one of the best.

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Profiles, Bill France Sr.
February 6, 2017

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Profiles, Bill France Sr.</br>February 6, 2017

From his gas station on Main Street in Daytona Beach, Fla., the sunny city off highway A1A where he moved his family and began his new life, William Henry Getty France was a large man with grand plans.
He dreamt of fast cars, a quick buck and afternoons of velocity without the moonshine. He couldn’t have known the dream would be so real.

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Profiles, Alain Prost
January 30, 2017

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Profiles, Alain Prost</br>January 30, 2017

On the days when Alain Prost couldn’t outdrive Ayrton Senna (who was his Formula One teammate for a stint) he still had a way of finding his way to the podium. They called him ‘Le Professeur’ for that very reason. But more more than 20 years ago, before he walked away from a top racing league, it was not uncommon for Prost to more than occasionally become cornered in the smallest restaurant in the smallest town in the tiniest corner of a country.

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Profiles, Karl Benz
November 7, 2016

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Profiles, Karl Benz</br>November 7, 2016

It was a big day when Karl Benz was granted a patent for his moving vehicle, but a day 14 years earlier is the one to remember most. Benz thought he saw something in Bertha Ringer, a quiet but determined German woman. What he couldn’t have imagined on that afternoon in 1872 when the two were married, was a partnership that helped plant the seeds for an empire. What’s the real secret behind Karl Friedrich Benz, a man often credited as the inventor of the motorcar? Bertha Benz.

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