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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Phil Hill drove the entire 1959 GP season for Scuderia Ferrari and finished 4th with 20 points. No news here.

But why was his Ferrari 246 #5 painted dark blue with a wide white nose cone during the last race of the year, the US GP on Sebring, December 12?

To honor an American driver in an American race? Dark blue and white being the American race colours, or?

/Holger
 

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Jon Grainger
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Holger,

I'm not sure, but could it be a NART entered car? The blue and white sounds like their colours. John Surtees raced the US and Mexican Grand Prix's of 1964 in the NART entered and coloured Ferrari's.

Regards
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jon - good theory, but according to Wikipedia Phil Hill raced for Scuderia Ferrari and not NART at Sebring back in 1959.

/Holger
 

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This, and other changes of colour were usually the result of Enzo Ferrari having a disagreement over starting money or something.

I don't know the exact reason for the Phil Hill blue car but a similar thing happened with John Surtees in the last 2 races of 64 in the USA and Mexico. It was a protest by the comendatore against the US authorities who had been slow to homologate a new Ferrari model. Enzo declared that while they did not approve his car Ferrari would not use red in the USA. Instead they used the blue/white USA colours.
The car was homologated two weeks after that….
 

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Enzo Ferrari was well know for disputes with race organizers in order to get more start money etc. Allegedly Enzo usually got at least some of what he was asking for, and on occasions when he didn't the red cars didn't race - either not at all (as in the 1950 British GP) or at least not as works entries (as in the 64 US GP when they turned up as blue and white NART entries.)

I checked out the Ferrari books by Alan Henry and Anthony Pritchard.
They agree the 4 Ferraris at the 1959 US GP were all works entries (not NART) and only the Phil Hill car was in American national racing colours (blue and white).
The don't say why the Hill car was a different colour. Ferrari ran red works cars for Brooks, von Trips and Allison in the 1959 US GP so that leaves the question open. Blue and white to honor an American driver in an American race? One could speculate that some American cash might have been involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CMOTD + 300SLR - I thank you for your input. Surely I am aware of the most of these stories, especially the one from US GP in 1964. But I didn´t - and I still don´t - know any story concerning the US GP in 1959.

But important to me is that you both confirm, that Phil Hill´s Ferrari was indeed dark blue with at white nose at that particular race. Here and now I just needed proof of that. Afterwards there will be time to dig out the story behind


Gentlemen, case settled.

Cheers, Holger
 

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Tony Condon
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hi holger
you learn something eery day ,except now i am going to have try to solve the mystery , thanks


cheers tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tony - be my guest


/Holger
 

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I am also intrigued by this - have come up with next to nothing from Mr Google except one suggestion that it was indeed done as a favour to their American driver.

I did find a picture of the car. LINKY Scroll down to post 19.

I think the best place to pose the question would be on the Autosport Nostalgia Forum LINKY which is populated by some of the most knowledgeable F1 people on the planet. A lot of them were active in various aspects of motorsport at the time.

Be careful though - you could end up spending more time there than on this forum if you are interested in the history of motor racing.
 

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Phil Kalbfell
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All I could find was that the car was finished in " blue with white nose, American National colours".
The white did not go right around the nose but came back along the side of the nose in a triangulated shape.
The colour may simply be to honor the first US Grand Priix!
 

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Phil Hill's car may have been in American colours simply to promote road-car sales. Ferrari's road-car production and exports were becoming valuable then. One account is in Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine, by Brock Yates: "Thanks in no small part to Chinetti's efforts to woo a steady stream of... Americans, the production-car business was beginning to thrive... About 40 percent of production was heading to North America..."
Ferrari's 1964 homologation dispute (over the 250LM) was with the FIA and the Italian Automobile Federation (ACI), not US authorities.
Like the authors quoted earlier, Yates mentions no dispute of any sort that might have changed the colour of Phil Hill's car. Chinetti didn't enter the car but he may well have suggested the blue and white as good PR.
Rob J
 

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Nothing sinister, just good P.R.

Although given that the American racing colours were supposed to be white with blue stripe/stripes, as with the aforementioned cars in 1964, the choice of colour scheme does seem somewhat odd.

Maybe they asked Phil Hill to choose it.
 

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The American racing colours did vary.
White was certainly the main colour on the Duesenbergs that raced in (and won) the 1921 French GP, and on Briggs Cunningham's cars in the early 1950s, with blue stripes in different configurations. In the early 1960s, several small teams with American involvement ran cars that were mainly white with blue stripes - Camoradi, the first Sciroccos and the Anglo-American Equipe's Cooper (Ian Burgess).
But blue as the main colour was becoming common too. After the Hill Ferrari, the Scarabs were blue with a white nose and stripes, and Pete Lovely's American-entered Cooper in the 1960 US GP was blue with white nose and stripes (though his Lotus 49 in 1969 was white with blue stripe).
Dan Gurney's Eagles in the late 1960s were dark blue with a white stripe.
In Motor Racing Team Colours & Markings (1967), John Baxter gave US national colours simply as "blue and white".
Were national colours ever entrenched in any regulations? They apparently began as something wanted by Continental organisers to help promote their races in the nationalistic early 1900s (to the annoyance of the English, who liked individual colours and made it slightly farcical with their interpretations of green). Perhaps they were never more than a convention.
Rob J
 

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You will find that the Scarab colours were the same as those used on Reventlow's sports cars long, long before an F.1 car was ever thought of. The colour scheme was simply transferred across to the single-seaters. It was a very pretty livery, I think.

However, I take your point regarding the Eagles - and what a good job Dan did it that way around. They wouldn't have looked anything like as good in white, I suspect.
 

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Just noticed photos of another F1 car in American colours, or at least a model. It's a Lotus 21 as driven by Walt Hansgen in 1962, in Barry's favoured mainly white, beautifully built by Taffy. It probably looks better than the original car.
It's in the Dave Jones bodyshells thread, at http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry739966
There's a potential theme here for a livery-minded builder, if someone hasn't done it already, of grand prix and Le Mans cars in US colours.
Excluding the Brits with their many shades of green, there's more variety than from most countries, from the white Duesenbergs with their blue chassis rails through to the dark blue Eagles with a white stripe. The famous 1964 NART Ferraris weren't a simple main colour and stripe/nose but half white (upper) and half blue. The 1963 Scirocco-Powells were rather similar.
I mentioned Le Mans cars too because Briggs Cunningham's cars deserve to be remembered, and I suppose one or two GT40s would qualify.
Taffy's Hansgen Lotus ran in the 1962 Mexican GP. That doesn't appear in most annuals because it was a non-championship race, though it had a fairly strong field.
Rob J
 

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Rob J - some very interesting research there. Thanks for sharing.

And I fully agree on your Briggs Cunningham view, so I could not resist to show you these two from my Le Mans 1955 collection.



#9 Jaguar D-Type
Team: Briggs Cunningham, USA
Drivers: William "Bill" Spear, USA / Phil Walters, USA
Class.: 48 / DNF
Marque: Carrera 25461 (modified including Pattos Place decals)

#22 Cunningham C6-R
Team: Briggs Cunningham, USA
Drivers: Briggs Cunningham, USA / Sherwood Johnston, USA
Class.: 23 / DNF
Marque: MMK 16

Sorry to show the MMK RTR car on the scratch building forum, but I think they deserved to be presented as team mates


Cheers, Holger
 

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Thanks for the photo, Holger. I think the colour scheme on the earlier Cunningham sports-cars was much the same.
There's another variation in one of the cars BC ran at Le Mans in 1950, a Cadillac coupe, which seems to have been blue on the upper parts and white below.
There was an Ocar model of one of the Cunninghams and an Aurora static, and Patto has a few as vac shells. The Caddy coupe may have been done as a static.
Rob J
 

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More variations on US colours - on 1957-58 Maserati 250Fs.
I noticed a Cartrix version, called Masten Gregory's, in blue with two white stripes, so looked in David McKinney's definitive book Maserati 250F. The photos inside are b&w, but we can assume:
1957: Centro-Sud, Masten Gregory: first white with one blue stripe; later three stripes.
1958: Centro-Sud Piccolos: Masten Gregory, Italian GP: blue with white nose and one stripe. Carroll Shelby, French and probably British GPs: blue with two white stripes. Cliff Allison also drove one with two stripes in the Portuguese GP after his Lotus packed up in practice.
1959: Scuderia Buell, Carroll Shelby, high-tailed Piccolo: dark blue with white nose (in dust-jacket colour photo).

In the 1957 and '58 "Race of Two Worlds" at Monza, were any of the American Indy cars in US colours, or were all just in their usual livery?
Rob J
 
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