We set out on this project circa 2000-2003. It has been a tremendous undertaking as: “We have tried to fulfil a commitment to our old friend Phil to produce the finest World Champion Driver’s book that there has ever been – or that there is ever likely to be …”
Thanks to Phil’s unique combination of talents this has proved attainable, but ‘Inside Track’ goes far beyond being just another mere shelf-straining book. Setting entirely new standards in its combination of design, production quality and content – both written and photographic – ‘Inside Track’ provides the enthusiast with a virtual time machine.
Look into the large colour images, captured between 1951 and 1962 by Phil Hill’s expertly wielded camera, and lose yourself within that exotic and dramatic era – for many absolutely a Golden Age of world-class Grand Prix and sports car racing …
The first two volumes that make up the Collector’s Edition were published in early October, and now the companion ‘Inside Track – The Racing Autobiography’, has just completed printing. This will be published in late November and its combination of features and production quality we believe raises The GP Library’s unprecedented standards even higher.
‘Inside Track – The Racing Autobiography’, covers Phil’s amazing odyssey from rebellious car-mad Californian kid and trainee mechanic to committed amateur racer and aspiring professional racing driver … and beyond, to world-class multiple Le Mans winner, and Formula 1 World Champion Driver.
The story covers in great detail – and with wonderful (typically Phil) analysis and insight – his complete 11-year association with Ferrari. It takes us through difficult times with ATS and the Ford GT program to happier race-winning days with Chaparral-Chevrolet, culminating in victory in his last ever frontline drive in 1967.
Phil’s later life as a retired racing driver-cum-Vintage car restorer, and eminent ‘Road & Track’ magazine contributor – the total ‘car-guy’ – is also featured in attractive and entertaining depth.
‘Inside Track – The Racing Autobiography’ completes our core three-Volume Phil Hill work. To check out the full range of these extraordinary, standard-setting publications, please explore the rest of the website.
First of all, our thanks to all those who called by to see the books ten days ago at the Goodwood Revival Meeting. After 12 years of planning and two intense years of production, it was a real pleasure to see the books finally on show and, more importantly, so well received by all who saw them. Our thanks to one and all for the many kind words.
It seemed particularly apt to launch the books at the Revival, where the life and career of one of the few surviving drivers who raced against Phil in period, Tony Brooks, was being celebrated in such style, with the great man himself leading a parade of Grand Prix cars that raced during the 1957 season – including Tony himself in a wonderful Vanwall, which he do-drove with Stirling Moss to become the first all-British combination to win a premier level Grand Prix in that year’s qualifying round at Aintree.
Here are three photos of Tony, the first two taken at this year’s Revival while the third is one of Phil’s own photographs of this outstanding British racing driver, taken during practice for the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix.
SPECIAL PRE-PUBLICATION PRICES COME TO AN END
Now for the really important news, with the first two volumes that form the Collector’s and part of the Connoisseur’s Editions soon to be sent out to all those who have already ordered them, please note that there are only 10 days left to benefit from the special pre-publication prices currently shown on the website.
From Sunday 1, October, the volume price will rise by 20 per cent and more, depending on the title. The price of the Collector’s Edition, for example, not including delivery, will rise from $720 to $850, while prices for the single-volume Bookshop Edition and the Racing Autobiography will increase from $240 to $320 and $180 to $240 respectively. Finally the price of the Connoisseur’s Edition, again not including delivery, will rise from $1800 to $2100.
Please place your order now to benefit from this special offer.
And to all those who placed their faith in us and have already ordered one or more of the volumes, we extend our sincere thanks for your help in bringing them to fruition. They represent much more than just another publishing event – thanks to Phil’s wonderful photography here we are able to open a portal upon a bygone era of world-class motor sport. Become a time traveller and buy the Phil Hill books.
And again, thank you so much for your interest.
THE COLLECTOR’S AND CONNOISSEUR’S EDITIONS
First, the good news. As of today, Sunday 27 August 2017, the two main photographic volumes that comprise the Collector’s Edition should be making their way by ship past Singapore and Sumatra on their way to the Suez Canal and eventually to Southampton in the UK. All being well, they are due to dock there around September 24th, before heading on to the GP Library storage facility four or five days later, just before the end of the month.
The same volumes that form part of the Connoisseur’s Edition recently arrived by air freight and are now being leather bound by specialist bookbinders in the UK, with the first 50 sets ready to be dispatched together with the Collector’s Edition volumes by the end of September, or during the first week of October.
The books have been pre-packed in sturdy custom-made delivery cartons – as shown below – and will be sent out for delivery by air courier to the USA and road courier to the UK and Europe. The aim is that they should arrive with all those who have pre-ordered copies by the end of the second week of October. We will be contacting all those customers closer to the target time in order to confirm delivery addresses, contact names and telephone numbers.
THE RACING AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND BOOKSHOP EDITION
Sadly, due to a family crisis, author Doug Nye’s attention has unavoidably been diverted elsewhere over the past few weeks, delaying finalisation of the Racing Autobiography and Bookshop editions. Happily, the situation is now much improved and work on completing the volumes is back in hand.
We had hoped to go to print around the middle of September, but that is no longer possible and due to the week-long national holiday in China, to mark their National Day, printing will not now begin until mid-October, with the completed books ready for shipping back to the UK no sooner than the second or third weeks of November.
However, for all those who have pre-ordered copies, or who place an order before the end of September, arrangements are now in hand to deliver those copies – again by courier – direct from Hong Kong so that they will arrive by mid-December at the latest and, all being well, several weeks earlier still.
We will keep you updated on progress with further Newsletters over the next two months, but importantly, for all those who would like to receive copies of all four volumes before Christmas, please place your orders now to ensure delivery and enjoy the special pre-publication price offers. PLEASE NOTE : orders made after September 30th will be charged at the full retail price and will not be delivered until the New Year.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this causes, but hope our customers will agree that sometimes books are not the most important things in life. Having said that, rest totally assured that we continue to strive for the highest possible standards.
In the meantime, here is a selection of layouts from the Racing Autobiography for the years 1957 to 1961.
THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL MEETING
In the meantime, for those planning, or are able, to attend this year’s Goodwood Revival Meeting in early September, the books will be on display throughout the weekend in the Bonham’s marquee.
Unfortunately, Bonham’s house rules means access on the Friday and Saturday is limited to those who have bought an auction catalogue, but the marquee is open to one and all on Sunday and we will be delighted to see you there to show you completed copies of the Collector’s and Connoisseur’s Editions, plus a draft copy of the Racing Autobiography.
FOR THOSE STILL TO ORDER
Please note that the special pre-publication prices listed on the website will now be maintained until September 30th for all volumes, after which the cost of the books will rise by some 15 per cent to their full retail value.
So to guarantee your cost-saving opportunity to acquire this jaw-dropping window into major-league road racing of the 1950s and early ’60s, make sure you place your order soon. After so many years’ delay Phil Hill’s ‘Inside Track’ is really here. Totalling some 1400 pages including the Racing Autobiography, and presenting nearly 1800 wonderful photographs – over 1000 taken in glorious colour by the 1961 World Champion Driver himself, – and the whole annotated by some 200,000 words of Phil’s typically fascinating, insightful, analytical and revelatory text, this is an opportunity not to be missed …
As a book publishing project, Phil Hill’s ‘Inside Track’ is the finest World Champion Driver’s publication ever produced – or ever likely to be produced … These volumes comprise not just another book – this is truly a ‘show-your-friends’ artefact of enduringly significant intrinsic value.
And for all fellow enthusiasts who have followed this long saga – thank you all yet again for your continuing support and patience.
Following on from our May Newsletter, we are happy to confirm that the two volumes which form the Collector’s Edition started printing on schedule, on Monday 10 July.
The sophisticated presses we were using could print 12 pages at a time, but with 960 pages in all to be printed, and with the time required between passes averaging somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours, the printing understandably took some time – even when printing around the clock – but was successfully completed some 10 days later.
And the results are glorious. Every 12-page sheet was carefully matched to the original proofs to produce radiant images full of detail. The luxurious Italian paper has also played its part, helping to create completed volumes matching – possibly exceeding – the very highest standards we were aiming for. Be warned, though, these are substantial books – with a trimmed page size of some 13 inches and a spine width of over 2 inches, each volume has ended up weighing close to 5 kilos (11 pounds).
Advance copies are being rushed to the UK and the USA, in good time to go on display at the Monterey Historics meeting in mid-August and at the Goodwood Revival in early September. If all goes well the main shipment, meanwhile, will be arriving in the UK and the US during the third week of September and will start going out within days to all those who have pre-ordered copies.
At the same time, 50 unbound copies of each otherwise complete volume will be flown back to the UK some time over the next 10 days, where they will be finished as Connoisseur’s Edition with their bespoke leather binding, ready to be sent out at the same time
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND BOOKSHOP EDITION
Unfortunately, it proved impossible to complete the Autobiography and Bookshop Editions in time, so the decision has been made to print these in a few weeks time towards the end of August.
Allowing for final binding and shipping, we hope to start despatching these volumes towards the end of October. Our sincere apologies for the delay but we felt this was the best option.
As it happens, for those who have ordered the Autobiography together with the Collector’s Edition or as part of the Connoisseur’s Edition, we had already decided that the Autobiography would be despatched in its own slipcase or clamshell case, so the final collection will in no way be diminished, indeed the three volumes together will look exactly as planned.
We realise for those who have ordered these two volumes alone, the delay is not ideal, but again our apologies and we hope you understand. Our intention during this entire process has been to produce the very best books possible, and unfortunately that just takes time. We are certain, however, that when the books arrive you will consider them to have been worth the wait.
In the meantime, while you wait for your books to arrive, here are a few photographs of the printing itself.
If you have time, please go the the pages describing each of the editions, where all of the ‘Look Inside’ previews have been updated in line with the final layouts.
To all those who have taken an interest in this extraordinary project, we are happy to confirm that the production dates for Phil Hill’s ‘Inside Track’ are fixed and we will definitely start printing on Monday 10th July, with early advance copies of the three volumes becoming available from the middle of August.
With shipping from Hong Kong (the books are actually being printed just across the border in China) finished books should arrive in the US and the UK towards the end of September. To accelerate matters and to ensure safe delivery, the books themselves will be pre-packed in sturdy postal cartons allowing them to be despatched almost immediately, the multi-volume orders being sent out by courier to arrive a few days later. We will, of course, keep you posted and email everyone before delivery to confirm addresses and telephone numbers.
The leather-covered Connoisseur’s Editions are being hand-bound in the UK and the printed pages for these copies will be flown back to the UK in mid-August, so that that these will also be ready for despatch, hopefully a little earlier in mid-September. Again, we will keep you all updated where progress is concerned.
THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION
The two volumes of the Collector’s Edition are now all but complete. The colour proofs have been completed, the captions have been written and all the text has been proofread. All that remains are the the final checks to Phil’s extraordinary racing record (which will be included at the end of Volume 2), after which all the information necessary for the production of the two volumes to begin will be released to the printers, scheduled for June 15th.
Please find below a selection of layouts from Volume 2, which we hope will provide a flavour of what to expect from your purchase. Just imagine such images from this hugely evocative period printed to the very highest standard on a page size of 321mm/13 inches square.
Even now we keep coming up with new stories and photographs, all worthy of being included in what is intended to be the most comprehensive – yet always thought-provoking and entertaining – first-hand overview of Phil’s frontline racing career. Understandably, this has slowed things down somewhat, but the first half of the layouts are now complete and the rest will be completed over the next two weeks.
Doug Nye is busily working away, yet again checking, writing and rewriting his own and Phil’s first-hand captions to the 800-plus illustrations that will be included in this remarkable volume, with the intention that the final material will be released to the printer on June 26th, just in time for all of us to take a few days off at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ian Lambot will then fly out to Hong Kong – where he lived and worked for some 20 years – to supervise the printing of our standard-setting project.
THE CONNOISSEUR’S EDITION
Much to the excitement of everyone here at ‘Team Inside Track’, complete dummy copies of the three volumes comprising the Connoisseur’s Edition have now been completed and we are delighted to include a selection of photographs of these below. They are looking every bit as tastefully handsome as we had hoped and will form an impressive and elegant addition to any bibliophile’s library.
A specially produced card, embossed with a stylised image of the Ferrari Testa Rossa wire-spoked wheel, will be included in the Autobiography’s preamble – each one signed by Steve Dawson, Derek Hill, and Doug Nye, the project’s three main architects and the driving forces behind it.
Shown below, somewhat more informally, is the clamshell case made earlier to accommodate all three volumes. This was our original intention, but with a total weight of nearly 10 kilos (22 pounds) we have judged this to be impractical, so the Connoisseur’s Edition will be presented in two matching clamshell cases, one containing the two photographic volumes and one for Phil’s Racing Autobiography.
MONTEREY HISTORICS 2017
For those attending this year’s Monterey Historics, a special talk about Phil’s photography and the creation of the three volumes that comprise ‘Inside Track’ is scheduled there under the combined auspices of Derek Hill, Steve Dawson and Phil’s long-time friend, colleague and ‘Road & Track’ feature photographer John Lamm.
The exact date and time of this event has yet to be fixed, but will be announced in a future newsletter.
Most importantly, a few advance copies of ‘Inside Track’ are to be couriered to Monterey in time for the event, where the books will make their eagerly awaited debut. Make sure not to miss your chance to be among the very first to see the finished books.
FOR THOSE STILL TO ORDER
Please note that the special pre-publication prices listed on the website will only hold until September 15th, after which the cost of the books will rise by some 15 per cent to their full retail value. Make sure to place your order early.
Many thanks, and – in particular – thank you all yet again for your continuing patience.
OCTOBER 2016 – THE PROOFS
A tremendous amount of time has been invested to achieve the best possible colour reproduction for every one of Phil’s magnificent photographs. This has been a painstaking process – in truth extending over several years now – but in these final stages it has also been a pleasurable one as each of the proofs have come back from our magnificent colour separators, both in the USA and Hong Kong, many of a quality even better than we had ever hoped to achieve.
We were much aided by the fact that Phil had chosen to photograph on Kodachrome, a wonderfully stable film stock, which had then been stored away from natural light in perfectly dry conditions in his home at Santa Monica, California. These original 35mm transparencies have survived in astonishingly good condition – still rich in colour and for the most part totally undamaged – and one could easily be forgiven for thinking that many must really have been taken only yesterday, not some 60 years ago or more.
Understandably, there are some that have not survived the vicissitudes of time quite so well, but in every case – exploiting the latest in photo-scanning technology – we have tried to match Phil’s originals as closely as possible, and with absolutely minimal intervention.
With some 960 pages to consider amongst the various ‘Inside Track’ editions to be offered, it was uneconomic to proof them all on the actual paper we have chosen for the book – a beautiful, slightly cream Italian stock known as ‘GardaPat’ – and these were initially prepared using digital proofs, a relatively recent development providing strong and stable results, though on a standardised white background.
These have been prepared for printing by Evergreen Colour Management in Hong Kong – where the book will also be printed – and more recently our Production Designer, Ian Lambot, spent a productive week in their overcrowded studio, fine-tuning each of the proofs to ensure the same results are achieved during final printing on the actual art paper selected.
As the sample photographs below demonstrate, the results achieved are quite exceptional – providing a true testimony to Phil’s unerring photographic eye, and professional-standard skill.
What a record he has left for 21st Century enthusiasts to relish …