Brock & Collier Receive RRDC Honors
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Peter Brock and Miles Collier were each honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club during a dinner prior to the running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Brock, a true motorsports Renaissance Man – a designer, author, team owner and photojournalist – was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club with the 2013 Phil Hill Award.
Collier, an artist, investor, philanthropist and noted authority on historic automobiles, was named the recipient of the 2012 Bob Akin Award by the Road Racing Drivers Club.
The Phil Hill Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person who the RRDC feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing. The recipient may be a driver, entrant or outstanding member of a sanctioning body.
It is named in honor of America’s first Formula 1 World Champion (in 1961), and is not only a tribute to his masterful accomplishments on the race track, it also recognizes his contributions as a great ambassador for the sport. Hill passed away in 2008.
Each recipient of the Bob Akin Award, considered the top award in motorsports for amateur, vintage/historic or semi-professional drivers, is selected by Akin’s son Bobby, RRDC members Brian Redman and Archie Urciuoli, and approved by RRDC president Bobby Rahal.
The distinctive trophy was conceived by the RRDC in 2003 to honor the memory of longtime RRDC member and past president Bob Akin, who lost his life in a racing accident in 2002.
Peter Elbert Brock was named Elbert after his grandfather E.J. Hall, designer of the Liberty engine and co-founder of Hall-Scott Motor Company. Born in 1936, he grew up in northern California, where he was bitten by the car bug at age 12. Brock was first exposed to professional racing when he attended his first road race at Pebble Beach in 1951, photographing everything.
In the 1952 race, Phil Hill made a lasting impression on Brock. “Phil HIll was driving a wild MGTC special with a supercharged V8 60 flathead engine and I was hooked for life,” he said. “It was the perfect mechanical amalgam of hot rodding, which was the focus of my life at that young age, and the whole new sport of road racing.”
While in high school he found a half-completed ’46 Ford convertible on a used car lot and customized it. He would win the Oakland Roadster show twice with the car in the Fifties, which took on the name of Fordillac because of the Cadillac engine Brock had installed.
In his college years, he moved from the engineering department of Stanford University to the Art Center School in Pasadena, where students designed cars. While there, Brock met GM Styling Division’s Chuck Jordan, who was scouting future talent for GM. Within days he had a ticket to Detroit and at 19 became the youngest designer ever hired by GM Styling. In 1957 Brock drew the sketch which GM VP of Design Bill Mitchell selected to become the next Corvette, the Stingray.
After leaving GM in 1959 he met Carroll Shelby while working at a car shop, who invited him to run the Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving. He accepted. Brock then worked at Shelby American in 1965, developing the Shelby American brand by creating logos, merchandise, ads, car liveries, etc. He also designed the Shelby components of the Shelby Mustang GT350s, as well as the iconic Shelby Daytona Cobra coupes that won the FIA World GT Championship in 1965.
Following his success with GM and Shelby, Brock started his own design firm, as well as a race team, Brock Racing Enterprises, competing in the SCCA Trans-Am Series (1971-72), and in 1972 helped build Ultralite Products into the largest hang-gliding company in the world.
Since then, he’s been an instructor at the Art Center School of Design, authored the definitive book on the Daytona Cobra Coupes, and in 1999 partnered with Hi-Tech company in South Africa to create a modern version of the Daytona Cobra Coupe, called the Brock Coupe. Over 150 of these have been produced in South Africa.
Today he lives in Henderson, Nev., with wife Gayle, working together as freelance automotive writers and racing photographers. He also designed an aerodynamic car trailer called the Aerovault and has received numerous awards for design and journalism.
“Phil Hill represented everything that was great about the American spirit internationally,” said Rahal. “He was the first U.S. F1 champion and multi-time winner of LeMans. He was a gentleman in the finest sense of the word. Tonight’s recipient is a big Phil HIll fan. I read his bio on Wikipedia and I said to myself, ‘What didn’t this guy do?’ On behalf of all us at the RRDC I can’t think of a greater recipient than Peter Brock for the Phil Hill Award.”
“It’s an incredible honor to receive this award because of the people who have received it before. I really feel humbled,” said Brock. “Phil Hill was such a dear friend and my hero from the very beginning because I saw him win in 1951 at Pebble Beach when I first got interested in racing, and followed his career right to the end. So, this award is a very personal thing. It’s going to be treasured in my house.”
A retired business executive, Miles C. Collier is the founder of the Revs Institute for Automotive Research in Naples, Fla., which includes the Collier Collection, housing more than 100 important historic cars and bicycles from around the world. He is a practicing artist as well as the founding supporter of the Stanford-Revs initiative.
For the last 10 years, Collier has conducted a biennial symposium on Connoisseurship and the Collectible Automobile that brings together automobile collectors and faculty from around the world to discuss critical issues in collecting and preserving important historic automobiles.
As a race-car driver, Collier competed in SCCA New England Region in an E-Production Porsche Speedster in the late ’60s and ’70s. He raced vintage cars in the early ’80s, partnering with Bruce Jennings in Porsches, and is the first recipient of the SVRA Driver of the Year Award in 1984.
Collier’s interest in art was nurtured at Yale University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting. However, family business intervened. After receiving an MBA from Columbia University, his business career was culminated after 25 years as Managing Partner of Collier Enterprises, in the 1995 decision to make painting his next career. In 1996, he entered the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, where he studied for three years with the noted Graham Nickson. Today, he paints professionally.
He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Eckerd College, a small private liberal arts college with a national reputation.
“I’m obviously gobsmacked by this,” said Collier after receiving the award. “I would view it as a validation that fooling around with cars and the history of cars and the interrelationship between cars and modernity is not a completely fraudulent activity. And to receive this award in Bob Akin’s name is a very poignant kind of thing. He certainly was the avatar of the ‘car guy cum businessman/philanthropist/good guy,’ and we all aspire to that kind of thing.”