Eddie remains the only person in the world to win a yearly drag racing championship on both land and water. Starting with a win on his self-modified Cushman scooter in 1949 to his win in 2017 in his Pro Formula Mazda, Eddie has now won motorsports trophies in eight consecutive decades! Voted in 1999 as one of the most popular drivers in the history of motorsports, Eddie Hill garnered the first championship of his life when he captured the 1949 Tri-State Flat Track Motor Scooter title in Shreveport, Louisiana. A few years later he built his first dragster and won the first drag racing event by having the fastest car there. He drove the car to and from the track – they don’t do that anymore. Hill won the class with a pass of 106 MPH (1955 – Karnack, Texas) at age 19. Eddie built his own complete dragsters and engines and built a few chassis for other customers in his early years of drag racing.
In the newly formed National Hot Rod Association young Hill earned his first paid appearance in 1959 by being the advertised headliner and racing against Jack Chrisman’s “Sidewinder” at Inyokern, California.
Since that date with destiny, Hill has gone on to become the only racer in history to win the yearly championship and set the national records for both speed and elapsed time on both land and water.
As of this writing, Hill is the still the only person to have been the fastest and quickest drag racer on land and water. Some of Eddie’s firsts include:
1. Introducing small profile front tires on a dragster (1958).
2. Introducing front wing on a dragster.
3. Introducing charcoal-filled breathing masks for safety (1959).
4. Inventing the tire-smoking burnout (1960), which is standard practice on all top fuel cars today.
The record books show Hill to be the first driver to cover a quarter mile in less than five seconds, a feat he accomplished with a 4.990-second pass at 288.55 MPH on April 9, 1988, at Ennis, Texas. This “First in the Fours” car was severely damaged in a blow-over at Pomona, California in 1989, but was completely rebuilt and has not been raced since. It is currently on permanent display at Eddie Hill’s Fun Cycles.
Hill was also first to break the 200 MPH barrier in a gas-powered car when he drove his twin Pontiac engine dragster to a speed of 202.07 MPH at Hobbs, New Mexico in 1962.