Date of birth: 3/6/36 – Longview, Texas
Marital Status: Married to Ercie on Valentine’s Day, 1984
Children: Sabrina Hill, Dustin Hill
Parents: Dr. James E. Hill, Sr. and Evelyn (Hill) Watters
Children: Sabrina, Dustin
Height: 5’ ll”
Education: Graduated Texas A&M University – 1957 – Bachelor of
Science degree in Industrial Technology (second generation Aggie)
Years as professional racer: 43
Racing nicknames: Holeshot Hill, Fast Eddie, The Thrill, currently
FourFather (Father of the Fours)
Drag Racing stats – 1985-1999
Career best elapsed time: 4.520 seconds –10/2/99 –Topeka, Kansas
Career best MPH: 323.74 MPH – 10/2/99 – Topeka, Kansas
Career national event wins: 16 (top fuel dragster)
Career national event final rounds: 36 (top fuel dragster)
Eddie is still only racer to have been the yearly championship winner
and fastest, quickest drag racer on both land and water; and to
concurrently hold official speed records in both venues
Has won trophies and races in nine decades from 1940’s to 2020
On April 9, 1988, ran the world’s first four-second quarter-mile pass
at 4.990 elapsed time, 288.00 mph
Won the 1993 National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel Championship
at age 57
In Guinness Book of World Records for 11 years as world’s fastest
propeller driven boat – 229.00 mph in quarter mile
In drag boat racing won championships in ADBA 5 times, SDBA 7
times, NDBA 4 times, held Canadian water speed record at 223.32
mph, retired in 1984 with 101 runs over 200 mph
At time of Hill’s retirement in November, 1999, had recorded over
460 four-second asphalt quarter-mile passes
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.
Since their retirement from professional drag racing inn 1999, Eddie and Ercie have pursued hobbies for which there was no time during their racing career.
Eddie took up airplane flying lessons and made a solo flight from Waco to Wichita Falls, Texas.
He was bitten by the radio-controlled airplane and helicopter bug, and he has over 40 nitro, methanol, and gas-burning aircraft – some with wingspans over 11 feet, as well as 6 radio-controlled helicopters. He enjoyed putting on aerial shows to classical music for local groups from 2000 to 2006.
Ercie returned to college at Midwestern State University where she completed 43 additional credit hours with a 4.0 grade point average, majoring in English. She also took up doing abstract painting at age 72 and recently entered her first contest.
The Hills live on a 500+ acre livestock ranch outside of Wichita Falls where Ercie raises gaited horses, along with Red Angus and Black Brangus cattle.
Their love of animals include four dogs – Nitro, Angel, Hot Rod, and Sweetie. The two dachshunds go to work and to road races with them.
>But the call of racing came again in 2006 when Eddie bought an Ariel Atom and began road racing at Hallett Raceway near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and at Eagles Canyon Raceway near Decatur, Texas.
Now Hill has three road racers that include a Pro Formula Mazda, a Kawasaki-powered Firman Formula 1000, and a Honda-powered Crawford Formula Lights F15. Ercie serves as crew chief once more, and they enjoy attending several races a year.
“After a lifetime of going straight and using twin parachutes to stop from over 320 mph, I wanted to learn to turn corners. At the first turn of my first road race I saw that none of my competitors were going to stop and wait for me to repack my parachute, so I had to learn to use wheel brakes. My last race win at the tender young age of 84 was just as much fun as my first one at age 13. Ercie just bought me a tee shirt that reads UNDERESTIMATE ME. THAT’LL BE FUN.”
- Cheers, Eddie