It arrived today...
It arrived today.
An Olivetti Lettera 22, born in 1955.
S/N 238156, for you typewriter fiends.
Formally owned by 1961 Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill, the only American-born World Champion. The man who wrote so eloquently in so many publications, the man who championed restorations and preservation of antique automobiles going back to the 1950s.
The man who I met in 2005 at Road America and proved to me that nice guys could be at the pointy end of things as well.
I don't know what exactly Phil wrote with this Lettera 22, but it was in his possession for some time, and it makes all the sense in the world that he'd have a 22- it won an industrial design award in 1954, five years after it was designed by Marcello Nizzoli.
In 1959, the Lettera 22 was chosen by the Illinois Institute of Technology as the best product design of the past 100 years to that point.
An instant classic. Much like Phil Hill and the glorious machines he raced.
It might appear to some to be an archaic device from a distant place in time. To me, it is a tool, perhaps used by a man who blazed many trails in the sport, and it mirrors not only the time in which he grew to be one of the world's top drivers, but the devices they used to take to the track and everyday life.
Soon to be functioning again in the halls of KMPR among some other bits from his life, and some other glorious machines that still make triumphant echoes from the past.
(Many thanks to Brad Newman and Mimi Slavin for helping get it to us with such care!)