Automotive Hall of Fame

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Automotive Hall of Fame Logo

The Automotive Hall of Fame is an American museum. It was founded in 1939 and has over 800 worldwide honorees. It is part of the MotorCities National Heritage Area.[1][2][3] the Automotive Hall of Fame includes persons who have contributed greatly to automotive history—defined broadly to include persons who may not be household words but who are automotive giants nonetheless.[4] They include award recipients from advertising, car rental, dealerships, designers, racing, financiers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, executives, managers, dealers, inventors, and union officials. It includes the automotive industry, suppliers, dealers, and support.[5][6]

The Automotive Hall of Fame has conferred four different awards. The list of recipients can be viewed on the Automotive Hall of Fame website.[7]

  • Distinguished Service Citation
  • Hall of Fame Induction Award
  • Industry Leader of the Year Award
  • Young Leader and Excellence Award

History[edit]

The Automotive Hall of Fame was founded on October 18, 1939, in New York City by a group called the "Automobile Old Timers."[8] Its original mission was to perpetuate the memories of early automotive pioneers and to honor people from all parts of the auto industry worldwide.[9][10][11] For its first three decades, The Automotive Hall of Fame had four name changes. Its second iteration was "Automotive Old Timers" adopted in 1957 and intended to recognize its broader base, including automotive-related industries. In 1971 it became "The Automotive Organization Team." Finally, it became known as "The Automotive Hall of Fame" and that resulted in greater growth.

The organization moved to Washington, D.C. in 1960, sharing space in the National Automobile Dealers Association building. In 1971, it moved to Midland, Michigan where it got its first home at Northwood University.[12] In 1997, it moved to its present home in Dearborn, Michigan, adjacent to The Henry Ford museum. It is within the MotorCities National Heritage Area, an affiliate of the U.S. National Park Service dedicated to preserving and promoting the automotive and labor history of Michigan. The current facilities are in a 25,000-square-foot building. In addition to automobile history artifacts, it contains a small theater and a central enclosed building area for public events, meetings and other exhibits.[13]

The Hall honors members of the automotive industry each year. There were 271 people inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame through 2016. These inductees include the founders of Benz, Bosch, Bugatti, Buick,[14] Chevrolet, Chrysler,[15] Citroen, Cord, Daimler, Dodge, Duesenberg, Durant, Duryea,[16][17][18][19] Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Maybach, Olds, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault and Toyota among others.[20]

In 1946 the hall worked with the "National Golden Jubilee" (50th anniversary of the creation of the automobile). As General William S. Knudsen stated, the selection to the Hall of Fame included "Ten pioneers whose engineering and administrative genius made possible the present day." The selection was done in cooperation with the Automobile Manufacturers Association, the "National Automotive Golden Jubilee committee of which Knudsen was president. Edgar Apperson, William Crapo Durant, J. Frank Jersey, Henry Ford, George O'Malley, Charles B. King, Charles W Nash, Barney Oldfield, Ransom E. Olds, and Alfred P Sloan Jr. were selected.[21]

The Hall celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014.

At annual induction ceremonies an occasion is made to honor and remember past inductees.[22]

The Hall of Fame is reported to be moving to downtown Detroit.[23]

Eligibility[edit]

A person must be notable in the automobile industry to be eligible for induction. To receive the award is considered recognition that the person has made a significant contribution to the automotive industry.[24] Along with the Hall of Fame induction awards, the Hall also honors individuals with significant awards each year.[25] The Hall issues four types of awards:

  1. Hall of Fame Induction,
  2. Industry Leader of the Year, awarded to one outstanding leader each year,[26]
  3. Distinguished Service Citation, initiated in 1940 to honor people from the worldwide automotive industry,
  4. Young Leadership and Excellence award, recognizes up-and-coming future leaders of the industry.

For the awards 1, 3, and 4, anyone can submit a nomination by filling out the form or sending a letter, along with reference materials that may assist the Awards Committee.

The Industry Leader of the Year Award is nominated and awarded solely by the Awards Committee, so no external nominations are accepted.[27]

Inductees 1967–2020[edit]

Other similar institutions[edit]

In 2001 the European Automotive Hall of Fame was established and inducted its first class of 13 members. Permanent plaques of honor will be emplaced at Palexpo, the home of the Geneva Auto Show.[50]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′9″N 83°14′15.7″W / 42.30250°N 83.237694°W / 42.30250; -83.237694