We all know that there is a Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame, but did you know there is also an Automotive Hall of Fame located next to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan? It has a long and rich history among automobile connoisseurs, and it is the perfect place for every auto buff to visit in their lifetime.
The History of the Automotive Hall of Fame
In 1939, just as the New York World’s Fair was preparing to offer visitors a glimpse of the future, a group of men dubbed the “Automobile Old Timers” were developing a way to honor the early automotive pioneers from around the world.
By 1975, the very first Automotive Hall of Fame building was built in Midland, Michigan to honor the important figures and steps of progress that had made it possible for nearly every American to own an attractive and functional automobile. The Hall of Fame moved to a new location closer to Detroit in 1997, and it is still there in Dearborn, Michigan today.
What You’ll Find at the Automotive Hall of Fame
Today, the Hall of Fame is a museum with 800 worldwide inductees, including people who have contributed significantly to automotive history even if they aren’t household names. Everybody from important financiers, engineers, designers, mechanics, managers, and union officials are included in the inductees list.
Expected names like W.O. Bentley, Carl Benz, Ettore Bugatti, Walter Chrysler, Dale Earnhardt, Ferdinand Porsche, and Horace E. Dodge have been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, but so have lesser known names like Abner Doble, Fred Zeder, and Edwin Umphrey.
Automotive Hall of Fame, Class of 2017
Four people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year: Ed Welburn, Jack Roush, Alberto Bombassei, and August Fruehauf. According to William Chapin, president of the Automotive Hall of Fame, “Each made his unique vision a reality through tenacity, creativity, and forward thinking, traits that still drive the industry’s evolution today.”
If you visit the Hall of Fame after July 20, you can learn exactly what these four men and hundreds of others did to earn their place in history.
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