Automotive Hall of Fame Inductees Named


Published:

TROY — Automotive Hall of Fame will present its annual induction and awards ceremony on Thursday, July 26, 2012 as one of the week-long Concours d’Elegance of America events. It will be held at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Both the Concours d’Elegance of America and the Automotive Hall of Fame celebrate the heritage and history of Detroit. The show highlights the evolution of the automobile’s technology and styling, while the induction and awards ceremony recognizes the significant impact of the industry’s men and women.

“Partnering with the Concours is a great fit for us because both events showcase the best the American automobile industry has to offer,” said William R. Chapin, president of the Automotive Hall of Fame.

This year’s Automotive Hall of Fame inductees include:

• James Couzens, the business brains behind Henry Ford’s early successes

• Tom Gale, whose designs injected renewed energy and style into the domestic design scene

• Chuck Jordan, the legendary GM designer whose motto was “no dull cars”

• Albert Kahn, the foremost American industrial architect of his day

The inductees are individuals who have had a positive influence on the industry. After nominations are submitted to an advisory panel, their recommendations and the list of all nominees are chosen by the Awards Committee. The organization’s Board then makes the final decision on who will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, the Automotive Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring both automotive pioneers and present-day industry leaders. The site of the induction ceremony will be at The Inn at St. John’s, 44045 Five Mile Road, in Plymouth, Michigan. The annual Concours d’Elegance car show will be held there on Sunday, July 29, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ABOUT THE CONCOURS d’ELEGANCE OF AMERICA:

The Concours d’Elegance of America has been recognized through its longevity as the pre-eminent American-centric car show in the country. For its first 32 years, the Concours d'Elegance of America was held at Oakland University's Meadow Brook Hall. Beginning in 2011, this world-class event was held on the grounds of The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

ABOUT THE AUTOMOTIVE HALL OF FAME:

The Automotive Hall of Fame has celebrated outstanding automotive achievement since it was founded in New York City in 1939. The Automotive Hall of Fame is located in a 25,000-square-foot building at 21400 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI next to the world-famous Henry Ford Museum. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Please call (313) 240-4000 or visit www.automotivehalloffame.org.

James Couzens

Regarded as the business brains behind Henry Ford’s early success, Couzens held the position of Ford Motor Company’s general manager until 1915. It was Couzens’ idea to pay workers $5 for an eight-hour day in 1914, thereby increasing workers’ wages so they could buy a car. When he cashed out in 1919, his original $2,500 stake in the company was worth more than $29 million. Couzens went on to donate much of his fortune to civic causes, serving as mayor of Detroit from 1918 to 1922 and as a U.S. senator from Michigan from 1922 until his death in 1936.

Tom Gale

Born in Flint, Michigan, Gale put himself through college working in auto factories and gas stations. Joining Chrysler in 1967, he moved from engineering into design and rose to design chief during his 33-year career. Among his notable designs were the original Dodge Viper concept, the company’s sleek cab-forward LH sedans in 1998 and such later dramatic rear-wheel-drive sedans as the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger. Gale also led teams creating such concept cars as the Chrysler’s Atlantic, Chronos and Portofino and the Plymouth Prowler. Since retiring from Chrysler in 2000, he has been building hot rods, aiding start-up ventures and community-building efforts.

Charles (Chuck) Jordan

One of the most influential automotive designers of the 20th Century, Jordan first started sketching cars as a six-year-old growing up in California. A worthy successor to Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, Jordan joined General Motors in 1949 and became chief designer of GM’s special projects studio four years later. With the motto of “no dull cars,” Jordan designed the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, the 1963 Buick Riviera, the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado and the 1988 Buick Reatta among others. His teams also created the Oldsmobile Aurora, the 1992 Cadillac STS, the third-generation Firebirds and Camaros and such concept cars as the Olds Aerotech. He died in 2011 at the age of 83.

Albert Kahn

Though he never designed a car or ran a car company, Kahn is forever linked to the American auto industry. As an architect, his reinforced concrete building techniques made possible the modern auto factory. After designing the Packard plant in 1907, he went on to design Ford’s Highland Park plant and later, the legendary Rouge plant, the Willow Run bomber plant and the Detroit Arsenal tank plant. He also designed factories for Chrysler and such Detroit-area landmarks as the Fisher Building, the original General Motors headquarters, the Dearborn Inn, Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. As America’s foremost industrial architect, he died in 1942.

Concours d’Elegance of America Office
1728 Maplelawn Drive
Troy, Michigan 48084
Tel: (248) 643-8645
Fax: (248) 643-8907
www.concoursusa.org