Automotive Hall of Fame: The Real Car Guys

The auto industry is seemingly chock full of “car guys.” Every OEM seems to have at least one, some of whom are more publically visible than others.

The auto industry is seemingly chock full of “car guys.” Every OEM seems to have at least one, some of whom are more publically visible than others. This moniker is bestowed on them because they know cars, like cars, develop cars, talk about cars, fix cars, drive cars, race cars, eat cars, sleep cars—OK, we’re getting a little carried away here, but you get the picture.

Many of these car guys (and please note that although “guys” is masculine in most discourse, it can include women, as well) are, well, ad hoc car guys—meaning that they’ve achieved that status because a bunch of journalists were sitting around talking one day and described them so. But there is one place where there are real car guys.

It’s the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan. While there are plenty of museums dedicated to cars from Auburns to Zephyrs, the Automotive Hall of Fame is distinctive in that it celebrates the individuals—the men and women—who have created the auto industry. Located directly adjacent to The Henry Ford, it is a worthwhile place to spend some time if you’re in the area.

 

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Next week (October 6, 2009), the Automotive Hall of Fame is holding its Annual Induction and Awards Night at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.

Among the class of 2009 that will be celebrated in the Automotive Hall of Fame are:

  • Craig Breedlove, the man who broke the 400-, 500-, and 600-mph land speed records.
  • Richard D. Caleal, the chief designer of the 1949 Ford.
  • Wunibald I.E. Kamm, a pioneering German aerodynamicist who made breakthroughs in reducing car turbulence at high speeds.
  • Hal Sperlich, chief architect of both the original Ford Mustang and Chrysler minivan.
  • Mickey Thompson, who not only won races in a wide array of vehicles, but who was a pioneer in the performance aftermarket parts arena.

Yes, there are car guys. And then there are the real car guys celebrated at the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the Annual Induction and Awards Night are $125 per person and can be purchased by contacting the Automotive Hall of Fame at 313-240-4000.