Seven individuals representing automotive racing, design, manufacturing, management and bold innovation have been selected for induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame. The Inductee class of 2006 includes Nuccio Bertone, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France, Jr., Wayne Huizenga, Shojiro Ishibashi, Arjay Miller and Bruno Sacco. The Inductees were announced today at the International Motor Press Association meeting at the New York International Auto Show. Formal induction ceremonies will take place in Dearborn, Mich., on October 3, 2006.
Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone (1912 – 1997) – Bertone presided over one of the most fabled and influential design, engineering, and prototype houses that the automotive industry has known. An exacting administrator of the family business, Bertone was also known for his ability to nurture top design talent, including the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Dale Earnhardt (1951 – 2001) – Known as “The Intimidator,” Earnhardt was a legendary figure on the NASCAR circuit even before his untimely and tragic death. Among the winningest drivers, Earnhardt was a team owner and one of the most respected motorsports personalities on and off the track.
Bill France, Jr. (1933 – ) – When Bill France, Jr. succeeded his father, NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr., the event was seen as one of the most significant in the organization’s history. The younger France took NASCAR to new heights in popularity and success, and is widely recognized for making NASCAR one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world today.
H. Wayne Huizenga (1937 – ) – A multi-faceted entrepreneur, Huizenga is best known in the auto industry as the founder in 1996 of AutoNation, Inc., the world’s largest automotive retailer. AutoNation has over 270 dealership locations nationwide representing 345 new car franchises. Founded only a decade ago, AutoNation is ranked 112 on the Fortune 500 list.
Shojiro Ishibashi (1889 – 1976) – Ishibashi dreamed of supplying his nation’s new automobile industry with tires developed and manufactured with Japanese capital and Japanese expertise. Ishibashi created Japan’s first locally developed tires in 1930. He established Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd., in 1931 to manufacture and market the new product. Today Bridgestone/Firestone is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world.
Arjay Miller (1916 – ) – Miller was one of the ten “whiz kids” who as a group left the Air Force after World War II and who played a major role in improving the fortunes of Ford Motor Company. He was president of Ford from 1963 to 1968 and vice chairman until 1969, and served with distinction as Dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Bruno Sacco (1933 – ) – Sacco’s path into the field of design began with a brief glimpse of an electric blue 150 Studebaker. That beginning led to a design career spanning 39 years at Mercedes-Benz, where for decades Sacco designs were synonymous with classic beauty, luxury and performance.
The Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, Mich., is the only industry-wide means to honor the men and women of the global motor vehicle and related industries. It is dedicated to preserving the history of mobility by celebrating the creativity, toil and genius of the individual. The Automotive Hall of Fame is both a visitor attraction and an educational resource for inspiring others to higher levels of achievement in their own work and lives. For more information about the Automotive Hall of Fame, visit http://www.automotivehalloffame.org/ .