The Automotive Hall of Fame is proud to announce our 2017 Celebrated Alumni. These men and women are celebrating milestone induction anniversaries this year and will be honored at the 2017 Induction Ceremony held at Cobo Center on Thursday, July 20.
Our 2017 Celebrated Alumni include automotive icons like Roy D. Chapin, founder of Hudson Motor Car Company and the Lincoln Highway Association; Wilton Looney, former President of Genuine Parts Company and a pioneer of the automotive aftermarket parts industry; Frank E. McCarthy, former CEO of the National Automobile Dealer Association and an advocate for U.S. automobile dealers; Donald E. Peterson, former CEO of Ford Motor Company and the architect of its turnaround during the 1980’s.
Scroll down to see our complete list of 2017 Celebrated Alumni. You can also join us at our 2017 Induction Ceremony to help honor these amazing individuals who have moved the world forward.
Roy D. Chapin helped weave the automobile into the fabric of American culture. Chapin began working for Ransom Olds at Olds Motor Works in 1901. He became a test driver for Olds and participated in a publicity drive of a Curved Dash Oldsmobile from Detroit to the New York Auto Show. The trip took over a week due to rutted and muddy trails and galvanized Chapin to campaign for better roads. Chapin founded the Hudson Motor Car Company in 1909. He also launched the Essex brand in 1919, which introduced the first affordable mass-produced enclosed automobile. Chapin would also spearhead the construction of the Lincoln Highway, one of the first transcontinental highways in America.
Wilton Looney brought excellent customer service to the automotive parts industry. Looney joined the Genuine Parts Company at 19 as a clerk. Through hard work and his ability to communicate effectively, Looney earned the position of store manager. He carried these traits into military service during World War I, rising to the rank of Major. He returned to Genuine Parts after the war and became company President in 1955. Looney brought phenomenal growth to Genuine Parts by establishing an efficient process of warehouse distribution and improved service to the customer. Looney’s philosophy was “we’re not just interested in making a sale; we’re interested in making our customers profitable and happy.”
Frank E. McCarthy joined NADA as its chief executive in 1968. He guided the organization for the next 33 years, promoting the rights and accomplishments of the nation’s dealers. McCarthy worked tirelessly on behalf of new-car dealers and built NADA into one of the country’s largest and most respected trade associations. Under McCarthy’s leadership, NADA furthered the activities of the association in government and industry relations, dealership operations and management education, public affairs, vehicle and driver safety, philanthropy and retirement and insurance programs.
Donald E. Petersen’s forward thinking helped return Ford Motor Company to profitability. Peterson joined Ford in 1949 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He Introduced concepts like a product planning department, which he managed during the 1960’s. That department led to the creation of highly successful products like the Mustang and Thunderbird. Petersen would later lead Ford’s resurgence during the 1980’s by pushing for products with stronger customer appeal such as the sleek and aerodynamic Ford Taurus. Peterson’s success prompted one industry observer to call him “Ford’s most successful boss since the original Henry in his prime.”
2017 Celebrated Alumni
Giovanni Agnelli | John W. Anderson | Roy D. Chapin | Walter P. Chrysler
Edward N. Cole | James J. Couzens | Joseph Degnan | Abner Doble | John F. Dodge
Henry Ford | A.J. Foyt | Herbert H. Franklin | Thomas C. Gale | Giorgetto Giugiaro
Dan Gurney | Lee Hunter | Charles M. Jordan | Albert Kahn | Charles F. Kettering
Charles B. King | Raymond Loewy | Wilton D. Looney | John M. Mack
Frank E. McCarthy | Robert B. McCurry | Andre Michelin | Edouard Michelin
Henry J. Nave | Donald E. Petersen | Richard Petty | Charles J. Pilliod
Sergio Pininfarina | Ferdinand Porsche | William A. Raftery | James M. Roche
Wilbur Shaw | Carroll H. Shelby | Owen R. Skelton | Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.
Walter W. Stillman | Genichi Taguchi | Henry M. Timken | Shoichiro Toyoda
Rollin H. White | Walter C. White | Windsor T. White