Robert A. Stranahan Sr.

Inducted 1979

Distinguished Service Citation Award 1953

Founded Champion Spark Plug Company, serving as its President until 1954 when he became Chairman of the Board.

Perfected the spark plug for effective use in motor vehicles.

Advocated the establishment of full-service stations to benefit the motoring public

Robert A. Stranahan perfected the spark plug…and helped millions of motor vehicles get a quick, safe, dependable start. Upon graduation from Harvard, Stranahan joined his brother Frank in a Boston-based parts business. The brothers successfully imported parts for the developing American auto industry, but they were unhappy with the quality of their most-requested item: the spark plug. Convinced that a proper gasket was key to preventing gasoline leaks and porcelain cracks, Stranahan devoted two years to developing a product that by 1912 provided the reliable spark for 75 percent of all American cars. Stranahan also championed the establishment of automotive service stations and introduced the concept of preventative maintenance for motor vehicles.

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