Welburn, Roush head 2017 Automotive Hall of Fame class

by admin April 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Ed Welburn with the Buick Avenir concept on the eve of media previews for the 2015 Detroit auto show.

DETROIT — The Automotive Hall of Fame will grow by four members in 2017 and include a former head of design at General Motors and stock-car racing’s most successful team owner.

Ed Welburn, Jack Roush, Alberto Bombassei and August Fruehauf will be inducted in a ceremony on July 20 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Jack Roush’s NASCAR teams have won more than 400 races.

“Each made his unique vision a reality through tenacity, creativity and forward thinking, traits that still drive the industry’s evolution today,” William Chapin, president of the Automotive Hall of Fame, in a statement.

Welburn retired in July after 44 years with General Motors. He took over as head of design in 2003 and was the first chief to have direct oversight over all of GM’s global design studios.

Roush is chairman of Roush Enterprises Inc. and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing. His NASCAR teams have won more than 400 races, the hall said, while Roush Enterprises has become a major provider of engineering and product development services for the auto industry, with clients that include Google and Ford Motor Co.

Brembo’s Alberto Bombassei.

Roush, the winningest team owner in NASCAR history, co-owns Roush Fenway Racing with Fenway Sports Group, the parent of the Boston Red Sox.

Bombassei is the longtime chairman of Brembo, the brake company started by his father, Emilio, and Italo Breda in 1961, when the partners established a workshop making spare parts for vehicles.

Fruehauf, a Detroit blacksmith and carriage builder, built the first practical semi-trailer in 1914 and founded Fruehauf Trailer Co. in 1918. He died in 1930.

August Fruehauf, a Detroit blacksmith and carriage builder, built the first practical semi-trailer in 1914.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Automotive Hall of Fame’s first induction ceremony which honored Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford, longtime GM Chairman and CEO Alfred Sloan, engineer Charles Kettering and Chrysler founder Walter Chrysler.

The 2016 class honored former Ford CEO Alan Mulally, auto safety advocate Ralph Nader, Bertha Benz, the wife and business partner of Karl Benz, who invented the gasoline-powered automobile, and engineer Roy Lunn, the godfather of the Ford GT40.

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