The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members into its ranks at its 2017 Induction & Awards Gala Ceremony on July 20 at Cobo Center in Detroit.
The Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2017 Inductees include: Alberto Bombassei, president of Brembo; August Fruehauf (1868-1930), inventor of the semi-trailer and founder of the Fruehauf Trailer Co.; Jack Roush, founder, CEO, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and Chairman of Roush Enterprises; and Edward Welburn, retired vice president of global design of General Motors.
“We are pleased to honor these individuals whose entrepreneurial spirit helped shape today’s global transportation industry,” said William Chapin, president of the Automotive Hall of Fame. “Each made his unique vision a reality through tenacity, creativity and forward thinking, traits that still drive the industry’s evolution today. The Automotive Hall of Fame is proud to recognize these individuals and their achievements.”
Considered one of the greatest honors in the automotive industry, induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame is reserved for noteworthy individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first Automotive Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 1967, a class which included automotive icons Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan, William Durant and Walter Chrysler.
Meet the 2017 Automotive Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Alberto Bombassei – Bombassei was a vital asset in Brembo growth from a small family firm in Bergamo, Italy, into a worldwide leader in automotive braking systems. Brembo was founded by Alberto’s father, Emilio Bombassei, and his uncle, Italo Breda. Alberto has served in various roles at Brembo since its inception and has continued the company’s expansion and research efforts. This resulted in breakthroughs such as the design and production of the first aluminum brake calipers, which were adopted by numerous manufacturers, including BMW, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.
- August Fruehauf – Fruehauf was the founder of the Fruehauf Trailer Co. and is credited with inventing the semi-trailer. Fruehauf was a successful horse carriage builder in Detroit around the turn of the 20th century. In 1914, a client came to Fruehauf asking if he could devise a method of transporting a boat behind a Model T. Fruehauf agreed, and the result was the first Fruehauf semi-trailer. The Fruehauf Trailer Co. was founded in 1918 and soon became one of the largest and most successful semi-trailer companies in the world.
- Jack Roush – Roush is an icon of American motorsports and a distinguished automotive entrepreneur. As a racing team owner, Roush has won championships in NHRA and IHRA Drag Racing, SCCA Trans Am, IMSA GT and NASCAR stock car racing. In total, Roush’s teams have won more than 400 races across numerous disciplines of motorsports. In addition to his racing successes, Roush oversees Roush Enterprises, which encompasses a freelance engineering firm, an aftermarket automotive supplier and ROUSH CleanTech, a manufacturer of propane fuel systems.
- Edward Welburn – Edward Welburn was once referred to as “the man who brought beauty back to GM.” Welburn was just the sixth head of design for General Motors and the first to lead the division on a global level. During Welburn’s 44-year career, he oversaw the designs of the latest Corvette and the revived Camaro, as well as groundbreaking concepts including the Oldsmobile Aerotech, Cadillac Ciel and Buick Avista. Welburn also holds the distinction of having been the highest-ranking African American in the global automotive industry.