You dont always remember how important racing has been to the development of the industry. But that point was hammered home Tuesday night at the annual Automotive Hall of Fame dinner in Dearborn.
Of the eight luminaries inducted into the hall of fame this year, four had racing backgrounds.
The obvious ones were Bill France Sr., who was a stock car racer before founding NASCAR; Donald Healey, who was a road racer before creating the Nash-Healey and Austin-Healey sports cars; and Don Big Daddy Garlits, one of the best-known drag racers.
But dont forget that Battista Pininfarina, father of the Italian automotive design industry, penned a number of race cars during his career.
Speaking of racing, it was good to see Janet Guthrie at the ceremony. Guthrie, who raced a lot of different types of cars, was the first woman racer to drive in the Indianapolis 500. She gave the induction speech introducing the late France.
Guthrie also noted that she once raced Austin-Healeys for Donald Healey. It also was mentioned that Pininfarina had designed one of Healeys early sports cars.
It really is an inter-related business, isnt it?