The National Corvette Museum Announces its 2019 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees

541

The National Corvette Museum Announces 2019 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees


Three long-time friends of the Corvette world will be honored for their contributions by being inducted into the National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame during the 25th Anniversary Celebration this summer, joining 71 others who have been so honored since 1997.

2019 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees

Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum


Named in the category of Enthusiast is Dollie Cole, wife of legendary GM President Ed Cole, but that wasn’t her only claim to fame. Dollie made quite a name for herself as a respected businessperson, a staunch defender of the auto industry, and a strong supporter of Corvette. Her resume included model, accredited test driver and pilot, and senior editor for a publishing company.

Her colorful personality always had her living life to the fullest, and when no one else could seem to get something done, she was known for being able to push a project to completion. She was also a leader for many charities, helping the disabled, children, animals, and families of fallen officers while serving on national and local boards, including PBS, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the National Corvette Museum (serving as chair in 2000 and 2001).

“Dollie took her position on the board very seriously,” Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode remembers. “When the Museum was really struggling, she pushed for a new business plan against strong opposition. She leveraged her contacts in corporate America and GM to open doors to find ways to generate revenue for the Museum. She hosted some large fundraising events for us, and on more than one occasion she would even write a check so that we could be involved in some activity that would make us more visible locally and nationally. Dollie was very proud of her affiliation with the National Corvette Museum. She worked hard to get others excited, involved, and proud of the Museum that represented America’s sports car.”

In the category of Racing, the name of Briggs Cunningham is legendary in the Corvette world.

While Briggs was a talented driver himself, he also had the wisdom to hire some of the best drivers to help the Corvette build a name for itself in the racing world, including Dick Thompson, John Fitch, Roger Penske, Stirling Moss, and others. In 1960, one of the three Corvettes that Cunningham had bought to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans became the first Corvette to win its class there with Bob Grossman and Fitch at the wheel of the #3 champion. Briggs himself drove the #1 car, but it flipped in the rain and caught fire. The #2 car piloted by Thompson and Fred Windridge also wrecked and failed to place. Cunningham would go on to become one of the most prominent figures in the racing world, even making the cover of TIME magazine.

In the category of GM/Chevrolet, this year’s inductee is Tom Peters, a designer who shared his talents with the company for nearly 40 years. His illustrious career started in 1980 under Corvette Chief Designer Jerry Palmer and went on to include work on the C4 ZR-1, and he’s been actively involved in the past three generations, including serving as Design Director for the C6 and the C7 and ultimately becoming the Director of Design for Performance Car Exteriors for Corvette and Camaro.

“My goal in working on future Corvettes was to create a unique personality that is still distinctively Corvette–with a character and soul that is both new and timeless,” Peters says. “The best and most wonderful thing about working on Corvette is doing it with people in design, engineering and marketing, who have such a strong passion for the car and for the people who drive them. You’ve heard about the people who make this car their goal in life—the ones who pass that love for the car down through the family. It’s a special car to those who drive them. It is a part of their lifestyle and a part of American culture in general. It’s been amazing to have some part in that. Each day that I walked into that studio, I felt honored and blessed. I never took it for granted.”

The 2019 Corvette Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on Friday, August 30, 2019. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 25th Anniversary Celebration August 28 – 31, 2019.


Source:
National Corvette Museum

Related:
National Corvette Museum Announces the 2018 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees
National Corvette Museum Announces the 2018 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees
Corvette Museum Names Three Inductees for the 2016 Corvette Hall of Fame