The National Corvette Museum has announced the following inductees to be recognized as part of the 13th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2010. Grady Davis, a pioneer for corporate sponsored private racing, Fred Gallasch, steward of the Corvette legacy, and James Ingle, 40-year GM development engineer will be recognized with the highest honor bestowed by the Museum for their contributions to the past, present and future of Corvette.
The 2010 Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on Friday, September 3, 2010. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 16th Anniversary Corvette Celebration festivities September 2-4, 2010.
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Grady Davis graduated from both the University of Texas and Harvard University, gaining employment with Gulf Research and Development Company where he spent the first 20 years in Venezuela. During his 44 year career with the company, Davis created the country’s first corporate sponsored private race team, around Don Yenko and Dr. Dick Thompson, as a dynamic test lab for Gulf Oil Company’s lubricants and fuels. With Corvette being his first love, Davis began a racing program around it that started in earnest in 1961, and continued until 1966. The Davis program successfully competed regionally, nationally and even internationally, earning the Corvette marque legions of fans that exist to this day.
With the extraordinary results of Davis’ initial venture into the racing business, the program earned four national championships, two runners-up, three regional championships and the awarding of more than 214 trophies. “His efforts established the Corvette as a genuine competition sports car, and set the bar that others would shoot for,” said Carroll Shelby, veteran automotive designer and racing driver. Donna Mae Mims, champion race car driver, credits Davis with her being the first woman driver to win a national race championship. She added “Grady lived and breathed Corvette. Grady sold the Corvette to the world.” Davis passed away September 29, 1995 at the age of 87 in Boca Raton, FL.
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Fred Gallasch has a long history of accomplishments which have and continue to enhance the prestige of Corvette, beginning shortly after he earned his Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters in Economics from North Carolina State University. Gallasch spent his first 12 years with General Motors in the Societal Analysis Department of the research laboratories refining his marketing acumen and acute sensitivity to the ever changing needs and wants of GM’s customers. During that time, he also published over 35 research documents, several of which appeared in professional journals.
Gallasch’s direct association with Corvette began in the late ‘80’s when he became Assistant Brand Manager for Corvette. His work helped GM to strengthen its customer focus and reinvent its product line up. According to Dave McLellan, “he constantly helped make Corvette programs happen when investment capital was scarce and the Corvette needed inside support… From an engineering perspective, I credit Fred with holding engineering’s ‘feet to the fire’ until we found the right fuel tank solution for the C5.” Gallasch has written articles for Corvette Enthusiast and Corvette Fever, and often speaks at Corvette gatherings. “If you own a Corvette, names like Duntov, McLellan and Hill are always heard or mentioned in discussion,” wrote Robert Truilzi, General Director, General Motors Asia Pacific. “At the same time, quietly and unobtrusively, the name Gallasch is also spoken frequently in those gatherings, and usually Fred is not too far behind… doing what he does best, listening to the Corvette owner and sharing his passion!”
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee James Ingle had been the source of Corvette development engineering from the mid 70s until the launch of the C5 when he moved on to Quality Rides Group Manager conducting ride trips for all General Motors North America products. Ingle’s efforts were the result of a very disciplined engineering approach to problem solving and an ability to understand the Corvette customers and translate those into a development solution. Ingle became the quintessential Corvette test driver, logging numerous hours behind the wheel, testing new and future Corvette designs on the GM Proving Grounds. He was responsible for the published performance numbers for Corvettes from the 70s to the 1997 model including the famous ZR-1.
Long drives were his enjoyment and he became so proficient at checking out every feature of a new product that GM decided to have him develop a consistent and uniform quality drive audit process for new vehicle launches. “Jim was an excellent development driver, able to wring out a car by the seat of his pants,” said Dave McLellan. “Jim made major contributions to the C4 Corvette out through the ZR-1 in both test and development. The ZR-1 Power Key was his idea.” Ingle retired in 2006 after 43 years of work at GM.
The National Corvette Museum established the Corvette Hall of Fame in 1998. The purpose is to confer the highest honor and recognition upon the most influential individuals in the history of the Corvette. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to their respective fields, each having reached the highest level of accomplishment. Inductees must also reflect the highest standards of integrity and character to positively enhance the prestige of the Corvette and the National Corvette Museum.
Additional information on reserving a spot at the prestigious Corvette Hall of Fame banquet will be available in the coming months via our website at: http://www.corvettemuseum.org/ or can be obtained by subscribing to our weekly eNewsletter “NCM eNews” at: http://www.corvettemuseum.org/ncmenews/. The National Corvette Museum is a member-driven, non-profit foundation dedicated to educating the public through the preservation of the Corvette’s past, present and future heritage. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, the Museum is located at Exit 28 off I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.