The Automotive Hall of Fame has announced that consumer activist Ralph Nader and former Ford CEO Alan Mulally are among the latest inductees to be honored by the museum. The two will be joined by engineer Roy Lunn, known as the godfather of the Ford GT40, and Bertha Benz, wife of Carl Benz, the inventor of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine.
Nader wrote “Unsafe At Any Speed,” an investigate report that accused car manufacturers of putting profits over the safety of motorists. The seminal book prompted the formation of what is now known as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. government agency that investigates automotive defects and sets standards for vehicle safety.
Mulally, CEO of Ford from 2006 through 2014, is credited as the architect of one of the “greatest turnarounds in American business” for guiding the company through the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The museum also acknowledged Mulally’s approval of the all-aluminum F-150, considered to be an “epic gamble” in the hotly-contested pickup truck segment.
Engineer Lunn joined Ford in 1953 and was responsible for setting up a research and development center in Birmingham, England. He is credited with overseeing the development of the Ford GT40 and also held a number of executive positions at American Motors, including serving as head of engineering for Jeep.
Bertha Benz, wife and business partner of Carl Benz, is regarded as an automotive pioneer and was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance. She navigated the Benz Patent Motorwagen in 1888, travelling roughly 66 miles from Mannheim to Pforzheim.
The 2016 induction ceremony will be held at the Cobo Center in Detroit on July 21.