|Tom Gale, Chuck Jordan, James Couzens, and Albert Kahn are this year's inductees to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
Gale is a friend of Motor Trend, as a regular judge on our Car of the Year awards. He joined Chrysler's design staff in 1967 and worked there until his retirement in 2000. The radically redesigned 1971 Plymouth B-body midsize cars marked his first major design. Gale also is credited for the original Dodge Viper concept, the cab-forward 1998 LH sedans, and the 2005 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum/Charger RWD sedans released after his retirement. Concept cars include the Chrysler Atlantic, Chronos, and Portofino, and Plymouth Prowler.
Charles "Chuck" Jordan joined Harley Earl's General Motors design studio in 1949, became chief of the special products studio four years later, and was corporate design chief from 1986 to 1992. Jordan's motto was "no dull cars," and his design credits reflect that, including 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, 1963 Buick Riviera, 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, 1988 Buick Reatta, and 1992 Cadillac STS. Jordan died in December 2010 at the age of 83.
James Couzens made Henry Ford's third auto company a business success, having served as Ford Motor Company general manager until 1915. Credited for devising Ford's $5 workday, Couzens' $25,000 initial investment was worth more than $29 million when founder Henry bought out the shareholders in 1919. Couzens served as Detroit's mayor from 1918-22, and in the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Michigan from 1922 until his death in 1936.
Architect Albert Kahn used his reinforced-concrete building techniques to create the modern automobile factory, including a Packard plant in 1907, Ford's Highland Park and Rouge assembly plants, and several Chrysler factories. He also designed the Fisher Building and GM's original Detroit headquarters, as well as the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. Kahn died in 1942.