To be inducted into the National Corvette Museum’s Corvette Hall of Fame, you have to be among the most influential people in the history of Corvette. For 2012, four new inductees, Gary Claudio, Patrick Dolan, Bob McDorman, and Andy Pilgrim, will join the 46 individuals already honored. Hats off to Keith Cornett from CorvetteBlogger for giving us the heads up.
As a 27 year veteran of General Motors, Gary Claudio is a no-brainer inductee. After transferring to Chevrolet as the Manager of the Chevy Race Shop from the Pontiac division in 1998, Claudio worked with current Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan to develop the Corvette Race Program. Within that program, Claudio dealt with everything and is even responsible for bringing in the original sponsors and securing more funding from Chevrolet for the team to be able to race two cars instead of one and be able to race at Le Mans. Claudio was also behind the participation of Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jr. in the 2001 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for Corvette Racing, Jay Leno and Colin Powell’s participation as Indy Pace Car drivers, the launch of the ZR1 and several special edition Corvettes, and the development of Jake, Corvette Racing’s mascot. Although he retired in 2008, his Corvette legacy continues through Corvette Racing and his continued support of the NCM.
Patrick Dolan is the ultimate Corvette collector, starting at age 9 with scale models and moving up to classic Corvettes when he was 22. Since 1967, Dolan has owned a Corvette every year, currently holding on to five. From collecting, Dolan turned to racing in 1969 with circle track events and then to National Council of Corvette Clubs’ (NCCC) autocross events from 1973 to 1991. In addition to autocross events, Dolan has held an Executive Board position for 22 or the last 23 year for the NCCC. Dolan is also a founding member of the NCM, earning him a well-deserved spot in the Corvette Hall of Fame.
As a Corvette enthusiast for more than 50 years, Bob McDorman has also earned his place in the hall of fame. McDorman is a Lifetime Member of the NCM and has even loaned the museum some of the cars in his collection for display. With the NCM requesting cars from McDorman, you know they have to be special. Of the hundreds of Corvettes McDorman has owned, many of them are the most sought after in the world. In addition to his collecting, McDorman also owns Ralph Smith Chevrolet in Groveport, Ohio, which earned him the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award in 1978 and 2007. McDorman has been given many other awards and honors as well, including being a 2010 Bloomington Gold “Great Hall” Inductee.
Andy Pilgrim is a notable Corvette Racing driver of the past. In his Corvette Racing career, Pilgrim brought the team their first win at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2000 with Ron Fellows, got second place in the GTS class at the Sebring 12-Hour and 24-Hours of Le Mans in 2001, and was part of the winning team at the Petite Le Mans season finale the same year. Pilgrim also teamed with the Earnhardts in 2001 at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where they accomplished a second-place finish. After leaving Corvette Racing in 2004, he continued to race for GM at the Daytona 24 and in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series. Being a part of NASCAR, the World Challenge and the Sprint Cup can also be added to Pilgrim’s racing accomplishments. Pilgrim also started his own foundation to educate new drivers about the consequences of distracted driving.
All four men will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame on August 31, 2012 as part of the NCM’s 18th Anniversary Corvette Celebration. Our congratulations goes out to them all for their well-deserved honor.