FIVA launches Hall of Fame
Announcing its first 14 ‘heroes of motoring history’
FIVA has announced the first 14 winners of the new FIVA Heritage Hall of Fame awards, celebrating both world-famous figures and unsung heroes in the history of the automobile. As Tiddo Bresters, president of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles), explains:
“Not every hero of the motoring world is a household name. Induction into the FIVA Heritage Hall of Fame is a tribute to an individual’s genuine lifetime achievements, but it’s a very personal selection. It reflects the opinions of FIVA clubs around the world, who nominated their own favourite national figures. Some of these heroes are world-famous, others are names you might not know – but each has made a real and long-lasting impact on automotive history.”
In this, the first year of FIVA’s Hall of Fame initiative, individuals were first nominated by FIVA clubs across the globe, from which 14 individuals – of the past and present – were selected by a knowledgeable and prestigious panel of international judges (listed at the end of the release). FIVA can now announce the first 14 motoring heroes inducted into the Hall of Fame as:
- From Belgium: Roland D’Ieteren (1942-2020), enthusiast, defender and patron of the classic car world, who developed the D’Ieteren Group from a local family business into an international player employing more than 30,000 people.
- From Brazil: Og Pozzoli (1930-2017), car collector extraordinaire, whose 200-odd automobiles will become a museum in the city of Campos do Jordão, including two Fiats from 1912 and 1914 that he refused to sell to Gianni Agnelli for $1 million.
- From Chile: Rodrigo Velasco, an all-round motoring hero with a history of classic motorsport, car collecting, an active member (and founder) of car clubs and a highly respected motoring historian and journalist.
- From Germany: Carl Hahn, whose achievements include building a solid market for VW in the USA, and taking a pioneering role in introducing the marque to the People’s Republic of China.
- From India: Nazir Hoosein (1940-2019), racer and rally driver, who enthusiastically entered every form of motorsport available in India in 1969 when he started competing, and who went on to be the founding president of the Indian Automotive Racing Club (1971) and the Motorsports Association of India.
- From Italy: Mauro Forghieri, Marcello Gandini and Giorgetto Giugiaro, three heroes who require very little introduction. Forghieri – an engineering legend at Ferrari, followed by his influential roles at Lamborghini and Bugatti. Gandini – designer of many of the world’s most beautiful cars, from the Lamborghini Miura and Espada, to the Alfa Romeo Montreal. Giugiaro – is one of the greatest car designers the world has ever known, responsible for more cars on the roads today than anyone else in history.
From Japan: Shotaro Kobayashi (1929-2013) and Osamu Suzuki
- Shotaro Kobayashi founded Japan’s premier monthly automotive magazine and was an active automotive journalist, automotive historian and Chairman of Classic Car Club of Japan. Meanwhile, with more than three decades as the head of Suzuki.
- Osamu Suzuki is one of the longest-serving leaders in the auto industry, transforming Suzuki into a global giant by selling small, low-cost cars and desirable motorcycles.
- Saulius Karosas (1958-2019), renowned mechanic, engineer and businessman, Karosas was a phenomenally active collector and restorer of rare pre-War cars in particular, and a philanthropist who created a foundation to support young artists, musicians, plus historical and cultural projects.
- Sobieslaw Zasada, who overcame restrictions, red tape and prejudice to become one of the greatest rally drivers of all time, largely unknown and unsung except in Poland, where he is a true national hero.
- Bratislav Petkovic (1948-2021), a former minister of culture, qualified confectioner, connoisseur of art, literature, Serbian history, car mechanics, restoration, and a passionate collector of historic vehicles who founded the Belgrade Auto Museum.
- Damian Mateu Bisa (1863-1935), who – together with Marc Birkigt – founded Hispano-Suiza in Barcelona in 1904, a brand synonymous with elegance, luxury, sportsmanship and hugely innovative technology.
The nominations from motoring clubs around the world were sorted, assessed and judged by the following panel:
- Nick Mason (United Kingdom)
- Shiro Nakamura (Japan)
- Gaby von Oppenheim (Germany)
- Patrick Rollet (France)
- Navaz Bhathena Sandhu (India)
- Tiddo Bresters (The Netherlands) – as FIVA’s acting president