Bowling Green, KY – The National Corvette Museum has announced the three inductees to be recognized as part of the 10th Annual Corvette Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2007. World Class Corvette racer, Doug Hooper, Corvette C4 Consultant and Specialist, Gordon Killebrew, and GM Designer and Stylist, Carl Renner will be recognized with the highest honor bestowed by the Museum for their contributions to preserving the past, present and future of Corvette.
The 2007 Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet on August 31, 2007. Their induction will take place as part of the Museum’s 13th Anniversary Corvette Celebration that features three days of festivities from August 30 – September 1, 2007.
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Doug Hooper began racing in 1959 behind the wheel of his 1957 Corvette. An honorary director of “NCRA” – the National Corvette Racing Association, Doug’s achievements note him as a world-class racer and the first to have brought the Corvette to the international stage as a winning racing machine following his win in the “Times Gran Prix” in Riverside, California in December 1962.
Chevrolet introduced the new Sting Ray Split Window Z06 in October 1962 at Riverside Raceway, and Doug drove the Mickey Thompson factory backed Z06 to a win. While at Sebring in December 1962, Zora Arkus-Duntov approached Doug and asked him to test his new secret project – the Grand Sport. Doug was scheduled to co-drive the Corvette Grand Sport with Billy Krause at Lemans in June, but in February of the following year, the GM sponsored race program ended. He continued to compete all over the West and had many wins and opened “Doug’s Corvette Service” in North Hollywood, California and created one of the premier Corvette repair shops in the country.
Doug continued to stay active in racing and in 1993 was asked to prepare and tour the country in a 1963 Grand Sport – the same car he had tested at Sebring some 30 years earlier. This Grand Sport was one of the original five that Roger Penske had installed a 427 big block motor in and was previously driven by Corvette Hall of Famers and legends, Dick Thompson and Dick Guldstrand at Sebring in 1966. Numerous books and magazine articles have been published acknowledging Doug’s winning career and accomplishments. Notably winning the SCCA Pacific Coast Championship five times.
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Gordon Killebrew has given over 25-years to C4 consulting and technical training. A retiree of the Corvette Action Center, he has been involved with Corvette as a technical advisor and specialist of the C4 Corvette culture. As part of the GM Plant’s Corvette Action Center started by C4 Corvette Chief Engineer, Dave McLellan, Gordon handled calls from Corvette owners all over the world and from the GM Tech Center and Chevrolet Dealers regarding repair issues and feedback that helped assist the Corvette production line.
In 1990, Gordon designed and wrote the program, “Corvette Specialist Seminar”, used in educating over 400 Corvette dealer technicians. He also became proof editor of the service manuals and owner’s manuals before final print was sent to the dealers, and assisted with photos and instructions. Gordon also edited bulletins and campaign recalls from the GM Tech Center.
In addition to being a part of the Corvette Plant’s Action Center, Gordon was a mechanic at the end of the assembly line and maintained all electrical and air condition repairs on the new Corvettes as they came off the line. He has been referred to as the “Guru of the C4 Corvettes”. He is an honorary member of many Corvette Clubs, and has been a certification judge at the Bloomington Gold Show along with a senior instructor at the Bloomington Gold Restoration Workshops for C4 Corvettes. Gordon continues to offer seminars and training sessions at many events. Additional information on Gordon’s Troubleshooting School can be found at: www.gordonkillebrew.com
Corvette Hall of Fame Inductee Carl Renner was part of the “Project Opel” original Corvette Motorama project design team. In 1945, after leaving Walt Disney’s design studio where he worked as a cartoon animator, Renner took his portfolio filled with automotive designs and headed for General Motors Styling where he landed a job as a junior designer in the Orientation Studio. GM was then beginning to turn its attention back to producing automobiles for the general public and designers were needed.
He was promoted to Senior Designer in 1946 and transferred to the Chevrolet Studio. From 1950 to 1955 Renner took an active part in the entire design process of the 1952 through 1957 Chevrolet models. Other Renner design contributions include the Corvette side cove (1956), Corvette ducktail rear end (1961), the Corvette Nomad roofline and the deluxe steering wheel, grilles, recessed hoods, the “notch belt” fender line, parking lights, bumper guards and side trim.
In 1954, he was promoted to assistant chief designer in the Body Development Studio.
As part of the “ninth floor” crew at the Body Development Studio that Harley Earl used to work on special, private projects, the group became responsible for the basic shape of the first Opel – the future Corvette. The grille of the “Project Opel” Corvette was based on Carl Renner’s 1950 and 1951 renderings where he served as part of the project’s design team, although the answer to who is most responsible for the Corvette remains a mystery, thanks in part to the level of secrecy enforced by Harley Earl. Renner was also responsible for the Nomad which was essentially a Corvette built with an extended station wagon roof. Carl Renner passed away on January 22, 2001.
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.
Seating for the Corvette Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony is limited and will be available through the Museum’s website at: www.corvettemuseum.com or by calling (800) 53-VETTE. Both individual seating and sponsored tables are available.
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.