Hall of Fame for safety cam­paigner

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News -

Safety ad­vo­cate Ralph Nader will be in­ducted into Detroit’s Au­to­mo­tive Hall of Fame on 21 July.

The five-time pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who fa­mously has never owned or even driven a car was se­lected be­cause of his in­flu­ence on car de­sign fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of Un­safe at Any Speed: The De­signedIn Dangers of the Amer­i­can Au­to­mo­bile in 1965.

This book even­tu­ally led to the cre­ation of the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion, the govern­ment body that maps out and ap­plies safety stan­dards to all new cars sold in the USA.

Nader’s book would prob­a­bly have re­ceived lit­tle attention were it not for Gen­eral Mo­tors’ at­tempts to dis­credit him. GM was dis­grun­tled by what the 31-year-old had writ­ten about the Chevro­let Cor­vair and em­ployed pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors to spy on him and sent pros­ti­tutes to knock on his front door while pho­tog­ra­phers waited nearby. GM was forced to pay Nader $425,000 in dam­ages.

Nader went on to have a ca­reer in pol­i­tics and con­sumer ad­vo­cacy – he re­cently opened the Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Tort Law, where a Cor­vair is dis­played promi­nently. He has yet to com­ment on whether or not he will be at­tend­ing the in­duc­tion cer­e­mony. Richard He­sel­tine


Ralph Nader (left) spear­headed safety changes in Amer­ica that led to big-bumper ver­sions of Euro­pean cars.

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