Lions Automobilia Foundation and Museum Announces 3rd Hall of Fame Class

It often feels like there too many Halls of Fame for any known sport, including racing. When Lions Automobilia Foundation and Museum announced its third Hall of Fame class, a nod of acknowledgement for all inductees was the only possible response.  Lions’ inductees are all graduates of Southern California hot rodding, about to be honored by the museum named for the Long Beach dragstrip that spawned much of the talent that helped elevate the sport of drag racing.

From its first class, comprised of drag racing legend Don Prudhomme, Mickey Thompson, Ed Iskenderian, Vic Edelbrock and CJ Pappy Hart, to its second class of Doug Cook, Ed Pink, Gary Gabelich, Jim Dunn, Keith Black, Linda Vaughn, Robert Balogh and Tom McEwen, the group at Lions got it right. They’ve done the same with the incoming inductees, who will be honored on Thursday, November 14 – just prior to the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals at the dragstrip of the same name.

This third class will be enshrined November 14, 2024

With an awards dinner and silent auction of memorabilia scheduled at the Lions Automobilia Foundation and Museum in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., the group will bestow honors on eight Southern California individuals that have made major impacts on motorsports. This year’s honorees are J.C. Agajanian, Jack Chrisman, Steve Gibbs, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Wally Parks, Carroll Shelby and Bill Stroppe. With a heavyweight list like this, emcee Jack Beckman, NHRA’s 2012 Funny Car champion should have his hands full.

This year’s honorees span the vast geography of motorsports. J.C. Agajanian was a master promoter, both at Ascot Park in Gardena and through his family’s participation in the Indianapolis 500. Drag racing pioneer Jack Chrisman was a pioneer of the sport, a 1961 champion who introduced the first blown, injected, nitro-burning Funny Car; he’s ranked 23rd in NHRA’s Top 50 drivers. Steve Gibbs has been part of NHRA’s stellar officiating team and now has the rights to Nitro Revival, an annual celebration of straight-line, nitro-based racing, held in Southern California.

Dan Gurney, who owned Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR), is renown for being the sole American racer to win a Formula One race driving an F1 car built in his AAR shops in Santa Ana; his group also spawned legions of winning INDYCAR racecars. 1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones has raced successfully both on tarmac and dirt. Wally Parks started NHRA, taking street racers to tracks where they could race without harming anyone. Carroll Shelby won races as a driver and as a car builder; he’s also known for some mouth-stinging chili mixes. Finally, Bill Stroppe was a Ford-based racer whose off-road exploits behind the wheel and as a team owner are legendary.

The November 14th Lions Automobilia Foundation Hall of Fame festivities will include a cocktail mixer and the silent auction, a program with introductions of honorees, a sit-down dinner and awards ceremony. Individual tickets for this celebratory night start at $150.00.

Parnelli Jones
Wally Parks
Bill Stroppe

J.C. Agajanian
Jack Chrisman
Dan Gurney
About Anne Proffit 1250 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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