George Barris, Eric Grant, Wade Kawasaki and Joe Schubeck will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. The honor recognizes individuals for affecting the stature or growth of the automotive specialty equipment industry, according to SEMA.
Barris is a legendary vehicle customizer known for his celebrity creations, including the Batmobile, Munster Koach, KITT from “Nightrider” and General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazard.” He also has authored many how-to articles for magazines such as Hot Rod Magazine, Motor Trend, Car Craft and Rod & Custom.
SEMA turned to Grant in the 1960s when issues such as clean air and emissions began to arise. At the time, he represented the government agency that eventually evolved to be the California Air Resources Board. Grant became an ally for the association and eventually served as SEMA’s executive director.
Kawasaki has volunteered and contributed to dozens of SEMA projects. In addition to serving several terms on the SEMA Board of Directors, Kawasaki is past chairman for the SEMA Show committee, governance committee, international task force and audit review committee. He was instrumental in the creation of the SEMA political action committee and the SEMA Young Executives Network.
Known by many as “Gentleman Joe,” Schubeck began his top-fuel racing career in the 1960s. Schubeck founded Lakewood Industries, a manufacturer of life-saving racing products, during his post-racing career. Schubeck also is a former SEMA board member and served on the association’s first safety committee.
The new SEMA Hall of Fame members will be honored during the SEMA Installation Banquet and Gala Fundraiser on July 26 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona, Calif.