For the first 36 years, the Automotive Hall of Fame existed in name only with no place to call home. Unfortunately, the same economic conditions that have afflicted the industry it celebrates (and the area in which it resides) have come to haunt the hall. Falling attendance and donations from the companies that build cars mean the non-profit organization has a major budget shortfall.

According to Ward's Auto World, the facility has cut positions and only has three paid employees left along with a handful of volunteers. Few have even heard of the hall, which sits next door to the much more popular Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, MI. From 1997 through 2007, an average of 20,000 people a year visited the museum, but that fell by 25% last year.

The 2009 induction ceremony will be on October 6 with land speed record competitor Craig Breedlove, Ford designer Richard D. Caleal, German aerodynamicist Wunibald I.E. Kamm, father of the minivan Harold Sperlich and racer Mickey Thompson being honored. You can get more information on the museum and its inductees here.

[Source: Ward's Auto World]

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