Auto Express Hall of Fame Inductees
Paddy Hopkirk MBE and Stuart Rowley have been inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame
Paddy Hopkirk MBE
Rally driver, businessman and IAM Roadsmart Mature Drivers Ambassador
When it comes to legends of motorsport, the UK has its fair share. But few have cemented their own status – and that of the car they’re synonymous with – like Paddy Hopkirk.
He took his first win in 1953 at the wheel of a VW Beetle, turned professional two years later and never looked back. His raw talent and tenacity landed him a string of works drives, but his most famous victory – possibly the most famous rally win of them all – came in 1964 at the Monte Carlo Rally.
His win in ‘33 EJB’, the now-iconic red Mini Cooper S, earned its place in history, and Paddy became a household name. He received telegrams from the then prime minister, as well as four lads from Liverpool called The Beatles.
He went on to become a class winner at the Le Mans 24 Hours, and nearly won the 1966 Monte, too – an event that delivered the most disputed result ever in rallying.
In 2016 Paddy was awarded an MBE, and a year later he became vice president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club. His CV also includes IAM Roadsmart’s Mature Drivers Ambassador, while over the years Paddy has put his name to a range of automotive accessories and helped MINI produce a limited-edition Cooper S in his name.
Chief transformation & quality officer, Ford Motor Company
Many previous Auto Express Hall of Famers cite a love of cars as a secret to success, but the winner of this year’s Brit List, Stuart Rowley, maintains he’s more of a businessman than a car enthusiast. It’s certainly worked well, because over the past four decades with Ford, he’s risen to the top and is now one of the most trusted lieutenants of Ford CEO Jim Farley.
As well as being chairman of Ford of Europe, Rowley has been entrusted with driving quality and global EV development – an area where Ford has been comparatively slow out of the blocks. That will change in the coming years, following a joint venture with the Volkswagen Group that allows Ford to base some of its EVs on VW’s MEB architecture. We’ll see the first fruits next year as part of a three-strong electric SUV range by 2024, ahead of an all-electric passenger car line-up by 2030.
This is an important part of another area entrusted by Farley to Rowley: to reduce complexity globally, ensuring Ford remains on a strong financial footing. The Derby man describes Ford as being a “key part of... the real economy – generating jobs and growth”. In these uncertain times, it pays to have someone with a clear, unwavering financial vision at the top, because livelihoods depend on it.
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