National Automobile Museum
Celebrates Women’s History Month
The National Automobile Museum is celebrating Women’s History Month during March. Visitors will find two stories of Women in Automotive History in each of its four galleries.
Visitors can also take these stories away in a brochure to share with others. The museum brochure features some career examples associated with or influenced by the automobile, featuring a multitude of opportunities.
Included in these stories is that of Denise McCluggage. Denise McCluggage was an American auto racing driver, journalist, author, and photographer. She began her career as a journalist, which lead her to professional car racing when she moved to New York City in 1954. In the mid-50s, she helped launch the U.S. automotive magazine Competition Press, which later became AutoWeek. She wrote many columns for AutoWeek and was a Senior Contributing Editor there until her death on May 6, 2015.
In 1959, Ms. McCluggage drove a Porsche RS to victory at Thompson Raceway in Connecticut, took fifth in the United States Gran Prix at Watkins Glen, in 1960, and won the GT class at the Sebring (FL) 12-Hour race in 1961 driving a Ferrari. Before the decade was over she raced all over the world, winning at the Monte Carlo Rallye in 1964 driving a factory-entered Ford Falcon and competing at some of the world’s great venues; Daytona Beach, FL, Nurburgring, Germany, and Elkhart Lake, WI, to name a few.
Ms. McCluggage won awards, too. Among many other accolades, she was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2001 and the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2006. For her writing, she won both the Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism and the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award.
She was not an activist or pioneer for women’s rights. She was simply a participant in life to the fullest who chose to share her adventures via the written word. Yet, her persistence and very nature made her a pioneer of equality for American women.
Guests can learn more about Denise McCluggage and other women of influence in the Automobile world throughout Women’s History Month this March.