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2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ebony Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed
Published 6.19.2024

Cheryl Linn Glass Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed 1Cheryl Linn Glass (Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed)

Cheryl Linn Glass (1961-1997) was one of the first African American female professional race car drivers in the United States. She was born on December 24, 1961 in Mountain View California. Her auto racing career began when she started her own business at nine years old, driving sprint cars in Washington state.

Cheryl Linn Glass with sprint car 1980 Ebony Magazine RESIZED 2Cheryl Linn Glass with sprint car, 1980 (Ebony Magazine)

Glass excelled as a young short track driver, earning “Rookie of the Year” honors and enjoying the spirit of competition. She would later become a state and regional champion, which would drive her into the racing history books. Competing in the Washington Quarter Midget Association, she won several races and became one of the circuits top 10 drivers. Glass then turned professional, racing at Skagit County Speedway.

Cheryl Linn Glass National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum 3Cheryl Linn Glass (National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum)

In 1979, Glass started appearing on television, speaking about her racing experiences and the skills she needed to learn to improve as a professional driver. In October 1980, she was seriously injured in a racing accident that involved a non-winged sprint car during the main event of the Western World Championships at the Manzanita Speedway near Phoenix, Arizona. After that, she became more cautious about her racing career.  

Cheryl Linn Glass sitting on sprint car 1982 Road and Track RESIZED 4Cheryl Linn Glass sitting on sprint car, 1982 (Road and Track)

Glass became a crowd favorite and received a lot of media attention for being a trailblazing driver in a difficult male-dominated field. She also worked hard to acquire sponsorships for her racing teams. One of her major sponsors was the Seattle Eyeglass Company, which was owned and operated by Sally Kaye.

Cheryl Linn Glass at Eastbay Raceway 1981 Spring Car Hall of Fame Museum RESIZED 5Cheryl Linn Glass at Eastbay Raceway, 1981 (Sprint Car Hall of Fame Museum)

Later, Glass moved to Florida and competed in the World of Outlaws Circuit. She would also travel to various automotive events while continuing to concentrate on her racing career. In 1981, she won an award from the Northeast Sprint Car Association, a great honor.  

Cheryl Linn Glass Spring Car Hall of Fame Museum 6Cheryl Linn Glass (Sprint Car Hall of Fame Museum)

Unfortunately, Glass never achieved her goal of racing in the Indianapolis 500, but she did compete in the CART Indy Lights racing series in 1990 and 1991. On June 17, 1987, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, she was honored alongside the late Coretta Scout King at their annual award presentation. Glass died on July 15, 1997 at the age of 35.

Cheryl Linn Glass RESIZED 7Cheryl Linn Glass racing in the CART Indy Lights circuit

In conclusion, Cheryl Linn Glass, along with other talented female race car drivers, will be honored at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn during the “She Drives Road Tour” exhibit celebrating women in motorsports on July 11, 2024. For more information, contact the Automotive Hall of Fame at 313.240.4000.

Cheryl Linn Glass trophy collection 1980 Ebony Magazine RESIZED 8Cheryl Linn Glass' trophy collection, 1980 (Ebony Magazine)

Bibliography

Givens, Linda Holder. “Cheryl Linn Glass (1961-1997).” Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, King County. HistoryLink.org.

Steele, Francesca. “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Fast: Remembering Cheryl Linn ‘The Lady’ Glass, 1961-1997.” Hemmings.  

Mondi, Agnes A. “Cheryl Linn Glass: The First Black Female Professional Race Car Driver in the United States.” Spot Covery/Sports & Recreation, January 29, 2024.

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Stellantis North America Archives, Vlad Radu Auto Evolution, Steven Juliano
Published 6.12.2024

By Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Images Courtesy of Jack Teetor and the Automotive Hall of Fame
Published 6.7.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the GM Heritage Archives
Published 6.5.2024

1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III design sketches GM Heritage Archives 21992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III design sketches (GM Heritage Archives)

One of the most stylish concept Corvette models that came out of the General Motors Technical Center was the 1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept. This concept was created under the direction of Charles M. “Chuck” Jordan (1927-2010), who was a part of the GM design team for many years.

Charles M Jordan VP of GM Design staff 1986 1992 GM Heritage Archives RESIZED 1Charles M. Jordan, VP of GM Design staff 1986-1992 (GM Heritage Archives)

Throughout GM history, Jordan contributed many great designs to the company’s various brands that were very successful. The 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept was introduced in a black cherry color scheme that many fans really liked. I remember seeing the model when it first debuted and was very impressed with its futuristic styling. It offered a great looking front-end with angled headlight styling features.

Another 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III sketch GM Heritage Archives 3Another 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III sketch (GM Heritage Archives)

Some automotive historians have said that the 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept was reminiscent of the popular 1960s Corvette models. Jordan was very pleased that the Sting Ray III concept generated a lot of buzz and recognition when it was introduced at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show.  

A black and white aerial shot of the 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept GM Heritage Archives 4A black and white aerial shot of the 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept (GM Heritage Archives)

The Sting Ray III was designed by a GM stylist from its advanced concept center located in Southern California. Automotive historians have said that this concept was considered for production, however, its $300,000 price tag made that idea a responsible no.

The 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III design concept GM Heritage Archives 5The 1992 Corvette Sting Ray III design concept (GM Heritage Archives)

The concept was built using carbon fiber, which provided strength and flexibility. An adjustable steering wheel was added along with a great-looking sloping windshield design. John Schinella, who was in charge of the California-based studio, said, “After the structure and drivetrain placements were determined, sketches were made, presented, debated and finalized. The completed shape had to look new.”

1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept GM Heritage Archives 61992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept (GM Heritage Archives)

The Sting Ray III used advanced technology, including optical sensors. The model also featured all-wheel steering and cast-aluminum wheels. In addition, the concept featured an analog and digital instrument gage panel, and the interior design provided a fighter jet feel when driving.

1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept GM Heritage Archives 7A rear view of the 1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept (GM Heritage Archives)

Michael Lamm & Dave Holls, the authors of “A Century of Automotive Style: 100 years of American Car Design,” said, “GM’s California Concept Center, under John Schinella, developed the 1992 Sting Ray III as one possible answer to the Dodge Viper. John Mack did most of the exterior design, while Jon Albert designed the interior. The running metallic purple prototype carried a 300-hp Corvette V8.”

1992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept interior GM Heritage Archives 81992 Corvette Sting Ray III concept interior (GM Heritage Archives)

In conclusion, GM Design staff were shaping the future when they introduced the Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept to the public in 1992. It also received several awards for best design concept.  Finaly, this model will always have a place in our automotive history as a great-looking show car that Corvette fans and historians will enjoy and remember for years to come.

Bibliography

Car Styling News. “1992 Sting Ray III Concept.”   

Teeters, Scott K. “1992 Sting Ray III Concept, AKA: The California Corvette.” Motor Trend Magazine, February 17, 2016.

Rosenberg, Diego. “1992 Corvette Sting Ray III Concept, Melding the Past and the Future.” October 10, 2014.

Lamm, Michael & Holls, Dave. “A Century of Automotive Style 100 Years of American Car Design.” Lamm-Morada Publishing, 1996-97.

by Bob Sadler, MotorCities Director of Communications
Images Courtesy of the Automotive Hall of Fame
Published 5.29.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of The Henry Ford Media Center Archives
Published 5.22.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Packard Illustrations from the Robert Tate Collection
Published 5.15.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of Stellantis North America Archives, GM Media Archives, and Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 5.8.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Petersen Museum, AllCarIndex, and Custom Rodder magazine
Published 5.1.2024

by Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Images by Bob Sadler, MotorCities
Published 4.24.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the GM Media Archives
Published 4.17.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Robert Tate Collection and The Henry Ford
Published 4.10.2024

By Jeffrey D. Brasie
Images Courtesy of the Sloan Museum of Discovery
Published 4.3.2024

by Brian Yopp, MotorCities Deputy Director
Images Courtesy of the Ford Piquette Plant Museum
Published 3.27.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of the Robert Tate Collection
Published 3.20.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Della Woods, Replicas West/Tom West, Drag Racing Hall of Fame
Published 3.13.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian & Researcher
Images courtesy of GM Media Archives
Published 3.6.2024

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we continue our observance of Black History Month with a look at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn's Achievement exhibit, which opened one year ago.

by MotorCities Staff
Image Courtesy of MotorCities National Heritage Area
Published 2.28.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives and the Detroit Free Press
Published 2.21.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images courtesy of the GM Media Archives
Published 2.14.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Chrysler Archives, Robert Tate Collection, ClassicCars.com
Published 2.7.2024

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images from the Ferens Collection
Published 1.31.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Hot Rod Archives, Motor Trend Archives, Wallpaper.com and Chrysler Archives
Published 1.24.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Paula Murphy Archives
Published 1.17.2024

By Robert Tate, Award-Winning Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of the Malcolm Bricklin Archives. A special thanks to Historian Ron Konopka for this story.
Published 1.10.2024

by A. Wayne Ferens
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives and the Ferens Collection
Published 1.3.2024