Bob Bailey, a founding trustee of the Saratoga Automobile Museum whose leadership skills, business acumen and dedication to the museum's primary mission of education have been key factors in the museum's success, was honored in late September with the nationally recognized Lee Iacocca Award.
The award was presented by Hemmings Motor News publisher Jim Menetto at a banquet held in conjunction with the annual Hemmings Motor News Concours d'Elegance, a joint effort of the Vermont based automotive publisher and the Saratoga Automobile Museum.
Legendary auto industry executive Lee Iacocca is the namesake for this very special award honoring a person who, over time, has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to the classic car hobby through vehicle preservation and club participation and who has unselfishly assisted and encouraged others in perpetuating an "American Automotive Tradition." The award is linked with the Iacocca Family Foundation, whose mission it is to find a cure for diabetes. This is especially fitting because, like Lee Iacocca's dedication to the Foundation's mission, these car enthusiasts are committed to serving their communities.
Iacocca is known to the public for a variety of reasons, as he was the "father" of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler Minivan and the bold leader who saved Chrysler and paid back a loan from the federal government in full and ahead of schedule. He also led the effort to raise funds for the preservation of Ellis Island as a memorial to our country's immigrants and was a champion of the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.
Bailey, a very successful sports car racer in his own right, is chairman of Racemark, which he founded with the late Mark Donahue, an internationally known driving star and Indianapolis 500 winner. Under Bailey's direction, the company, which produces OEM automotive floor mats and interiors, has grown from a small operation in Burnt Hill, NY to an international manufacturer with facilities in the United States, Hungary and Switzerland.
"I was humbled and honored to receive this most prestigious award,
especially since it benefits such a worthy cause, the National Diabetes Foundation," reflected Bailey. "And to receive it in front of our museum trustees and members, the Hemmings staff and the enthusiasts who made the concours such a great success made it even more special."
The prestigious award was presented to deserving recipients at some two dozen major automotive events across the nation this year, with the list of honorees spanning the automotive spectrum. Notable past recipients include auction organizer David Gooding, Mustang and Chrysler mini-van designer Hal Sperlich, racing legends Al Unser, Sam Posey and Don Garlits and journalist Denise McCluggage.