SEMA to induct four icons into Hall of Fame

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April 29, 2011 — SEMA plans to induct Gray Baskerville, Art Chrisman, Chris Economaki and John Towle into its Hall of Fame, the organization announced Thursday.

Baskerville, who died in 2002, captivated readers as the senior editor at Hot Rod magazine for roughly 30 years.

Chrisman is a longtime hot rodder and drag racer who has contributed significantly to motorsports. Today he owns Chrisman Auto Rod Shop (C.A.R.S.) with his son.

Economaki is described as the founding father of motorsports media and worked as a commentator, pit road reporter and journalist for more than 70 years.

Towle is the executive director of the Performance Warehouse Association and a former SEMA board member with a long history of industry involvement.

“We’re fortunate to have an amazing group of leaders and innovators in the automotive specialty-equipment industry,” said Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Jeep Worthan. “This year’s SEMA Hall of Fame inductees exemplify the industry’s remarkable talent and diversity. It’s an honor and a privilege to recognize these four deserving men by inducting them into the SEMA Hall of Fame.”

The men will be officially inducted during a banquet and gala fundraiser July 29 in Long Beach, Calif.

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, serves 6,461 member companies representing the $27.9 billion specialty automotive industry. For more information, go to

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