HEP-Invitation1Former Indy 500 driver named program ambassador

TACOMA, Wash. (May 19, 2015); – Automotive restoration and preservation education is entering the motorsports realm, thanks to record-breaking racer Lyn St. James, who was named an ambassador of the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (HEP). HEP, a program dedicated to preparing young adults for careers in automotive restoration, supports hands-on, career based training for students in the United States and Canada. HEP is a program of ACM, the largest automotive museum in North America.

Embracing HEP’s mission, St. James joins the team to increase visibility of the program. She has made significant contributions to motorsports both on and off the track, making history as the first woman to win the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year award in 1992. Additionally, St. James has raced for more than 40 years and has had victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Elkhart Lake races, set-closed course speed records of over 225 mph and launched a foundation to help women advance their careers in motorsports.

As a HEP ambassador, St. James will connect the program with motorsports influencers to increase awareness and funding. Her service will help provide students and programs with grants and apprenticeships to launch successful careers in the automotive restoration & preservation industry.

“With the growth of vintage racing and the excitement of motorsports, we need to create a pipeline of skilled and passionate people to restore and preserve extraordinary vehicles,” said St. James. “I look forward to working with the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum, as it will attract the best and the brightest students for the job.”

Support for HEP comes through various methods, including corporate sponsorships, partnerships with colleges and universities and fundraising events at America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash. With St. James’ connections to vintage racing enthusiasts and motorsports movers and shakers, HEP National Director Diane Fitzgerald plans to get the program in front of a larger audience.

“We’d like to see more racing enthusiasts join the movement to protect America’s automotive heritage by supporting educational programs of restoration and preservation,” said Fitzgerald. “Lyn’s passion for education and inclination for paying it forward make her an ideal fit for this next period of expansion for the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum.”

About the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum

The Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (HEP) is a grant-giving program supporting the pathway to careers for 18-25 year olds. We are at the center of a movement to preserve the skills and knowledge needed to protect our automotive heritage, by funding educational programs, scholarships and paid internships & apprenticeships. Founded in 2005 by Hagerty and formerly known as The Collectors Foundation, HEP supports hands-on, career-based education in communities around the United States and Canada while promoting America’s automotive history and the interests of the collector community. HEP has awarded more than $2.75 million in scholarships and grants since 2005. This is the heart of HEP. (www.hagertyeducationprogram.org)

About LeMay – America’s Car Museum (www.americascarmuseum.org)

America’s Car Museum (ACM), named one of USA Today’s 10 Best Museums in Seattle and KING 5’s 2014 Best Museum in Western Washington, is an international destination where families and enthusiasts gather to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile and how it shaped our society. The stunning, four-level, 165,000-sq.-ft. Tacoma, Wash., facility features 12 rotating exhibits, five annual Signature Events and serves as an educational center, hosting students of all ages. For more information about ACM, visit www.americascarmuseum.org.