In these cynical times sometimes we believe “no good deed goes unpunished,” but Greg Wallace, manager of the General Motors Heritage Collection established a career for himself by being a Good Samaritan.
Greg tells the story of seeing a Cadillac stopped alongside the road as he was traveling home from his job as a technician at a Cadillac dealership in the mid 1980s. He stopped to see if he could get the car running again. Greg remembers, “I did some fuse swap and got him back on the road and away he went.” The man driving the car was the assistant general sales manager of Cadillac. About two weeks later Greg got called into the dealer principal’s office and saw the stranded driver sitting there. “I thought, did I screw up his car or what?”
No, he hadn’t screwed up anything, he had started his career with GM.
Cadillac was launching a program to fix Cadillacs alongside the road and Greg was asked to help launch the program. The service proved so popular that people started calling the 800- phone number for everything, not just roadside assistance. Often they called asking how to get parts for vintage Cadillacs. That wasn’t part of Greg’s job, but he loved
restoring old cars, so he ended up handling those customer calls. By 1987 he opened up Cadillac Historical Services as a service for the vintage Cadillac owner. Greg says, “That spiraled into the Cadillac Museum and ultimately into the General Motors Heritage Collection.”
The Heritage Center is much more than simply a museum with cars and trucks from the past. Greg says, “We serve a role within the organization as a reference center.” You can see more on the Heritage Center by clicking the video below.
Greg calls auto restoration “my therapy” and he still has a couple of cars he acquired while he was still in high school, a 1963 Corvette and a 1966 Chevelle. He loves old cars and being associated with them. He says when people come into the Heritage Center “there’s always something to which they can relate.”
While the vehicles in the collection bring back memories for most people, his aim is to make sure the General Motors Heritage Center “conveys something you didn’t know about General Motors.” For example, he tells us GM Research created the first heart-lung machine in 1952.
Greg Wallace is a good guy who lucked into his dream job when he stopped to help a stranded motorist. And he knows he’s lucky. He says, “I haven’t worked a day since I started this job.”
Check out the GM Heritage Center website HERE.