Published on Mon, Jun 14, 2004
By: Len Frank
Matt Stone on Len Frank
Writer. Amateur racer. Pundit. Comedian. Teacher. Husband. Radio personality. Father. Friend. Above all, and always, a fried. I, perhaps like you, am just one soul whose life was touched and indeed bettered by knowing Len Frank. Our friendship, in fact, impacted my career, and ultimately altered the course of my life. But Len was like that. He changed lives—almost always for the better—without trying; just by being one’s pal.
When I decided to pursue a career in automotive journalism, I knew only one “real writer”: Len, of course. I said “can I buy you dinner and pick your brain about being an automotive journalist?” He replied, “Due to my years of being an automotive journalist, I have no brain left, but you are more than welcome to buy me dinner.” That was in 1985, and we were friends until his final moment. I’m privileged to have photographed several automobiles for articles that Len wrote; these joint projects will forever hold a special place in my clipbook.
My thanks to Len’s son, Stefan Frank, for including me this project. Through the process of sorting through hundreds of old computer disks, manuscripts, files, and photos in preparation for launching this collection of articles, Step and I have become brothers in every sense of the term. I encourage you to read his heartfelt comments on Len, through the eyes of a man who is both loving son and fellow enthusiast.
Any writer—certainly Len among them—lives to know that there are readers who enjoy their work. So punch up a few of Len’s Best, and do just that: enjoy. Thanks for visiting. I’m sure Len thanks you too. – Matt Stone
Matt Stone was the Executive Editor of Motor Trend magazine back in 2004 when he wrote this preamble. He’s a freelance journalist, author, broadcaster, and former Editor of the highly regarded Motor Trend Classic magazine. He has been a professional automotive journalist and photographer since 1990, and authored and photographed more than a dozen automotive book titles with more in process. For seven years was a member of SPEED/Fox Sports’ Barrett-Jackson auctions television broadcast team. Chief Class Judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a judge at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and officiates at other shows and events. He serves his profession as a past Officer and Board of Director member, Keynote Address Committee Chairman, and past-President of the Motor Press Guild (MPG).
Top image: Len Frank in Stand 21 racewear
The late Len Frank was the legendary co-host of “The Car Show”—the first and longest-running automotive broadcast program on the airwaves. Len was also a highly regarded journalist, having served in editorial roles with Motor Trend, Sports Car Graphic, Popular Mechanics, and a number of other publications. LA Car is proud to once again host “Look Down the Road – The Writings of Len Frank” within its pages. Special thanks to another long-time automotive journalist, Matt Stone, who has been serving as the curator of Len Frank’s archives since his passing in 1996. Now, you’ll be able to view them all in one location under the simple search term “Len Frank”, or just click this link: Look Down The Road. – Roy Nakano