Letters about Len
Published on Tue, Jun 1, 2004
By: Len Frank
In this section, we’re please to reprint letters, emails, and other commentary from those of you who knew Len Frank, or have enjoyed this web site. Please feel free to contact us anytime at [email protected]. Thanks…
Thanks, Stefan, Matt, John (Retsek), John (Clinard) and all the rest of you. I think about, and miss, Len all the time. Helen H. told me about the site about 15 minutes ago- I wish I had known sooner. Let me know if I can help in any way.
I was tasked with completing a review of lenfrank.com and have attached the result for you. The review explains my prior knowledge (none) of Len Frank and my current view (very high) of his work.
Several of the selections have stray paragraph commands inserted which make for odd breaks in the text flow.
Thanks for a great site. It should come online at www.lacar.com in the near future.
I knew Len from a coffee house (Gaga’s) in Long Beach. He was a quite nice guy. It nice to see some of his family history. I am on the political left. If I remember correctly he personally wasn’t on the left, but I could sense that he had some history there. Now I see why. I always enjoyed talking to him.
I really loved listening to your dad on the Car Show. I always think of him when I tune in the show. He did a lot in his short 59 years. I’ll always think a bit differently about turn 9 at WSIR.
I was so delighted to find out about the existence of lenfrank.com. Living across the hall from Len in Long Beach for about 2 years was a great time for me.
I have ended up back in NYC, writing about manufacturing technology and whatnot at Fortune Magazine. I still have a potted catus Len gave me to spare it from what he called his “black thumb.”
Is that you there, John and Art? I hope you are well and filling the airwaves with great motor doings, as ever. There is a motorcycles-only garage 2 blocks from my place in Mahnhattan, crammed with 70 bikes owned by diehards like me. Len would have appreciated the beauty of it.
Best From East,
I have listened to The Car Show on KPFK (occasionally as a subscriber) for many years, at least since the mid 1980s, and was at all the Santa Barbara Concours where Len and John were Masters of Ceremonies.
I didn’t always agree with Len (though I often did), but I always learned from him and I often took his advice. In fact, on the advice of Len and John I purchased a brand new VW Jetta in 1987 and flew to Germany to pick it up.
I was deeply saddened when, two weeks after Len’s passing I heard about it on the Car Show. Still now, three years later, I still miss him and his wry, insightful, and delightfully iconoclastic commentary. And now, three years later, I hear on today’s Car Show about Look Down The Road – The Writings of Len Frank and you have made my day!
To whomever you are who have built and manage this site, thank you very much for keeping Len and his thoughts and opinions alive.
It was a pleasure to know, see, hear and treat Len Frank for approximately 15 years. I met Len Frank via a telephone call to Motor Trend in 1980 when I inquired about the Cadillac Cimaron. When I told Len Frank what my profession was, he told me that he had a particular type of medical problem . He was a veteran , and the problem he had fell under my expertise, as I was Chief of Urology at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. Thus began a relationship of over fifteen years.
Many times ,Len would bring over a new car for me to see and drive, such as a Scorpio, Porsche , etc. I always gave my opinion, and it was not always in accord with what Len thought regarding the product.
He was a very cooperative patient, and I enjoyed treating him throughout the years.He had a most relaxed attitude about himself, and willingly accepted my care and treatment. On one occasion , when I called “The Car Show” he readily identified me as “that’s my doctor”.
I had the opportunity of calling him on the phone many times and heard the response “Len speaking”. I miss his wonderful voice. I miss Len Frank.
J.Bernard Miller, M.D.
For establishing such a wonderful tribute to a unique man, and a man who deserves to be remembered and celebrated for what He gave to the world (along with John Retsek, of course!) of devoted Saturday KPFK listeners as I have been since the late 70s.
P.S. What a delightful surprise to read that his favorite childhood book was, Kenneth Graham’s “Wind in the Willows!!)
Thank you, Len, for all the time you entertained me during the Car Show for so many years. There was times when I was depressed, lonely, and happy—but I was always happy to hear your voice. In fact, as I type this now, I can still hear your voice in my head.
One day we may all meet again–and let’s hope that where ever we end up in the next hundred years, there will still be a car rumbling somewhere. If there is, I will know where to find you.
I have listened to your Car Show for years and today you mentioned the lenfrank website, so I pulled it up this afternoon. You are sort of a household word in my home, like Siskel and Ebert, Ozzie and Harriet, I have listened to you talk so many times, I almost feel I know you. I know practically nothing about cars, but my husband built a few of them in our garage a long time ago.
You have a great and interesting show.
In 1985 after moving here from Chicago, I happen to stumble across “The Car Show” From that point until Len Frank’s untimely death I would listen every Saturday. Len’s loss rivals the lost of Gene Siskel in terms of interesting two man talk shows, the likes we’ll never see again. Though I Still listen every Sat., it’s just not the same w/o Len. Kinda like trying to replace Gene Siskel (or Cathy Lee Gifford?) LOL!
Thanks for the memories!
I am the webmaster for cheetahracecars.org/”>www.cheetahracecars.org. I ran across your site yesterday afternoon after yet another extensive internet search for information on Cheetahs. I was very excited to find Look Down The Road. This is one of very few sites that I have found that contain sections dedicated to the Cheetah. I didn’t have time to write to Mr. Frank last night, but I planned to write today. I thought that I had found a new contact for Cheetah info and another Cheetahfan to befriend. I started to read through the site today and was very disappointed when I realized that this site was dedicated in his memory. I have a strong feeling that he and I would have had much to discuss.
I just wanted to say that this is a wonderful way to remember him and that you have done a fantastic job with his memorial site. I would like to add a like to your site. I know that the wonderful people who have helped to build our website would love to read about Mr. Frank. I would not be surprized if many of them already know of him. Thank you for sharing his words with us.
What a great guy he was. Nice job.
Top image: Fountain pen and letter (Creative Commons CC0 public domain)
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