14 days

Hey You!


Scrutineering Bay

Not that it's any of my business

Notes from the Cellar

Across the Border

Focal Point







Mail  to a friend

Penalty Box

Family and friends

Postcards from the edge

Index Index
Back Back


Paul Frere: A Life Full of Cars

Paul Frere was without a doubt the single most important motoring writer of the post war era. Paul was a writer first and foremost, not a journalist. He set the standard for those that would later fill the pages of automotive magazines throughout the world. He was a man whose word, printed and otherwise, you could trust. He had the credentials, the experience and most of all, the access to some of the greatest rides ever constructed. Paul didn’t have to ask, they were offered. Successful stints in Formula 1, he was a Le Mans winner, one of the few men whose opinion mattered to Enzo Ferrari. Paul’s engineering abilities and understanding of complex technical issues set him apart from his contemporaries, however, his personality was so open that one could easily engage in a conversation with this unique individual. When you consider that he was born while the First World War was being waged, it is incredible to think that at the age of 90, he was still hustling at speed around the Nurburgring as of last year. Paul Frere was an influence and most of all a friend who would take the time to help with a problem. Years ago, I was having a stressful time in completing my contribution to a book that was past deadline, and I called Paul to ask what I should do with the info that I gathered from a company whose files were a mass of internal contradiction. In a gentle, but knowingly tone he offered a viewpoint that turned in to a solution. He was a class act and there will never be another like him. Get a copy of Paul’s book “ My Life Full Of Cars”
to truly understand why.

                                                                      Kerry Morse
                                                                     February 2008

Norbert Singer remembers his friend…

This was very sad news. Paul was always so friendly, nice and polite and it was a pleasure to work with him and I remember him since more than 30 years. (Especially when he prepared the books " The race before the race: Porsche racing cars" and of course the homologation of Moby Dick in 1978).

I always enjoyed seeing him at Le Mans and he got the award "Spirit of Le Mans" for his overall win at the 24 h race in 1960 with Olivier Gedebien in a 250 Ferrari TR and he was always very interested in the future developments of regulation and he always made very competent comments. He was also one of the founders of Group C regulations in 1981 of which we developed our 956.

We worked together in 2004/05 writing a Chapter about Motorsport in a German encyclopedia "Handbuch Kraftfahrzeugtechnik". He wrote the part about open wheel cars and I did the closed racing cars.

It is a great loss for all motorsport people.

John Dinkel is a former Editor of Road & Track Magazine…

I first met Paul Frere through the pages of his book Sports Car and Competition Driving.  I read it cover to cover at least three times.  As a racer and an engineer, Paul wrote with a unique blending of theory, practice and the physics that govern a race car.

The Le Mans 24 Hour Race was one Paul really loved and even after he retired from racing, he was a fixture at that circuit.  It was Paul who took me under his wing the first year I attended the race and resolved a problem I had with credentials.  An American with credential problems at Le Mans?  Can you believe it?

I first met Paul in the mid Seventies at the Paris Auto Show.  He had been hired as R&T’s European Editor in 1974.  Paul personified the word gentleman and he exuded class.  He had started writing about cars the same year he started racing them.  His articles brought a perspective from the cockpit that didn’t exist at the time, and he went on to become one of the world’s most revered motoring journalists.  I had the great fortune to both travel and visit with Paul and his wife Suzanne numerous times during my 20 years with R&T.

Car manufacturers wanted Paul to drive their most exotic machinery because he was one of the very few who could both drive it at the limit and then create detailed and technical word pictures of the car’s behavior.  Look back at some of the Fastest Cars in the World articles and new Porsche stories Paul wrote for R&T and you’ll appreciate his skills behind the wheel and the typewriter.

Those of us who were privileged to know Paul recognize that he will be remembered as one of the world’s all-time great race drivers, writers and gentleman.

Kerry Morse, February 2008

Top of Page
sportscarpros Not that it's any of my business

Features and pieces by Kerry Morse