Fred Fox, motorcycle industry leader and pioneer of the modern era of aftermarket product distribution and promotion passed away in Orange County, California on Sunday, February 5th due to natural causes. He was 86 years old.
Fox started his motorcycle distributing business in 1967. He was the only employee when he started the company at his house in Janesville, Wisconsin. In the years to come, the business grew fast, and he incorporated as LeMans Corporation, which continues to this day as the largest privately-owned motorcycle distributing company in the world.
In the early years, LeMans moved a couple of times into larger warehouses in Wisconsin, expanded into other areas around the country and many brands were added. Some became suppliers for Parts Unlimited and also Drag Specialties, which he acquired in 1988. Other brands and companies were bought outright, including THOR MX and Moose Racing.
Fred was always a hands-on manager who oversaw every detail to make his organization grow into the industry leader that it is today. He made the decisions to buy the land, designed the facilities for the additional warehouses throughout the United States and Canada, built a National sales rep force, secured leading brands to carry, and invested heavily in promotion of Parts Unlimited’s “We Support the Sport” campaign, which has been active since the 1990s. He also served on the Board of Directors of Motorcycle Industry Council from 1994 to 2007.
A multi-year personal project culminated in 2009 when LeMans opened the Parts Europe warehouse in Trier, Germany. An all-new warehouse was built there with state-of-the-art order filling technology that results in dealer order fulfillment speed never seen before in the motorcycle industry. In addition to the Parts Europe warehouse, LeMans Corporation currently has warehouses in Sparks, Nevada; Ballston Spa, New York; Flat Rock, North Carolina; Grapevine, Texas; and Janesville, Wisconsin, plus Calgary, Alberta and London, Ontario in Canada.
Along the way, Fred has been recognized for his contributions to both the snowmobile and motorcycle sports and industries. In 2010, Fred was inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, as well as the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fred retired from full time activities at LeMans Corporation in the fall of 2021. He is survived by his wife Paula, sons Steven, Brian and Craig, daughters Teri and Lori, several grandchildren, nieces and nephews and his former wife Gloria. He was preceded in death by his two brothers Bob and Stanley, sister Jeana and son Jeffery.
At this time, funeral services are pending. Please respect Fred’s wife and family’s privacy at this time.
From a press release