Fred Fox passed away Feb. 5 in Orange County, California, at the age of 86 due to natural causes. Fox was a motorcycle industry leader and pioneer of the modern era of aftermarket product distribution and promotion.
He started his motorcycle distributing business in 1967 and he was the only employee, working at his house in Janesville, Wisconsin. In the years to come, the business grew fast, and he incorporated it 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 into larger warehouses in Wisconsin a couple of times and expanded into other areas around the country as many brands were added. Some became suppliers for Parts Unlimited and 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 designed the facilities for the additional warehouses throughout the U.S. and Canada, built a national sales rep force, secured leading brands to carry and invested heavily to promote the Parts Unlimited “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 with state-of-the-art order filling technology that resulted 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, and Calgary and London, Ontario.
Along the way, Fox has been recognized for his contributions to both the snowmobile and motorcycle sports and industries. In 2010, he was inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame, in 2002, he was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame and in 2011, he was introduced to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Fox 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 and direct any communications to Don Emde at: firstname.lastname@example.org