Paul Frére Dies at 91
The motorsport world has lost two legends – a legendary driver and a legendary automotive journalist. Paul Frére, who was both, died today at the age of 91.
A Belgian born in France in 1917, Frére was trained as an engineer. But, as a race driver, he won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1960, driving a Ferrari with Olivier Gendebien. He also competed in the Formula One circuit in the 1950’s, culminating in drives for Ferrari in 1955 and 1956, after having earlier driven for Gordini and HWM. He also drove at LeMans for Porsche, for whom he scored both a class win and a fourth overall.
After retiring from active racing, Frére began a career as author and automotive journalist. He became the European Editor for Road and Track magazine, and wrote a number of books, many of them - including the “Porsche 911 Story” – concentrating on Porsche.
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Frére also wrote what became the definitive text on driving technique, Sports Car and Competition Driving, a book that was originally published in the 1960’s and remains in print to this day. He was seriously injured two years ago while test driving a Honda, but recovered.
Porsche issued a statement that elegantly encapsulates Frére’s life: “Paul Frére lived life at racing speed. Whether as an engineer, a race driver or a journalist, he was a man who commanded the widespread admiration of the international motoring scene. With his passing, Porsche loses a connoisseur of many years, who actively accompanied the enterprise and its products form their beginnings right up to this day.”