“Anything that makes noise and stinks will probably catch my interest.”
- Frank Bakanau
From a lathe given to him by his father on his 12th birthday to his work in New Jersey as a teenager, the Car Guy “affliction” (as Frank describes it) started rather young. While working at S&R Imports at the age of 13, Frank encountered a very special vehicle – an Elva Courier, driven to the D Production SCCA championship by Mark Donohue. Donohue went on to great things (1972 Indy 500 winner) as Roger Penske’s top driver.
Frank became interested in N/C (Numerical Control) as the CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) industry was just taking off. He was fortunate to work for some of the best tech companies in the field such as MDSI, Applicon, Cimlinc, Point Control and lastly CG Tech. The entire career ride allowed Frank to work on a wide variety of projects, ranging from the Saturn V rocket to the carbon fiber layup of Boeing’s 787.
Frank retired two years ago and is now completing an RCR Lola T70 MkIII B. Look for it at Cars and Coffee soon!
Frank has been a World of Speed volunteer since the museum opened. Be sure to catch his presentation.