With much sadness, Long Motor Corporation announces the passing of its founder and owner, Leo William Long, on August 19, 2008. Mr. Long has left a large footprint in the automotive industry.
Mr. Long was orphaned at a very young age and was sent to Kansas City to live with his maternal aunt and uncle. Learning early in life that he would need to work hard for what he wanted, he had an excellent work ethic. Mr. Long joined the Boy Scouts and earned his God and Country and Eagle Scout award. After graduating high school, serving six years in the United States Marine Corps, and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, Mr. Long began his career as an engineer, eventually becoming a chief engineer.
Always involved with cars as a hobby, he began selling car parts in 1975. In 1979 the business went under and he lost everything. He started over in 1981, founding Long Motor Corporation, dba Victoria British Ltd., LMC Truck, and Black Dragon Automotive. Mr. Long repaid all of his debts from his first business endeavor and went on to build the successful machine. Mr. Long understood the importance of making the customer happy, creating catalogs to make it easy for the car and truck enthusiast to see what they need, having quality parts in stock, and getting the orders shipped out quickly and accurately.
In 1993, the first Chevrolet Truck catalog was introduced under the LMC Truck name. Soon after, parts and accessories were offered for expanded years for full size Chevy Trucks 1947-1987. The next market developed was Ford Truck, covering full size Ford 1948-72 and Bronco 1966-77. With the addition of more, larger truck parts, LMC Truck moved into our current warehouse at 15450 W 108th St. Ford truck catalogs were then expanded to cover 1973-79 and Bronco 78-79.?
Long Motor Corporation now creates over 30 illustrated, full line parts and accessories catalogs for Chevy/GMC, Ford, and Dodge trucks and SUVs under the LMC Truck brand; British sports car catalogs with parts for MG, Triumph, Austin Healey, and Sunbeam under the Victoria British Ltd. Brand; and the Datsun/Nissan Z and Mazda RX7 catalogs under the Black Dragon Automotive name. These catalogs are designed to make it easy for the do-it-yourselfer to make repairs or restore their vehicle.
In his words, "I have turned my dreams into an entrepreneurial success. I am only as strong as my people and as successful as my customers continued satisfaction. I am extremely proud of what has been created and accept that growth is elemental to the future of LMC." There are many people who have worked with Mr. Long and been employed by Long Motor Corporation for over 20 years including his wife (Janet Long) and the President, Rebecca Hanrahan. Together they have built a strong foundation from which the company will continue to grow.
He is survived by his wife Janet. In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Annual National Silver Gloves Tournament, c/o John Brown, 14865 W 105th St, Lenexa, KS 66215. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 27th at Aristocrat Motors, Merriam, KS from 6pm-8pm.