Home Editorial About Those were the Days Driver profiles List of drivers Oldies - around the world Visuals Interesting insights Gone - not forgotten Links CHD Today Contact us

The History

1968 - 1995

Share via e-mail Print

Looking Back - Introduction & History

For almost 30 years and through hundreds of races, enthusiasts have watched in awe as some of the most awesome and spectacular Stock Cars have roared around the Goodwood Oval . With some superlative and daring driving, drivers made names for themselves with ongoing support  from the club and supporters.


This form of motor sport has always provided “high octane” excitement and thrills. Whether you take a passing interest in the world of Stock Car Racing or you are a confirmed addict,   this website will attempt to cover every conceivable angle, all the most important talents have been highlighted and have a place.


From the superb organisation by Jack Holloway, the first chairman, to the flamboyant   Deon de Waal   who gave us many thrills and excitement with his aggressive driving style and spectacular stunts. Then there were some memorable cars, among them must be the yellow 58 Ford GT Cobra “fast back” of Doep du Plessis, the immaculate purple 57 Ford of Big John Geldenhuys, the colourful and eye catching cars of Bill Lenz, Wouter Smit as well as some spectacular and unusual looking cars of Deon de Waal who always seemed to be out to surprise the fans with something completely different. Later years also saw some sleek mean machines such as the black Camaro and Chev Lumina of the late Coenie Lombard (tragically killed in a freak accident at the oval) also the immaculately prepared Fairmont GT of Harold Lotter and the many cars and colour schemes of Johnny Clifton.


Among the pages and articles of this site, you will find driver profiles - as we all  have personal  favourites and different criteria for selecting and judging who the favourites are,  if nothing else, what you read here may evoke some debate or argument for or against.  


This is where it all happened - at the Goodwood show Grounds (left). Today there are no indications that such a famous and popular venue ever existed. As is common knowledge, this piece of real estate is now the Grand West Casino and Hotel, a rather stark contrast from the family entertainment activities that the Goodwood show brought to Cape Town never forgetting that this was also the home of the Cape hell Drivers for almost 30 years and stock cars long before that. A Hell Driving event held on a Saturday evening during the Cape Show was the culmination of a days entertainment and activity that everyone looked forward to. Times change and I suppose we all have to move on, I guess.


Click to Enlarge

Photos courtesy of Barry White Photography- with thanks

The images above will surely bring back memories of the old Goodwood Show grounds (taken in 1982) - The famous Total Tower (rightt) meeting place and collection area for lost children. The Fun Fair and exibitions always an attraction for young and old and often a days pastime before the evening events in the arena.


The Cape Hell Drivers was established in 1968 from ties with the Worcester Motor Club under the chairmanship of Jack Holloway and Founder Members  Joe Marchinkowski, John Geldenhuys, Deon and Ena de Waal, Ray Butters, Bill lenz, Abie Drotschie, karel Groenewald, Johan Tulleken, Doep du Plessis,Eric Bryan and Popeye King – the venue being the Goodwood Show Grounds Arena which, at the time was very rudimentary – only one main grandstand and a single guard fence surrounded the perimeter – by today's standards,   this would later be regarded as unacceptable (spectators would stand - along the fence mere meters from the roaring passing V8's)   - There was no governing body at

the  time,only club- rules although all drivers were required to have a Cape Hell Drivers Membership,  licence and Third party Insurance.   At that stage, the events enthusiastically referred to as  Stock Car Racing” by the populous, consisted only of V8’s and later 6 cyl, 4 cyl  and the Hot Rods.

Jack Holloway

The Cape Hell Drivers was established in 1968 from ties with the Worcester Motor Club under the chairmanship of Jack Holloway and Founder Members  Joe Marchinkowski, John Geldenhuys, Deon and Ena de Waal, Ray Butters, Bill lenz, Abie Drotschie, karel Groenewald, Johan Tulleken, Doep du Plessis,Eric Bryan and Popeye King – the venue being the Goodwood Show Grounds Arena which, at the time was very rudimentary – only one main grandstand and a single guard fence surrounded the perimeter – by today's standards,   this would later be regarded as unacceptable (spectators would stand - along the fence mere meters from the roaring passing V8's)   - There was no governing body at the  time,only club- rules although all drivers were required to have a Cape Hell Drivers Membership,  licence and Third party Insurance.   At that stage, the events enthusiastically referred to as  Stock Car Racing” by the populous, consisted only of V8’s and later 6 cyl, 4 cyl  and the Hot Rods.


The only real track rule was based on the “Tap and Spin” - referred to as “a bit of gentle persuasion” by Jack Holloway. How it worked – a car would be tapped and if the driver didn’t give way, he'd be spun out often travelling at high speed into the centre field sending the marshals scrambling out of the way – these events used to have the crowds going wild and the atmosphere was electrifying. A quote by Abie Drotschie “There were 300 cars and 10 rules- Now there 10 cars and 300 rules”.


Stock cars used to be second only to a big rugby matches as far as a spectator sport is concerned,so they say. Over the years, other track events were introduced like the “Stunt Team” which included Jack Holloway and his red and white Ranger, Deon de Waal with his green and yellow Ranger, Johan Tulleken   with a red, white and blue Ranger and later Andre Frylinck. These   Rangers were repainted in orange and became the “Gunston Stunt Team” - this was an amazing spectacle   to watch and performances were always held in association with charities – how could we ever forget the daring “Roman Chariot riders” (Belinda de Waal, Big John Geldenhys and Doep du Plessis) – standing on a platform fixed to to the car roof with only a rope to support them,a real case of “hanging on for dear life” as the cars went into spins, ramp to ramp jumps and on two wheels. These events were the envy of the Canadian Hell Drivers who visited our shores in the 70's.


In late 1994,the Cape Hell Drivers were notified of the sale of the Goodwood Show Grounds to Sun West International and despite many negotiations with them, an agreement for the continued use of the “Oval” could not be concluded. Reluctantly, the CHD were now forced to find an alternative venue. The first consideration was to build a track in the Blackheath area, but this was soon dispelled due to partitions to the contrary by the inhabitants. The next decision was to consider the Killarney Race Track. In early 1995, the then chairman, Andrew Fontini, Abie Drotschie and Nic van Rensburg met with Dennis Joubert of the Western Province Motor Club and an agreement was reached which paved the way for the relocation of the Cape Hell Drivers to Killarney. As they say, “the rest is history”.


By Derek van Oudtshoorn

Muller Immelman

“Those were the days” and we were there Visit our Showroom Website

Extensive Showroom at 180 Voortrekker Road Goodwood - Tel: 021 590 6100  or  021 590 6150

Circle your needs

Another landmark of the Goodwood Oval was the Clock Tower located near the exit of the pits