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The History

1968 - 1995

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What made the Goodwood Oval so special and so unique; first of all it was the only venue whereby spectators could be seated on an enclosed grandstand and view the whole track making it virtually impossible to miss any of the action, unlike other larger circuits whereby one could only catch a gimps of your favourite driver roaring passed at high speed only to disappear around the next corner.

Second of all was the non-stop action of stock car racing which kept the spectators on their toes and creating an electrifying atmosphere like no other. So what was it like to be a spectator during the sixties and seventies? Fans would gather outside the ticket office in the late afternoon with picnic baskets and blankets despite the fact that the racing event only commenced at 8pm – they are early because they want to be sure of purchasing a program and most importantly secure their favourite spot on the grand stand. Refreshments were readily available with a kiosk just below the grandstand and just left of the kiosk was a bar where the adults could relax with a cold beer. Hot dogs and hamburgers were plentiful and who could resist the aroma coming from Adrian Pheiffer's boerewors stand. Once seated on the main stand and looking across to the clock tower one was able to notice the colourful site of stock cars lined up behind the gate with lots of activity and mechanics making final engine adjustments.

There would suddenly be a thundering sound of a V8 starting up and giving off a puff of smoke and flashes of flames which could be seen from the grandstand. Looking down at the arena would be the familiar site of the red and white Chevy of Jack Holloway parked horizontally for all to see. Other vehicles included the breakdown services of Goodwood Body & Spray, Revue Motors, Willmac Motors as well the St John's Ambulance and not forgetting the Roar For Roads  water truck that kept the dust to a minimum.

Another popular event that was later added to the program was the “Banger Race” (demolition derby) whereby drivers would go all out to demolish each other and with the awards going the the last car still mobile.

Drivers that were not in a rush to get home after the evenings events could always attend the after race party with the venue just beneath the grand stand. Here drivers with families and friends could relax with a cold beer or even have a couple of dances to the beat of a live band.                                                                                           

International stars were often invited to show off their metal around the Goodwood Oval - among them was the French Stunt Team of José Canga, demonstrating how to drive a Simca around the oval on two wheels. The team of Simcas sponsored by Lucky Strike was a first in Cape Town and entertained the crowd with some incredible stunt driving.

A visit by the Canadian Stunt Team in the late 60’s also saw some incredible two wheel stunts, but this time using Chevy II's as well as Rangers . Some years later saw the Canadian Stunt Team of Bumps Willet and his Datsun 140Y Team bringing us some breathtaking acts and precision driving in the late 70's. He will be well remembered for performing the death defying stunt for the James Bond Movie “Man With The Golden Gun” by making his Javelin turn upside down in mid air and miraculously ending back on it's wheels.

Top international speedway drivers from the UK and Chek Republic also demonstrated some side ways action and featuring British ace Johnny Gander. Local Riders that took part was Deon de Waal and Cyril Jones, while the Australians brought us some side car action, a first at the Goodwood Oval.

**The commentator at the time, Rufus Papenfus would entertain the crowd with some humorous jokes while mimicking shaving with his microphone making a horrible sound over the public address system. Jack Holloway would also have a turn at the microphone with his all to familiar Mother-in law jokes, and urging everyone to shift up to make room for the ever increasing number of spectators still queuing for tickets. Spectators were later entertained with anything from drum majorettes, military bands, pop bands, speedway motor cycles, precision driving and possibly the best of all, The Gunston Stunt Team. Fans would become agitated as  it got closer to 8pm and would begin clapping rhythmically only to have Jack Holloway do the same with humorous gesture.

 Jack Holloway would then take up position in his Chev in front of Big John to lead his team slowly around the track. It was a deafening sound as the drivers revved their engines and waved to the fans. After all the cars had made their way back to the pit area it was now time for some serious racing – soon the cars were lined up in front of the grandstand and under the starters orders of Cecil Barata ( the man in the white suit) – with the cars revving and making enough smoke the flag finally drops and the first race of the evening is under way – with the rear wheels spinning and working hard to find traction as they head for the Epping Corner jockeying for position. It's action all the way as some cars are spun around onto the infield. While others loose control hitting the barrier at high speed – suddenly the crowd erupts as everyone stands up to witness a car rolling on the Goodwood Corner and coming to rest on it's roof, as if this was not enough,  spectators could always be entertained with some spectacular and daring stunts just after interval usually performed by Deon de Waal or Jack Holloway himself. Another popular attraction was the spectator race where any one could take their private vehicles onto the track and test their skills – this usually resulted with some fine looking cars getting messed up and the owners going home with a saw ego. Another crowd favourite was the Ford vs Chev race which caused a lot of bitterness among the Ford and Chev fans after the race. After the final race of the evening fans would storm to the pit area to check out the cars and hoping to have a chat with their heroes. Popular drivers like Deon de Waal and Louis Borel Saladin would often spend hours with their fans after the race just to have a chat and sign autographs. A different form of excitement was introduced in the form of V8 Hot Rods, these nimble and very quick cars were not only light, but extremely powerful entertaining the crowd with some fast and furious racing and many roll overs. The introduction of the 4 cylinder class was also a great success and proved to be very popular as the cars were more plentiful and cheaper to run.

AS the sound of nearly 60 V8's came to life in the distance and track marshals took their possession around the track, Jack would ready himself for the signal for the gate to open – a roar from the crowd would trumpet the entrance of Big John Geldenhuys in his immaculate  purple 1957 Ford  steering it onto the track followed by many others to commence the parade lap creating excitement and a bit of dust in the setting sun.    

Spectators would be treated with a feast of entertainmant in the 70’s.Here the Gunston Stunt Team perform some breath taking stunts in the late afternoon before serious racing got under way

ABOVE - The Three amazing drivers of thr spectacular Ranger Stunt Team are from left- Deon de Waal. Jack Holloway and Johan Tulleken RIGHT - Another stunt performed by the Ranger Team sees Belinda de Waal catching a ride with Brother Deon.

As the sun sets, a procession of thundering V8’s exit the pits to commence the parade lap in 1971

Love him or hate him - Deon de Waal was always a master at doing something different. Here he attempts to ramp jump through a bus using a 65 Ford Fairlane in the early 70’s (Photo: The Cape Argus)

Deon de Waal seems to give us the impression that he got board with camping as he does a ramp to ramp jump with a caravan on tow.  (Photo: The Cape Argus)

Jack Holloway using a old Vauxhall Velox  kept anxious spectators coming back for more performing this ramp to ramp jump by adding more cars between the ramps at each race meeting and thus increasing the distance between the ramps with each attempt.

Jack Holloway  receives the Cecil Baumgarten Trophy after winning a Ford vs Chev race held on 6 January 1973. The rest of the Chev Team are from left  Wynand Viljoen, Wouter Smit, Ian Little, Hannes Gerber annd Big John Geldenhuys.

Thrilling speedway racing as seen above featured many international stars such as Johnny Gander from the UK

Some Chevy II action performed by the Cape Helldrivers

A first in Cape Town - The Australian side car team entertain the crowd.

Two wheel action a Goodwood performed by Frenchman Jose Canga and his team of  old Simcas in the 60’s - See British Pathe Video Clip

Yes, this was arguably the golden years of stock car racing with satisfied spectators anxious to be back for the next race meeting. What made thing s more interesting in those days was that some drivers were determined to take each other out on the track after a previous argument which made it almost like looking forward the the next episode of a soapy. An era that can never be forgotten.

LEFT - Canadian stuntman “Bumps” Willet seen performing this incredible stunt for the James Bond movie “Man With The Golden Gun” - Willet also performed at Goodwood in the late 70’s - see write-up above.

LEFT - The introduction of the  “Banger” class proved to be extremely popular amongst the fans. Here Ray Butters (left) joins in with the fun by doing a bit of bump and grind.  ABOVE - Belting it out with the band, Jack  Holloway giving his rendition of “When the saints go marching in” at a Club organised end of year social  towards the end of the 71/72 season.

The Way It Was