REEL GOOD MEMORIES

My sister from PE forwarded your contact and article re old racing cine film. My brother-in-law is a classic car enthusiast and has refurbed many cars, including a couple of Lotus Cortinas. I am not sure whether you are interested in my recollections, but I'll pass them on anyway.

I have a reel of 8mm cine which many years ago I 'converted' by filming the projection on the lounge wall with the early video cameras, and subsequently have managed to create an MP4 file. The MP4 format is quite poor but gives a flavour of the time.

Through the ʼ50s and ʼ60s, my dad, Ted Mould, used to run Grand Prix Motors, which was on Jan Smuts Ave, East London. The garage, as its name implies, was situated on part of the original Prince George Racetrack, on the hill above the newer 2.4-mile track at Shelley Beach.

The garage used to host cars/drivers during race meets. My dad grew up in Zimbabwe, so we usually had the 'Rhodesian' drivers, like John Love and Sam Tingle. These guys would be tinkering with their cars late into the night, but I remember Ian Fraser-Jones would arrive with his Porsche Spyder in a closed trailer, where it remained besides for the safety tests, then he'd cruise around to victory in his class. I believe Koos Swanepoel came to us one year, and my fondest memories were of him and Basil van Rooyen in their Lotus Cortinas, snapping at the heels of Bob Olthoff in his Ford Galaxie. We would be watching from Beacon Bend Hill, as my dad was a Moth (Memorable Order of Tin Hats), who had a food stall near the corner. My sister also used to be involved in the control tower, assisting in recording the laps completed by cars or bikes by writing the numbers on a roll of paper (like till slips) as they were called out by someone else. She also used to collect driver signatures, and had the likes of Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss in her collection.

S.A. Grand Prix 1960 East  London (1).jpg Winter Handicap 1959 East  London (1).jpg Winter Handicap 1960 East  London (1).jpg S.A. Grand Prix 1961 East  London (1).jpg

Around this time, my dad's mechanic was Les Friday. In the cine you will see a car that was made using sheet metal. This was the completely original one-off GPM Special that Les built in the garage. I seem to remember design drawings in chalk on the garage floor and Les designing, adapting and manufacturing parts to finally get to race it. I don't think it was very competitive – or reliable – but I like to think his idea of sitting in front of the motor was cutting-edge at that time. I'll attach a newspaper clip photo of him in action.

Les Friday in his Grand Prix Motors  Special 1958 (1).jpg

Years later, in 1970, while doing military service in Grahamstown, I 'enjoyed' a lift home to East London with Jody Scheckter, who was also doing his military service, in his V8 Ranchero pick-up – an experience I'll never forget!

Kind Regards,

Pete Mould


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