Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

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ZA Perana
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Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by ZA Perana » Sat 11 Aug 2007, 22:15

In around about 2001 when David Piper came to Cape Town with his historics a truly legendary driver also made the trip for the USA....Bob Oltohoff, he was driving a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe.

Anyway Bob was so linked to the Perana legend that this then 17 year old decided he had to meet this legend. So I wondered into the pits and found his pit garage, which was right next to that one where the Z181 Perana he was raced was, the history was in the air. I nervously went over and introduced myself, what a nice guy, he took time out from what he was doing to chat to this young enthusiast, we chatted about the Perana days and he was genuienly surprised at how much this youngster knew about his career and the cars he raced, walking around Z181 I could have been in Basil Greens workshop back in 1970, it was magical 30 minutes, the stories of how the car was to drive, the dices with the Meissner Escort.

It all ended when he signed my Perana T shirt, and it was a truly amazing experience for me, truly awesome that such a legend took 30 minutes to spend time talking to this young enthusiast, I still have his card he gave me.

When I heard in 2004 that Bob passed away I was very sad and I remember taking the Perana out that day for a good drive, now everytime I get into the car and think of Bob and those 30 minutes and his legendary drives in the Perana.

Will take a picture of the T shirt and post it here soon.
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Firenza GT

Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by Firenza GT » Sat 11 Aug 2007, 22:52

Well, you are indeed priviledged and I can confirm that I was so fortunate to stay over on his farm in Eikenhoff when we used to go to the Kyalami Group N races before they emigrated. They were so down to earth. I took both my brothers on a trip and they also stayed over. He gave my one brother his turbocharged Nomad parts and a load of old Wynns stuff etc. Bob's dear wife who has also since passed on gave ne a box of seven singles which I still have. Also his one Mustang race car radio which is a huge thing.

I thank Koos Swannepoel with whom we first went there with. The last time I went to the farm it was deserted, Bod said that he could not take the situation anymore and sold up. The informal settlement was rapidly creeping up on his smalholding by the day. I often stood there in this big warehouse size hanger and just stared at the area where cars like the Galaxi passed, the Maclaren's, the BG cars and many more. There were still four rims from Richie Jutes Escort there which he was supposed to collect when they cleared out. For me a most amazing experience and one of my highlites of motoring interest.

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ZA Perana
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by ZA Perana » Sat 11 Aug 2007, 22:59

Firenza GT wrote: Well, you are indeed priviledged and I can confirm that I was so fortunate to stay over on his farm in Eikenhoff when we used to go to the Kyalami Group N races before they emigrated. They were so down to earth. I took both my brothers on a trip and they also stayed over. He gave my one brother his turbocharged Nomad parts and a load of old Wynns stuff etc. Bob's dear wife who has also since passed on gave ne a box of seven singles which I still have. Also his one Mustang race car radio which is a huge thing.

I thank Koos Swannepoel with whom we first went there with. The last time I went to the farm it was deserted, Bod said that he could not take the situation anymore and sold up. The informal settlement was rapidly creeping up on his smalholding by the day. I often stood there in this big warehouse size hanger and just stared at the area where cars like the Galaxi passed, the Maclaren's, the BG cars and many more. There were still four rims from Richie Jutes Escort there which he was supposed to collect when they cleared out. For me a most amazing experience and one of my highlites of motoring interest.


He really was a great guy, everyone that ever came accross him says so...all I need on that Perana T shirt now is for Oom Koos to sign it...I hear he is also a great guy....with many stories to tell. :D

The amazing thing is when Bob passed on there were many many people in the USA that mourned his passing to, he left a big impression there to via his Superformance operation....
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Firenza GT

Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by Firenza GT » Sat 11 Aug 2007, 23:12

Picture this, Oom Koos had a workshop/spares place in Parow. The night before Bob flew to Charlotte, North Carolina to go for good, he went after Dennis his son, Bob was at the workshop that evening which was a weeknight before Kyalami race I think. So Oom Koos was preparing his sons car for us all to leave the next day. Anyway we had a good chat with some friends as Koos worked and Bob stood by. It was such a legendry scene of two absolute greats just shuffling around there. then eveyone left. I especially went there with my Capri that evening. I was last to leave with them and after we chatted by my Capri which he was pleased to see one still stock etc. I left as they left. They stopped at the end of the road to fill up at a garage. having to make a u-turn and go off in another direction Im planted the C and we waved goodbye. I looked in the mirror and there stood two humble hero's alongside a plain old 3 cylinder Dahatsu Charade Koos driving and Bob passenger.

That is how humble both were and they raced the best against the best ......

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TdL351GT
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by TdL351GT » Sun 12 Aug 2007, 13:59

I looked in the mirror and there stood two humble hero's alongside a plain old 3 cylinder Dahatsu Charade Koos driving and Bob passenger.

That is how humble both were and they raced the best against the best ......


How well do I still remember Windsor Garage in Parow. A good friend of mine had a Meissner Capri in the middle ‘70s and I had this huge ’66 Fairlane GT 390 (LHD) with floor shift. We used to go to Koos Swanepoel as no one else could tune a 4 bl Holley like he did. Boy we sure had some good times.

I remember seeing the first “home made” fuel injected V8 (Ettiene Kitching’s hot rod if I’m correct) that Koos did himself in his garage. What an ugly mess of pipes I thought at the time. I mean..what looks better on top of a V8 than a big Holley??

Ja…they were the big boys of that era!!

And I remember that Daihatso as well. Could never figure out how a big man like Oom Koos could fit into that thing.

When I was in Cape Town in Feb for the historic races I decided to look up Oom Koos. On a very busy Friday afternoon he still made time for me. We went upstairs and talked for almost a hour. Great Great Guy!!

You were very fortunate to have known and met the late (legendary) Bobby Olthoff

regards

Theuns
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ZA Perana
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by ZA Perana » Sun 12 Aug 2007, 14:07

Amazing stories, this is the stuff that for me is so priceless, the Fairlane looks awesome...wonder where that is today....talking about Meissner Capri's a friend of mine bought a red 1600 GT with Meissner cam, unfortunately despite saying he loves classic cars he really he abused it and not really looked after it that well....18yo guy so you get the idea.....

As far as I know Windsor Garage is still around.....was actually there the other day and I said to my dad, just imagine the things that went on here back in the day...
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TdL351GT
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by TdL351GT » Wed 15 Aug 2007, 19:57

Just something I found about the legendary Mr Bobby Olthoff
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vanz2
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by vanz2 » Wed 15 Aug 2007, 21:03

Nice pics. I would love to read the artical.
??????

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Stealth GT
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by Stealth GT » Thu 16 Aug 2007, 20:31

Hi to all

Theuns that 66 Fairlane GT you had did you perhaps sell it to Johan Tulleken was chating to my uncle Harry and he remebers a car that Johan had same coulor My uncle worked for Koos Swanepoel when he had the Esso garage in parow Koos Swanepoel Motors today it is a car sales he eventually left to start his own place Harry's Auto
Cheers Warren

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TdL351GT
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Re: Meeting the late Bob Olthoff

Post by TdL351GT » Thu 16 Aug 2007, 21:15

Nice pics. I would love to read the artical


Hi to all,
When reducing the size pics for the forum it loses a lot of quality and it now seems unreadable. I’d gladly pm the full size pics to anyone interested.

Warren,

I traded the Fairlane in on a XLE Big Six in 1976. Could be that he bought the car from the dealer…or that I had the car after he had it. It could only have been the same car. It was the only 2 door Fairlane in the Western Cape at the time, and as far as I know, the only yellow one in the country.
I was told by the powers to be that were 5 of them in SA at the time. That yellow one being the only GT, one a GTA and the other 3 XL’s. I only know of one of the XL’s that are still with us…a convertible that belonged to the late Brett Kebble. Hope it is still in SA.
That esso garage you mentioned, was that not the Windsor Motors I was referring to elsewhere in this forum, or am I wrong about the name of the garage? It was the first garage on the left in Voortrekker as you go into Parow from Bellville. Please help.

Regards

Theuns
There is no replacement for cubic inches....

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