The American Legends of the 9 Hour of The Go-Go Generation

The 19th Passion for SpeedThe Big Red Galaxie No.177

It is impossible to believe that anyone would conceive of the idea of racing a big V8 American saloon which were heavy, had barely any brakes and were averse to go around corners at speed.

Yet They Did It!!!

And in a mighty way, which gave birth to the might of NASCAR at Daytona in 1959.

The Big Red Galaxie No.177
The Big Red Galaxie No.177

For South Africans the awakening to these monster cars came in 1963 when Jack Sears and Paul Hawkins arrived at Kyalami and do battle against the locals in the 9 Hours. The big red Galaxie then won the South African saloon car championship in 1965 against the Lotus Cortina’s of Basil van Rooyen and Koos Swanepoel. The trick Bobby used was to go flat out at the beginning of the race and build up a good lead but halfway through the race the big brake shoes got red hot and started melting the drums. The opposition knew this and wore the big red car down. The last lap is always the most exciting as Kyalami was still a narrow track. Bobby would make the Galaxie extra wide and just make it to the checkered flag.

Big Red has raced at Zwartkops Raceway by Sarel van der Merwe, Mark du Toit and now Lee Thompson.

“Ou Rooie” will be in action at Zwartkops Raceway seeking to claim its old “Glory Days” with Lee Thompson in the Race of Champions

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