Kembla Grange speedway was another of the many second tier circuits around Australia where beginners could get a start in the sport. It was built in 1962 and initially used for solos, sidecars, three-quarter midgets and stock cars, as well as the smaller production sedans.
It was purpose built for racing, designed by sidecar competitor Cobden Jones, who was based in England with the RAAF, and was said to have studied the design of Wembley Stadium. Hence why Kembla Grange was nicknamed ‘the Wembley of the south’. When sedans became a main attraction, one of the more interesting local entries was the wild tiger-striped ‘Herbie’ Beetle prepared by Wollongong engineer Larry Mulder. This car was eventually fitted with a supercharger. In this format it ran a few times at the Sydney Showground and when the package clicked it scared the hell out of some of the top muscle cars… and possibly Mulder too! In 1967 the Wollongong Hot Rod Club was formed and by 1979 the venue’s name had been changed to Wollongong City Speedway. It would close on June 3, 1983. Wollongong’s speedway was situated next to the Kembla Grange racecourse on the old Princes Highway and has now been taken over by horsepower of a different kind. The site is now occupied by training facilities for thoroughbreds and houses.