Kem­bla Grange

Australian Muscle Car - - News -

Wol­lon­gong’s

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.

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