George Pfaff

George Pfaff

26/5/1936

Started racing in Rhodesia in 1957 with an Austin Healey 100 M. Finished 2nd in his first race and managed to finish every race that he entered with the Austin Healey.

In 1958 he won the Mashonland 100 at Bellvedre Salisbury.  His greatest achievement during 1958 was most probably the second place at the 1st Nine Hour Endurance race that was staged at the Grand Central Circuit on 15 November. George Pfaff and compatriot John Love were late entries in Pfaff’s Austin-Healey 100. They raced hard to cover a total distance of 544 miles, 16 miles less than the winning Porsche Speedster Carrera of Ian Fraser-Jones and Tony Fergusson. The race was not without mishap, as one would discover from an interesting bit of trivia in Autosport’s race report: “ John Love of Rhodesia lost his number plate part way down the straight, halted, dashed across the track in font of an oncoming bunch to retrieve it, and proceeded to the pits to replace it.” In the 6hr race at Pietermaritzburg he failed to finish due to big end bearing failure. Won the Rhodesian Sports Car Championship.

He bought a Lotus 1100 MkII in 1959. This car finished every race it started in, almost always winning its class. He finished 6th in the Grand Prix of Leopoldville, Belgian Congo. To get there he had to drive for 12 days, 18hrs per day, in a truck with Lotus loaded on the back all the way from Que Que Rhodesia to Leopoldville. Roads almost did not exist in the Congo and most of the time was spent in 2nd gear, in sand, hence an average speed of just 12mph! He can 6th in the Angolan Grand Prix in Luanda and 3rd in Taco De Luanda. Ended the year as runner up in Rhodesian Sports Car Championship.

On the last day of the year George crashed his Lotus in practice for the 1960 South African Grand Prix. After his crash in December 1959, he took Dick Gibsons crashed Cooper back to England and rebuilt it in Barnstable, Devon. He went to work as a race mechanic for Laystall Engineering and together with George Brown built the Laystall F2 for Henry Taylor. He then went to Lola to build a 1500cc Lola Sports Car. The car was being built for the Angolan Grand Prix. George returned to Rhodesia before the car was completed.

Lack of owning a car meant little racing was undertaken in 1961. However did drive an ERA, aD Type Jaguar and a Connaught A4 and he bought Graham Whithead's Aston Martin DBR1 as a non runner.

Rebuilt the Aston in time for the 1962 season and won the Rhodesian Sports Car Championship.

He sold the DBR1 in 1963 and ended up driving a Renault Gordini for the local Renault importer.

In 1964 he drove a Ford for the local Ford dealership.

He stopped racing in 1965. By this time George had collected of 83 Trophies from races in Rhodesia, Mozambique, South Africa, Belgian Congo and Angola.

He joined Lola in 1970 as a mechanic for their Can-Am series and helped built the Lola T220 which later became the T222 driven by Peter Revson.

Built another T222 in 1971 and became Crew Chief for Heroshi Kazato's semi works Can-Am team.

Gearge Pfaff is now retired and enjoys rebuilding old cars.

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