BMW April 2022

Randfontein motor racing ace Ben Morgenrood is much more than just a successful motor dealer and collision repair owner. He stands head and shoulders on long time enthusiasm and passion than anyone else in the realm of motor racing. Ben’s is in his mid-seventies but that has not stopped his unbridled enthusiasm for being superfast on any racetrack across the country.

Ben got bitten by the racing bug way back in a Hill Climb Series in 1967 when with his first ever car – a Mini Cooper – he won the class on the day. The obsession to race was born with drag racing and street races. “Moer-em-goed” – his nick name – went on over the years to become a 14-time national race car champion, an incredible feat of endurance and talent – to say the least.

Ben is thankful for great family support and the foundation of his survival, that being Randfontein Panelbeaters, which he founded in 1975. It’s always been a profitable concern and is backed-up with a Ford, Mazda, Mahindra, GWM and Haval new car agencies.

After winning with a Chev Firenza, he went on to become the top driver contender with the Rotary Mazda Capella racing alongside Paddy Driver. They enjoyed great track success with a string of standard Wesbank racing saloons which buoyed up his racing success.

Ben is modest and thankful for a great support team of mechanics over the years and is a car builder and designer. The input from other successful track stars like Tony Viana, Hennie van der Linde, Roger Taylor and Geoff Mortimer – are among many more of his comrades that have greatly contributed to his incredible track racing career of over 50 years behind his visor.

In yet another stellar series of results, Ben put his huge 600 horsepower to good use in the Wesbank V8 series where the “big thunder” became a race calendar highlight.

Ben now successfully pilots a special hand-built Lexus V8 armed with the latest Chev Corvette LVL7 Corvette motor that pumps out way over 600 horsepower. This ability to get that power means that both Ferrari and Lamborghini models are very nervous when he lines up against him on the racetrack as he remains ultra-competitive.

Ben can still be seen out front of the field on most days in the cut-and-thrust of these track dashes that occupy a big point of focus for the spectators.

Ben’s son, Benjamin has also shown great talent in recent years but as Ben is quick to point out many of the upcoming generation are seemingly occupied with other interests. It’s a rare occasion in modern times to dig up a complete racing petrol-head like we were, especially with their passion and heritage in this arena.

In his head office there are walls filled with winning memories and cups to prove to anyone that Ben Morgenrood has always aspired to be the fastest man on the day, whether in a Mazda Rotary, Mazda 323 saloon or a Wesbank V8 or Ford saloon.

Ben has always enjoyed the buzz of fast track/road racing and at 50 years and more of his successful track record no one can doubt his continued passion and team spirit that his racing has delivered for five decades. He is without doubt the grand motor sport racing marshal of and on the track.

Story and pics by Ian Groat