St. Michael’s Church, at Silverstone, was full and overflowing with family, friends, and members of the motor racing fraternity wishing to pay tribute to Fred Goddard, who was tragically killed in a road accident, while in the United States for a historic race meeting.
Goddard was born and raised in Zimbabwe where he became part of the South African motor racing scene, preparing and driving his own cars. His contemporaries included Dave Charlton, Sam Tingle, and John Love. Fred built his own Formula One car, the FMG-Ford 1, in which he competed in the nonchampionship races in South Africa, his best result being a 6th place at the Natal Winter Trophy, in June 1969.
In 1989, he made the move to the UK where he established Fred Goddard Racing, preparing cars of various formulae to give rising youngsters a chance to get on the ladder of success. His son, Earl, won the Euroboss series title in 1999 and was runner-up in 2000 and 2001. Pekka Herva, Gary Paffett, and Robbie Kerr won British F3 class-B titles with FGR, while Goddard also played a part in the career of current Champ Car driver Robert Dornbos.
His company looked after the past, too, by restoring, maintaining, and selling historic racing cars. Goddard was awarded the BRDC Nigel Moores Trophy for services to motorsport in 2002. His business is not a multimillion-dollar enterprise, but many people in the pits and paddocks of the world were in many ways touched by him and his jovial personality. He was a man who kept the fun in motor racing and will be sorely missed. The final piece of music played at the church service, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, summed up his spirit.
By Mike Jiggle