submitted 01/12/14
Mike Stenhouse

06/10/06  Baby Olthoff  -  Mt. Ulla, North Carolina  -  Olthoff Racing

Born in 1941, Johanna "Baby" Olthoff was 65 when she passed away from complications of throat cancer, 2 years after her husband Bob.

She was born
Johanna Basson. Her mother gave her the name "Baby". Baby did not like the name Johanna and preferred Baby. So much so, that few people even knew her birth name until now.

Baby was a famous model in Europe, which today would be referred to as a supermodel. Bob was a famous race driver, so as celebrities they hung out with other celebrities, including the famous European race drivers of the day like Graham Hill, Jimmy Stewart, and the like.

Baby and Bobby left South Africa with their son Dennis in 1995 to form Olthoff Racing, the Southeast distributor for Superformance. Bob had a long and successful career racing Cobras and anything else that moved. He worked with the factory in developing and testing the Superformance Cobra replica and was a natural fit for a US Superformance Distributorship.

It was always a family affair, with Bob and Dennis spinning the wrenches and shredding the tires and Baby running the office and chatting up their many friends and customers.

Bob & Baby had a fascinating life together. She loved to share their adventures & mis-adventures with their circle of friends who gathered at the shop. Like when Bob hooked the wing of his Tiger Moth in the window of a Volkswagen & she wound up sliding down the road still strapped in her seat.

Every time an expensive part would yield to the stress of spirited driving, she'd roll her eyes, give that knowing & forgiving smile, & mutter "Boys".

Bob and Baby left the family business in good hands with Dennis and his sister Cheryl and her husband Merlin Pogson who moved from South Africa a couple of years ago.

updated 01/21/14
Randall Thomas

Bobby & Baby wedding day, 1969

Bobby, Dennis, and Baby - Dennis Turns 21, South Africa 1993

Baby & Bobby at the races in South Africa, 1980

Dennis, his sister Cheryl and Baby