Performance Welding is a business established in 2001, supplying specialised welding services to industry. These services include welding and fabricating of various materials to the highest standards, as well as advisory and trouble-shooting services to businesses doing their own in-house welding and fabrication.
The owner Rob Godwin is hands-on and does most of the more sophisticated welding and fabrication himself. Due to Rob’s involvement in motorcycles and racing, more and more motorcycle building and repair work has been undertaken recently.
ROB GODWIN'S CAREER
Rob Godwin’s career started in 1975 when he was fortunate to be employed as apprentice welder at South African Airways. After passing his first voluntary trade test in August 1978, he qualified as an Aviation Technician by passing various Department of Civil Aviation tests. For the next few years Rob welded aircraft components, mainly for Pratt and Whitney engines as used on Boeing aircraft.
In the early eighties he moved into general industry, being trained as an apprentice instructor and then moving into supervisory roles in a high-tech manufacturing business. This led to further welding metallurgy and quality studies at the South African Institute of Welding.
Rob managed the top welding /fabrication facility in South Africa at the time, building various nuclear and armaments industry projects, cryogenic pressure vessels and road tankers.
After a spell at a leading mining machinery manufacturer as a production engineer, Rob was invited to head the Technical Support team for Gauteng at South Africa’s largest welding equipment and gas supplier.
In 2001 he started Performance Welding cc, returning to his roots - doing quality welding.
ROB'S LIFELONG MOTORCYCLING PASSION
Rob’s lifelong motorcycling passion started in 1969 when he saw Johan Boshoff destroy the opposition on their Nortons and Triumphs at Kyalami on a Yamaha TR2 350. He said to a friend who had taken him to the races that day “I will have a bike like that”.
The friend had a chuckle and forgot about it. Rob did not – he has owned four of them over the years, and still has a very scarce complete example which he has ridden on all the South African circuits.
After a few years of offroad riding he moved on to drag racing, setting a class record and winning the National class title in 1981 (Street Turbo 11.03 seconds @ 216kph). He also helped rebuild, maintain and occasionally ride the V8 Chevy dragbike owned by Mick van Rensburg. A few years later he helped with the world record holding Kawasaki Top fuel bike when it came to South Africa.
In the early nineties Rob went to watch Classic bike racing at the old Zwartkops circuit and soon became seriously interested, campaigning a 750 Honda in the Premier class. In 1995 he missed third place in the overall championship by one point, finishing fourth behind Simon Fourie, Clinton Pienaar and Ian Notton. Classic racing then became a Suzuki 1100 class, and Rob stayed away.
In January 2002 he was invited to participate in the classic bike “demonstrations” at the new Zwartkops Circuit as part of the country’s biggest international historic car racing event. This led to Rob and three others forming the very successful Historic Motorcycle Group in 2003.
The aim was to get all the old racing bikes restored and out on the tracks around the country, with the original riders whenever possible.
The group is now in its fourteenth year with over 100 members, and has had guest celebrity riders like Jim Redman (6 world titles), Phil Read (7 world titles) riding at events, as well as many South African and Rhodesian Champions. While all this was going on, Rob was riding and rebuilding road bikes as well, even owning a Harley XLCH Sportster in the late seventies – long before they became fashion accessories!