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George Hartwell commissioned his special to be professionally built by Monaco Motors in Watford during the summer of 1947. It was incredibly small both in wheelbase (5 ft) and track, allegedly so that it would fit in the back of a small truck and was one of the first cars to use a Norton engine from new. Largely as a result of these factors, it was extremely quick up the hills but lacked the stability required for success on circuits. Front suspension was Fiat derived comprising a single transverse leaf spring and lower wishbones. The Francis Beart tuned Norton engine was at the rear, to one side, driving back via chain to the gearbox.

The Norton gearbox was offset to the other side of the chassis and drive is taken forward again to a countershaft running across the car. Sprockets on each end take drive back again to each independently sprung rear wheel. George attended a number of events in the later part of 1947, finishing second at the Brighton Speed Trials on the 1st September, 3rd in the 750cc class at the Poole Open Speed Trials a week later and 3rd again at Southsea on the 20th. George was also present at the Towcester meeting on the 25th October. George did a full season in 1948 starting with thirds at Luton Hoo in in March and Stanmer Park in June then a second to Moss at Boscombe in August  and a win in the Brighton Speed Trials on 4th September. He took a respectable seventh at the first Goodwood race on the 18th and fastest time at Weston Super Mare in October.

George takes the esses at Shelsley in June 1948

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The business end and cause of much debate.

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The Monaco Motor and Engineering Co of Watford was started in 1935 by Ian Furguson-Connell and Peter Monkhouse, partly as a way of supporting their own racing activities.

In 1947, John Wyer (of Aston Martin, Ford GT40 and Porsche fame) joined the firm as Managing Director and would have been involved in the Monaco Commission.

Through 1949 to 1951, it continued to compete on the hills in the hands of Claude Tipper. Claude struggled at first but eventually got the hang of the car. He took tenth at June Prescott and twelfth in July then eighth at Brighton and sixth at Prescott on 11th September, ahead of Peter Collins and finally a fastest time at Weston in October and second fastest at Gosport. 1950 started with a win at Gosport on 30th April and at Markyate in May and Tewinwater and Queensferry in June. Blandford in July brought a third followed by a fastest time in the 750cc class at Tewinwater and joint third at Brighton. By 1951 the little car was thoroughly outclassed by the latest production cars but he managed wins at Gosport in April, Cheltenham and Tewinwater in May, a second at Gosport and a win at Ramsgate in July. He could only manage third at Tewin in August and Gosport in September and then seems to have retired. The Monaco made a brief reappearance in the hands of I Smith at Staverton and Hunsdon in May 1953 and that was it until David Baldock restored her.

Now by David Baldock, at Brands Hatch for the Iota Celebration Trophy in June 2007.

The Monaco reviewed in Iota

Snetterton September 2007

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