George Hartwell

George Hartwell

George Reginald Hartwell was born in 1911 in Portsmouth and began racing at Brooklands, prior to the War. George was was one of the pioneers of the 500cc class in the immediate post-war period. His first 500, the Monaco was built by Monaco Motors in Watford and completed ready for the later part of 1947. George finished second to John Cooper at the Brighton Speed Trials on 1st September then third in the 750cc class at Poole a week later and third at Southsea on the 20th. He attended the Towcester meeting on the 25th October (See From Acorns to Oak Trees by Keith Gough).

George at Blandford Camp

George takes the Esses at Shelsley in June 1948

He campaigned the Monaco through 1948, finishing third at Luton Hoo in March, third again at Stanmer Park in June, second at Boscombe in August, beating Brandon and Strang then winning the class at the Brighton Speed Trials in September. George managed a respectable seventh (given the unsuitability of the Monaco to such a fast sweeping circuit) at Goodwood  and set fastest time at Weston in October, beating Clive Lones and Don Truman.

For 1949, he handed the Monaco over to Claude Tipper and subsequently acquired a Cooper-Vincent, but with little further success. On the 8th April 1951 George finished fifth in his heat for the Open Challenge Race at Brands Hatch and fourth in heat for the Junior Championship.

In 1952 he entered a Cooper-Bristol for another local garage owner, André Loens while building up a chain of Rootes dealerships in the Bournemouth area. The firm specialised in modifying and tuning Rootes cars such as Sunbeam Alpines and Hillman Imps.

George died in 1975 but his dealerships are still in existence, now managed by his sons.