John Hastings "Jack" Bartlett was born in Rotherhithe, London. He was interested in cars when very young, but due to the expense he had to start with motorcycles. This had benefits to him: he could get a license at 14, motorcycles were cheap and they could be kept indoors, that was true for Jack until the maid tripped over the footrest of his machine in the hallway dropping the Sunday roast. So Jack had to rent a shed and this additional expense made him to start selling his bike soon after acquiring them. He could soon make a nice profit and with the funds was able to start racing. He purchased an OHV Norton and enjoyed success at Brooklands with it. By 1928, following a boring job for him, he joined University Motors, where Hammy Hamilton and Ian Connell also served time. Jack remained for a year before starting his own sports car business in Bayswater, London. He acquired a couple of Type 39 Bugatti GP cars for racing. Both powered by supercharged straight eight 1.5 litre engines and both failed on their debut at Brooklands in 1930. Jack sold them and replaced them with a 1100cc Salmson Ranger at a cost of £130.00. Powered by a twin-cam, twin supercharged straight eight engine with desmodromic valves, made possible for Jack to came second in the Mountain handicap in 1930 despite experiencing a massive slide on the first corner; he continued to use the car for the next five years, setting a number of FTDs and spinning off a few times as well. In June 1931 he won the Racing Short Handicap at the BARC Inter-Club meeting at Brooklands and also won in August in the One Lap Sprint Handicap at 87.84 mph. He then finished 3rd in the Second August Mountain Handicap. In 1932 he raced with Ronnie Horton in his 750cc supercharged MG and together they won the Brooklands 500 mile race at an average of 96.29 mph. He also acquired a 2.3 Litre Alfa Romeo Monza. In the meantime, Donald Healey convinced the Triumph management to create the Triumph Dolomite, a clone of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300. When the car was ready, it was picked up from the Triumph works and delivered to Jack. Bartlett eventually sold it to Dick Wilkins on March 23, 1935, a week after racing it at Brooklands one last time. But the Triumph Dolomite turned out to be a huge disappointment to anyone who drove one, including Tony Rolt. Jack still raced the Salmson, winning the 100 mile race on Southport sands both in 1932 and 1933, and he nearly took a third win in 1938 with a new 2 litre supercharged Alta but ran out of fuel on the last lap and had to settle for second place. He finally sold the Salmson in 1935 to Clem Dyer who took it to Australia. Jack bought a 2.9 litre monoposto Alfa Romeo and had it entered for two races at Brooklands but war broke out in 1939 before he had a chance to use it. During WWII he served in the RAF; as soon as war was over he returned to the business in Bayswater. He finally could compete with the Alfa, entering the Brighton Speed trials on two occasions. In 1949 he traveled to Le Mans driving with Nigel Mann in a Healy Elliott saloon. With temperatures rising and stops for oil and water banned for the first 30 laps, Jack had to drive the car around at a lowly 60 mph. Finally he was able to pit and the sump was found to be dry. Re-filled with oil and water Nigel took off to find the car had no suffering. However the time lost was too much to recover though the car ran strongly until the end, winning a class award. Then Jack retired from racing to concentrate on his business. He died in Jersey 1993.

We'll publish a biography on him on the occasion of his anniversary or when it will be reached a sufficient number of cars. 

If you would like to share your knowledge and archive, click on the banner JOIN THE LAB - HELP US TO IMPROVE & COMPLETE THE INFORMATION.

The census of all the cars related to this topic is in progress.

CARS (1)