Mr. George Newman.
By THE EDITOR.
MR. GEORGE NEWMAN, who is known throughout the industry as a successful trader and a keen sportsman, comes from a family that has long been associated with the call of the open road. His father and grandfather were famous in their day, as horsemen, and besides achieving great success in coaching exploits, turned their expert knowledge of horses to very good account in the way of business.
Thus, it seems that George Newman started life with a very good inheritance in a combination of business instincts and the sporting spirit ; which, as this biographical sketch will show, has been considerably developed during his career.
Educated at the Westminster City School and Ask’s, Haberdashers, George Newman started work in the motor business at the early age of fourteen years and found a job for himself at Messrs. Stevens of King’s Cross. Here he commenced on the practical side of repair work and also learned something about the business of trading in second-hand cars, for the firm in question used to buy all sorts of cars from Friswell’s Auctions, put them into good repair and sell them to the trade and to private individuals.
In those early days, George Newman learned that, in some cases, what were known as ” tricks of the trade” were regarded as being quite justifiable ; but he also learned the fate of firms who advocated such practices, and therefore, whilst having traded for so long in the neighbourhood, we may describe George Newman as being ” in Euston Road, but not of it.” Having seen one side of the motor business, our young friend realised that he must learn something more of mechanical things, and thereupon packed himself off to Acton, where he spent a period of fourteen months in the machine shops of Messrs. Napier Motors. At this stage of his career, George Newman was little inclined
to settle for long in any job, and following the course of many other successful men, went from place to place in search of practical experience.
A little later we find him engaged as an improver at the Balloon Factory in the R.E. Lines at Aldershot, where he assisted in the construction of the early military airship “Beta.” At this time also, he worked on the repairing of the traction engines and such motor vehicles as were then possessed by the Army Service Corps. In addition to the jobs on aircraft and motor vehicles, he was engaged in the electrical department, and also on the production 01 hydrogen gas for balloon filling, which was sent to military stations all over the world.
Colonel Cody, the famous kite expert, was much in evidence at Aldershot in those days, his famous “Flying Cathedral,” which was successful in the first Military Flying Trials, being constructed in the shops where Newman was working.
On being transferred from Aldershot to the Farnborough airship shed, Newman gained further experience in the constructional side of airship work, and also, by the fruits of his labours, had saved up enough money to purchase his first motor vehicle, which was a 1 h.p. Minerva motor cycle. Every Saturday when the factory closed, George, with his little package of washing tied behind the saddle with string, would set off for London to spend the week-end at home.
Early Racing Experiences.
It was in the year 1906 that Newman had his first experience of motor racing, when working for J. Keele, the Darracq Concessionaire, He acted as mechanic to Wright who drove the Flying Darracq with conspicuous success at the Blackpool Speed Trials and other events.
Caught by the fascination of driving, George Newman then obtained a position as demonstrator at Friswell’s Motor House and for a long time had to handle between thirty and forty cars per day to show their paces to intending customers. As may be realised, when one remembers the class of vehicles finding their way on to the second-hand market at the time, a great deal depended upon the skill with which the machines were handled, but George Newman was always able to urge his mounts into a more or less satisfactory performance, though they were of amazing variety from 100 h.p. Metcedes racers to diminutive Baby Peugeots.
From Friswell’s, George Newman next went to The Car Mart, where for seven years he served as demonstrator and handled sales of new and second-hand cars, finding his previous experience of great value, until early in the year 1914, he began business on his own account and took premises in Euston Road.
Though at first the business was conducted in quite a modest way, Newman stuck at his job with great earnestness and his sales were increasing rapidly, when the outbreak of war upset the whole of his plans ; but taking advantage of the opportunity, opened up his works for the manufacture of munitions, until the resumption of ordinary business again became possible.
the same event in the following year he drove a Horstman, but after running well for one hundred miles, the car” konked out” and he had to retire.
As he was now acting as one of the largest agents for the famous Salmson car, he decided to race one of these machines, and from 1925 onwards he has been one of the regular Salmson team and was running a good position in the Two Hundred Miles Race of that year, when the team manager called upon him to retire, as the car was required for a long distance race at Montlhery a few days later and the three other Sahnsons were sure of running in first, second and third. This year, George Newman, driving a Salmson, gained
From that date the business grew by leaps and bounds and fresh premises were acquired at 319, Euston Road, and later, the important building at 369—hi3 present headquarters—were taken over. The latest development of Messrs. George Newman & Co. was the opening of the depot at Brighton and this constitutes a very flourishing part of the business. The early experiences of racing and the fact that many famous racing cars found their way into his hands during the ordinary course of business, led George Newman to take an active interest in the sport, which he regarded partly as a pastime and partly as an aid to business, and in the year 1922 he figured at the wheel of a 10 h.p.. Wolseley in the Two Hundred Miles Race of 1923. In
the second place in the Coupe des Voiturettes Race over the Boulogne Circuit, after a gruelling race in which he was up against a formidable entry, including some of the foremost Continental racing cracks.
His performance in the recent Two Hundred Miles Race is still fresh in the memory of our readers, for at the time his driving skill was greatly admired, and by finishing fourth in the 1,100 c.c. Class in front of his French team mates he created a very good impression. As a regular competitor at Brooklands, he can always be relied upon to give a good race and has on many occasions put up some quite remarkable speeds on his AustroDaimler.
Space does not permit us to give details of the very important position now occupied by Mr. Newman in the motor industry, but from what we have seen of his business methods, it is certain that no one need have any hesitancy where deals with his company are concerned, for he has all the details of his job at his finger tips and certainly knows what’s what with regard to car values ; and, what is more, has a keen and straightforward business manner which is comparable with the spirit of sportsmanship which he displays on the road and track.
The London-Gloucester to be Stiffened Up.
It has been decided to include several new sections in the route for the annual reliability trial organised by the North West London Motor Club, with the object of providing a more severe trail than those of previous years. In view of this decision those participating may well look forward to a really sporting day’s outing, as the condition of last year’s trial were by no means easy and a large amount of rough going was encountered. The distance of the trail will be approximately 240 miles, and the event will be held on December 11th, starting from the Slough Trading Estate at 8 a.m. Members of the clubs affiliated to the South Midland Centre of the A.C.U. are eligible to compete, as are the members of the Surbiton and Essex Clubs.
Monsieur Bollee, who was responsible for the threewheeler bearing his name in the early days of motoring, and who has been a pioneer in the movement ever since, has been appointed as Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.