Charles Jarrott

 In Drivers

Charles Jarrott was born in London on March 26, 1877. He was the son of a blacksmith. In the early 1890s he began his sports career as a cyclist. He was quite successful, and in 1897 he took part in his first motorsport event in England.
Jarrott took part in fifty races in 1899 and won the Motor Car Club’s 5 mile championship on a De Dion tricycle in 8 minutes 11 seconds and the 10 mile cycle scratch race in 17 minutes 22 seconds. He gave up motorcycle racing to concentrate on racing in cars, his greatest feat was on 31 July 1902 when, after starting thirty-fourth, he won the Circuit des Ardennes in Belgium, the first circuit race ever held. Jarrott described his racing exploits in a classic book, Ten Years of Motors and Motor Racing (1906; later editions 1912, 1928, 1956), in which he celebrated the good fellowship and sporting spirit among the early drivers and regretted the growing commercialization of motor sport.

By 1903 he set up Charles Jarrott and Letts Ltd to sell Oldsmobile and De Dietrich cars. Two years later he gave up motorsport and focused on trading alone.

He died in London on January 4th, 1944.

More information: Science Museum

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