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3.60 (20 votes)


Company nameBartron Automotive
OwnerWizzyThaMan (Platinum Contributor)
Founded year1946
CountryIsle of Man


After the second world war, Dave Mollington, naturally born on the Isle of Man, moved back to Douglas after working in a tank factory in Liverpool from 1941 until 1946. He was responsible for checking the plate work performed on the hull on the tanks. As a graduated mechanical engineer, he was certified and qualified enough for taking such a responsibility. After his returning celebration and seeing his lovely girlfriend (soon to be wife, but she didn’t know yet) he needed to find a job. It wasn’t that easy. After all, the Isle of Man isn’t the most economical place to find a job easily. Two months later, the Isle of Man TT event took place again. As a car and motorbike enthusiast, he went to the event to see these machines fly-by at great speeds, through the narrow streets along the isle. It inspired him. How joyful would it be if he, owner of a car manufacturing company, saw HIS cars or bikes win this race, on his home ground? All day this idea in his mind didn’t let him go. As the event ended that day, he walked home, thinking through his possibilities. How would he get the money to buy the machinery, the materials and all the other expenses that come with it? After all, he still didn’t have a job and the money he made during his service in the army, was shrinking. As he strolled home, he bumped into a gentleman, as a matter of fact, a very decent one. He apologized, explaining he wandered off in his head, not noticing his surroundings. Little did he know that the man he just bumped into, was a rich entrepreneur from The Netherlands, who fled to Canada at the start of the war and was now on his way back to his home country. His name: Bartholomeus Voorjans. While the ship had to refuel  and restock at Douglas’ harbour, the crew gave the people that were on board a chance to go to the Isle of Man TT. Bartholomeus, Bart in short, didn’t let this opportunity slip. He himself always seemed to have a passion for cars and during his time in North-America, actually spend a week in Detroit to visit the Ford factories. As Dave apologized for bumping into him, he noticed that the man was worried. After he finished apologizing, he asked him why he looked worried and if he was free to ask what this man was thinking about. As social as Dave is, he didn’t just brush the gentleman off. He actually explained his idea of willing to make cars or bikes, or both, participate in the TT and make money with selling his cars to feed his soon-to-be wife and future kids. He explained how he had the knowledge, but not the money to invest. Interested by the way Dave sounded, with passion and knowledge about the subject, he decided to introduce himself. “Hello, my name is Bartholomeus, but you can call me Bart. I’m quite interested in your story. We happen to share the same passion for motorized vehicles and I am actually looking into setting up my own company to manufacture them.” This sounded like music in Dave’s ears. This was a clear sign! He needed an opportunity like this. “This is great!”, he responded. “Maybe we can discuss this at my dinner table. The house isn’t big and don’t expect luxurious seats, but it’s nice and comfortable.”, he said. “Well, that is very kind of you. How about you actually join me and my family, as we were heading to this seafood restaurant near the harbour, and bring your girlfriend along. You can have anything you like and we can discuss these plans there. But there is only one thing…”, Bart said. “What is it?”, Dave responded a bit worried as he might have come across too eager. “First tell me your name! I don’t know who you are!”, Bart laughed. “Oh, I’m sorry! My name is Dave Mollington, nice meeting you.”, Dave said relieved. “Let’s meet at Harbourlane Seatreats, 6:30pm, does that suit you?”. “Perfect”, Dave replied. “See you then.” Dave picked up his pace as he walked home. Actually, he caught himself running like an overenthusiastic child who just got a huge bag of his favourite sweets and wants to tell his mother. As he got home, he told his girlfriend to dress up because they went out for dinner and she had to hurry. He would explain along the way to the restaurant. She frowned a bit, but decided to trust him and did so. As they arrived at the restaurant, Bart waved towards them. They went into the restaurant and had a lovely dinner and drank a little. The women seemed to get along quite well, so the men had all the time in the world to discuss their ideas and approach on how to make this plan work. Bart was looking into expanding his market into the UK and with Germany not being an option the next decades, he needed to look to the west. Was it destiny, or just mere luck? He had the money, the passion, the knowledge on business and marketing, as well as being creative himself, as Dave was a graduated mechanical engineer, working in a industrial plant that produced tanks. They shared the same passion and their characters seemed to neatly fit into each other. It looked like Bart had found a partner to start up the business with and Dave had found a way to start a living his dream.
And so it happened. Four months later, May 1948, Bartron opened their first small factory on the Isle of Man, just outside Douglas, where both men worked hard to make this company a success.

First steps

As the men worked hard on designing their first car and manufacturing a suitable engine, Bart started looking for markets to sell their car to and promote their company. They needed a logo, a badge, to stand proud for their company.

They decided they first wanted to focus on the Isle of Man to sell their cars. So they started spreading flyers in The Isles main towns, like Douglas, Ramsey, Peel and Castle Town. After several months of hard work, they finally had their first car done: the Bartron Willaston. And they had their first buyer! The mayor of Douglas was happy that the men decided to start their business on the Isle of Man, especially near Douglas. He wanted that car, to help them boost their brand awareness. The car came with a 906 cc engine producing 36.9 horsepower and reaching a top speed of 110km/h or 68 mph. It is sold for 695 GBP. The car This wasn’t a TT winner, but it was a very nice start to get the business running and funding their expenses. To promote their car more, they put up billboards in the main towns and together with the help of the mayor buying the first car, soon they got several orders for cars. As a matter of fact, within the first month, they’ve gotten 43 orders!

Medals & Awards7 / 14 medals

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