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John Macartney
Business Manager

John Macartney spent his career in the British motor industry, the majority of his time covering export markets. His interest in export sales and his foreign language competences, moved him onwards and upwards through the management structures of British Leyland International, BMW, Massey Ferguson and International Harvester in Paris. During his extended time in France, he had responsibility for all parts operations for tractors, trucks and earthmoving equipment in the Europe, Africa and Middle East markets. An eventual return to the UK saw him appointed as Managing Director of a subsidiary company of GKN plc.

Having travelled the world and seen so much in different countries in terms of profit improvement and proven business management techniques in automotive environments, John left GKN in 1990 to establish himself on his own account as a Business Management Consultant and Trainer. Among the blue-chip companies whose dealer staff he trained were Caterpillar, Chrysler, Honda, Mitsubishi, Renault Agriculture and Toyota.

John is now retired and enjoys returning to his ‘old car’ days when he can.

As the past owner of two classic cars and a much-loved Ferguson tractor, John and many of his like-minded friends were active over the years following the Millenium, using their vehicles for charity fundraising purposes. So far, these long-distance continuous drive events have raised over £100,000 for various UK charities – and in 2009, John drove across the United States and Canada doing the same thing in a 1973 Triumph Stag. He was not alone in this endeavour because over 1,000 superbly cared for British sports cars took part with him at various points along the route. His book of that trip, “Turn Left at the Pacific” has received excellent reviews, with many claiming his achievement was a ‘first’ in American motoring history. Simply no-one “had been daft enough” (John’s own words, not ours) to drive some 18,000 miles in 69 days for charity – in a car of any age, and especially in one that in its time was never noted for its reliability!

John still spends time writing automotive flavoured articles for old car clubs around the world. He contributes to a number of email forums and has two books awaiting publication. When not at his keyboard, he also enjoys singing church music and especially the monastic ‘plainsong’ chants that were common before the English Reformation.

When not singing or writing, John undertakes voluntary work as a tour guide for The Churches Conservation Trust and is called upon from time to time to give talks to associations and clubs about his American trip and other nuggets of British industrial history.

He is particularly happy when Liz and he are together in their much-loved caravan with their two West Highland terriers called ‘Bailey’ and ‘Jack’.