A BUSINESSMAN had to sell his pride-and-joy stock car to make sure his new firm could get off to a bright start.
Mark Johnston had to part company with his brand new £2,000 racing vehicle which he had just had specially built for him in Scotland.
But Mark needed capital for his new flooring business which has just opened in Raby Road in Hartlepool.
He said: “We started the shop with coppers in our pockets. We looked at everything that we could do to fund it and the only real asset was the new stock car.
“We had to decide ‘do we continue with the hobby or do we invest in this’.”
But Mark is confident he has made the right move after opening up Mark Johnston Flooring which supplies carpets, vinyls and laminates in prices to suit all needs from budget upwards.
Mark started out as a mobile business but he added: “We were getting enquiries from people saying ‘where is your showroom. Can we have a look.’
“People wanted to come to a business rather than a van.
“I knew someone who owned premises in the Raby Road area and the shop was available.”
Mark, 41, and his wife Natasha, 31, a part-time recruitment contractor and who also helps in the shop, were in their third season of stock car racing.
They raced in the hot rod category which is a non-contact sport and competed on a 350 yard track at Barford Raceway in Barnard Castle.
Mark said: “We had the new car built and ready to start the season and never got time to turn the wheels.”
And while Mark has had to stop competing in the sport he loves, Natasha still competes in her own car.
Mark was previously a self employed carpet fitter contracted to local companies.
Now he’s committed to his new business and said: “We have been open for four weeks and we have had some exciting times with activity through the door.”