John Martin James was an engineer from Bromsgrove. A keen amateur, he had his first race in a Lea Francis at Brooklands immediately before the war and, when raced resumed, he competed in hill-climbs and sprints with a 2.3 Alfa Romeo Monza.
In 1948 he aquired a Type 54 Bugatti for similar events before rebuilding one of two Sunbeams he had stored away throughout the war. With the Sunbeam, James finished fourth place in the 1949 Wakefield Trophy at the Curragh in Eire.
In 1951 John purchased a Maserati 4CLT/48 from Reg Parnell and entered the British Grand Prix. Unfortunately he retired due to a leak in the radiator. He then drove it to eighth places in both the Woodcote Cup and the Daily Graphic Trophy races at Goodwood.
When a change in regulations rendered the 4CLT only eligable for Formula Libre events in 1952, John just used it for fun in sprints until his retirement from the sport in 1953.