Houldsworth was a racing driver who competed a number of times at Donington. He was killed in the 1934 British Empire Trophy.
John Rossall Houldsworth was driving a Bugatti T35 with RL Duller in the 1934 British Empire Trophy at Brooklands a seasoned racer in a crash at Brooklands. On the 31st lap, he lost control as he moved over on the Home Banking just under the Members' Bridge to give way to Whitney Straight. There was a new track layout for this race marked out by straw bales rather than the usual sand banks and it was through these straw bales that Houldsworth charged, shooting up the banking in a treble somersault. Houldsworth was thrown out on the second inversion of the car. He was immediately taken to hospital in a critical condition, accompanied by his wife. His skull was fractured and sadly he died there later in the day aged just 22.