Roger Dennistoun Poore has died at the age of 70. He will be remembered for his company-director achievements but equally for his prowess at the wheel of a racing car.
He began to race immediately after the war, with a J4 MG, from which he graduated to the difficult straight-eight Tipo 8C-35 3.8-litre Alfa Romeo, the ex-Hans Ruesch/Dick Seaman car. Poore adapted at once to this very fast car and won a memorable race at the first post-war (VSCC) meeting at Gransden, handling the very fast and powerful Alfa impeccably to out-pace the more experienced Abecassis in a Type 59 Bugatti.
Having thus established his skill, Poore scored innumerable successes in sprint events, and after the Alfa had been given a Wade supercharger, won the British HillClimb Championship in 1960. The big Alfa now recognised as a Historic car, he also took the VSCC Seaman Race at Silverstone three years in succession.
When business caused him to retire from racing, Poore never parted with the car which had served him so well. He was to start Autosport (I recall how he took me aside at one race meeting and questioned me closely about Motor Sport, which puzzled me at the time!) promising the late Gregor Grant, its editor, that it would never fold while he was alive. But the early years of the paper must have been somewhat difficult; I remember going to congratulate Gregor and finding him in a rather small office somewhere in Paddington.
In a brave attempt to retrieve the British Motorcycle Industry from the Japanese invasion, Poore caused his Manganese Bronze Company to rescue Norton from the Receiver. But, alas, Norton-Villiers-Triumph had suffered the fate of its predecessor by 1975, through no fault of Poore’s. His company took on Carbodies five years ago.
But it is as a very proficient driver, hurling the 3.8 Alfa Romeo up the short hill-climb courses to yet another FTD or course-record, that we shall best remember RD Poore. WB