Dennis Poore

Full Name:
Roger Dennistoun Poore
Born:
19th August 1916
Paddington, London
Died:
12th February 1987 (Aged 70)
Kensington, London
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Dennis Poore was a world championship points scorer on his debut but it was as an entrepreneur and businessman that he is best remembered. He was the original financier behind the launch of weekly motor racing magazine Autosport in 1950 and he almost single-handedly attempted to save the British motorcycle industry later in his life.

Background and early racing exploits

From a wealthy background, his father had been killed serving his country during World War I when Poore was barely a toddler. His interest in motor racing derived from his time as an undergraduate at Cambridge University when a contemporary of Prince "Bira". He bought an ex-Hugh Hamilton MG Midget J4 in 1937 which he used in sprints.

Poore served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and reached the rank of Wing Commander. He immediately returned to racing once peace had been restored and acquired the ex-Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C-35 that had won the 1936 Donington Grand Prix with Hans Ruesch and Dick Seaman at the wheel. Victory at Gransden in 1947 was just the first of many successes with the car in British club events that culminated with Poore winning the 1950 British Hillclimb Championship.

Grand Prix driver with Connaught

Despite his increasingly successful life in industry, Poore found time to make his GP debut in the 1952 British GP at Silverstone. He qualified his works Connaught A-type in eighth position and ran third from the opening lap, eventually finishing fourth after a tardy pitstop. He also raced in the Italian GP but was a less competitive 12th.

In addition to his two GP starts, Poore joined the Aston Martin sports car team that year but was out of luck at Le Mans – retiring from each of his four appearances. Fourth in the 1955 Tourist Trophy and victory in that year’s non-championship Goodwood Nine Hours were his best results for the team, sharing an Aston Martin DB3S with Peter Walker on both occasions.

Career after motor racing

His family owned the propeller manufacturer Manganese Bronze and Poore became Chairman of the diversified company in 1965. He made a brave attempt to save the ailing British motorcycle industry when he bought Norton out of receivership and merged it with other icons BSA, Matchless, Triumph and Villiers. While this ultimately proved futile, the purchase of BSA included London taxi manufacturer Carbodies and he successfully ran that operation until his death in 1987.

Championship seasons