19/8/1916 - 12/2/1987
Record updated 19-Aug-06
A British hill-climb champion in 1950 with his Alfa Romeo 3.8S, Poore, a wealthy industrialist, briefly became a member of the Connaught Racing Syndicate in 1952, scoring a fine fourth place in the British GP.
Roger Dennistoun Poore came from a military family with links to Scottish aristocracy. His father was killed on the Western Front when he was just one year old. His family acquired control of the Manganese Bronze company and the company expanded and diversified, providing Poore with the income to live comfortably.
He started racing in his early twenties with an MG Magnette but World War II came along and he joined the Royal Air Force, emerging at the end of the war with the rank of Wing Commander. After the war he acquired a 1935 ex-Nuvolari, ex-Hans Ruesch Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C and competed in major events in Britain with his RD Poore Motor Racing team.
He was an outstanding force on the British hillclimb scene winning the RAC Championship in 1950. That year he also funded the establishment of the racing magazine, Autosport. At the same time he took control of Manganese Bronze and began changing the business into an engineering empire.
He was briefly involved with Connaught and raced in two Grands Prix for the team. He finished fourth at the British GP in 1952 at the wheel of a Connaught-Lea-Francis and later finished 12th at the Italian GP. He then severed his connections with the Send concern at the end of 1952 and linked up with the Aston Martin sports car team. His best result with them comming in 1955 winning the Goodwood International 9 Hours in a DB3S with Peter Walker.
He continued to race his old Alfa Romeo in numerous events during this period, winning the Dick Seaman Trophy race three times in a row between 1951 and 1953. He retained the car until his death.
He sold off the propeller business and invested heavily to try to save Britain's motorcycle industry, buying Associated Motorcycles, the company which owned Norton, AJS and Matchless. This was added to the Villiers firm to form NVT (Norton, Villiers, Triumph), which also absorbed the BSA company. Alas the industry could not be saved. Manganese Bronze consolidated its taxi-building business and developed a car component division which he continued to run until his death in 1987.