DRIVERS: DENNIS POORE

Name: Dennis Poore
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: August 19, 1916 - London
Date of death: February 12, 1987 - London

From a military family, with links to the Scottish aristocracy, Roger Dennistoun Poore was born a year before his father was killed on the Western Front. The family later acquired control of the Manganese Bronze company, which had been founded in 1882 to manufacture ships propellers from the revolutionary new alloy manganese bronze, which was highly resistant to sea-water. The company expanded and diversified and the income provided meant that Poore was able to live comfortably.

In his early twenties he started competing with an MG Magnette but then his career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II 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 Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C and competed in major events in Britain with his RD Poore Motor Racing team. He won the RAC Hillclimb Championship in 1950 and that year also funded the establishment of a new racing magazine which was to be called Autosport. At the same time he took control of Manganese Bronze and began changing the business into an engineering empire.

He was briefly involved in the Connaught team and raced 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 later raced successfully in the Aston Martin sports car team but then turned to business.

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 and Manganese Bronze consolidated its taxi-building business and developed a car component division. He continued to run the business until his death in 1987.

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