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The 2018 Ronnie Hoare Trophy
October 12th, 2021
Ahead of this month's Goodwood Members' Meeting, we remember some of the cars that competed when the Ronnie Hoare Trophy was last run in 2018. 

The first race on the card was named after the founder of Maranello Concessionaires. I guess the idea was that a Ferrari might win. In the event, the grid was dominated by more than a dozen Porsche and, despite Vincent Gaye’s best efforts in his lovely 275 GTB/C, the winner was UK-based Ferrari specialist James Cottingham in a 904. I have heard it said that the Colonel might not have approved. I wouldn’t know, but I can reveal that he was – if briefly – a 904 owner himself. Jenkinson lists the small number of examples that came to the UK in period in From Chain-drive to Turbocharger. He suggests Hoare owned chassis 092 in 1965. Olcyzk and Morris’s Porsche 904: The Truth and Rumours says the car initially went to Godin de Beaufort in the Netherlands before coming to F English in the UK. For those who don’t know, F English was Hoare’s large and successful Ford dealership in Bournemouth. In the early days, Maranello Concessionaires wasn’t much more than a couple of bays in the workshop. The car seems to have moved on again after a few months, remaining in the UK under the registration AFX 1B. There are pictures of it hill-climbing at Prescott and Ollon-Villars. A young Alain de Cadenet owned it for a while and raced it at Silverstone before the car went to the US and, from there, the Matsuda Collection in Japan.
 
The ex-Ronnie Hoare car may not have made it to Goodwood, but the ex-Dickie Stoop 904 – chassis 045 – did so along, remarkably, with seven other examples. I doubt if so many have been seen in the same place at the same time in the UK before. It was a welcome return to the circuit for the Irish Green car, looking very smart indeed following a race prep at Maxted-Page. The story is that Stoop originally ordered it with special ratios to suit Goodwood, but final checks at the factory found they hadn’t been fitted. The correct ratios were made in double-quick time and Stoop duly collected the car from AFN in March 1964. The handover is recorded in a series of pictures taken outside the Isleworth showroom. It’s possible Stoop wanted the special ratios for testing at the circuit – he knew Goodwood well. In any event, his first race in the car – with the registration YOU 4 previously seen on his 356 Carrera – was at Silverstone in May. He took a class win in the Archie Brown Memorial Race at Snetterton in July, before coming to Goodwood for the TT meeting in August. Stoop led the two-litre support race early on, but finished second to Mike Spence’s Chequered Flag Elan, ahead of Mike de’Udy in third in another 904. He also took the car to Germany for a race and a hillclimb or two, towing it behind a BMW saloon with the registration OU 4. A great combination and surely something for the current owner to consider!

A previous version of this piece appeared in Classic Porsche magazine. Robert Barrie E&OE