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Homepage. This page: A-Type Connaughts at Prescott, Goodwood, and Silverstone, in the 1950s.

Connaught A-Type chassis # A3.

Firstly, an A-Type Connaught in action, here at the Prescott hillclimb in 1954. The driver is John Riseley-Prichard. Connaught A3 was raced by Ken Downing during 1952, then went to team owner Rob Walker in 1953 where it was driven by, amongst others, Tony Rolt and Eric Thompson. During 1954, the date of this photograph, drivers Riseley-Prichard, Rolt and Peter Collins competed in it. The former continued to race into 1955, before retiring from the sport, after which Tony Brooks took over.
Perhaps Riseley-Prichard's best result with A3 was a win at the inaugural "Cornwall MRC Formula 1 Race", a non-Championship event, held in 1954 at the Davidstow circuit.
Connaught chassis no. A3

Connaught #A4.

The following photograph appeared on Facebook in 2015, and belongs to Justin Thorburn, whose father worked at Connaughts at the time of the A-Type (and also provided this photo of the Connaught L2 road car). Here, driver Dennis Poore is shown sat in A4, chatting to a member of the team. He drove car number 20 - A4, his usual chassis - in Goodwood's seven-lap "Madgwick Cup" race, in 1952. A second car car be seen, over to the left of shot. This is most likely A3, driven by Ken Downing in that race. Both drove with the Connaught Racing Syndicate. Downing would win the Goodwood event, with Poore finishing in second place after a coming-together with Moss in a G-Type ERA, and Eric Thompson in Connaught A6. The impact couldn't have been too severe, as Poore still managed to achieve fastest lap of the race, despite these "moments".
I remember one of Poore's old mechanics, telling me how Moss ran over and jumped onto the step of Poore's transporter as they were leaving the Goodwood circuit, remonstrating with him through the window about the Connaught/ERA bump that took place during the race.
Click to view:
Dennis Poore sat in Connaught A-Type A4
The photo shown below was snapped at a preview gathering for the 2014 Silverstone Classic. This car, in the yellow colour scheme for Ecurie Belge, is chassis A4, the car driven by Dennis Poore during 1952. By 1953 it had passed to Ecurie Belge, where it would be driven by Johnny Claes and Andre Pilette.
A preserved example of A-Type Connaught

Connaught A-Type (A5) at Silverstone.

This photo is believed to have been taken at the Silverstone racing circuit, in 1956. Other photos in this set have been dated to a May meeting in that year. Shown is car number 23, another example of the A-Type Connaught. It will have been entered for the BRDC International Trophy race on 5th May 1956 by E.W. Holt, the car - chassis number A5 - was due to be driven by Bill Holt. Qualifying in 18th position, he'd finish the race in 10th.
Connaught A5 was sold by the factory to Leslie Marr in 1952. At the end of 1954 it was sold on to Holt, who ran it both in the UK and overseas (South Africa). In 1957 it went to Ron Duncan in New Zealand. While in the UK, Holt raced A5 at Goodwood, Brands Hatch, Crystal Palace, and Aintree, in addition to appearances at Silverstone. It's believed to still live in NZ.
In this snapshot, the car is shown at rest in the paddock. A gent is peering into the car's cockpit, while behind the Connaught towers a mighty Mk7 Jaguar saloon. In the background is a double-decker bus that has had its lower windows panelled in, presumably as a conversion to a racing car transporter. On its side is advertising for Double Diamond ale.
Click to view:
Connaught A-Type racing car
The 1952/1953 specification cars, as before, were powered by a modified Lea-Francis four-cylinder engine of 1960cc. Fuel was delivered by four Amal motorcycle carburettors, although Works' cars in 1953 were fitted with Hilborn-Travers fuel injection. Ignition was by Scintilla magneto. As with a number of contemporary racing cars, the transmission incorporated a pre-selector gearbox, in this instance a four-speed, Armstrong-Siddeley, unit.

Inside the Connaught factory.

In addition to having his father's old photo of Poore in A4, Justin also scanned a period snapshot taken of cars being worked upon, inside Connaught's own factory. A number of cars are shown in varying stages of undress, while parts for both competition and roadgoing models are dotted about (another of Justin's photos - link - actually of an Allard J2 - also shows the exterior of Connaught Engineering's premises). Thanks for allowing me to share the photos Justin.
Click to view:
Connaught's workshop in the 1950s

Other references to these cars.

Connaughts appear on several pages at Old Classic Car. For example:
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive.
Alternatively, visit the main index of images here.
To read more about historic racing cars, and related collectables, please see this page.

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