Dennis Taylor

Dennis Taylor

Dennis Taylor was born in Sidcup, South London in June 1921. Denis began his 500 career in the later part of 1951 and became a prolific competitor with over seventy results to his name in a variety of cars. He started in an production PI Iota, recording a fifth in his heat for the Junior Championship and a fifth in the Final at Brands Hatch in September. Two weeks later, he finished second in his heat of the Junior Championship and in October, third in his heat and sixth in the Open Challenge Final with a heat win and a sixth in the Final of the Junior Championship.

Dennis in his Iota PI, note the pannier tanks, probably for the Commander Yorke Trophy.

For 1952, he drove an Arnott with a fourth in the heats at Castle Combe on 12th April. Dennis travelled to France to record a fourth at Amiens in June. At the Grand Prix Meeting in July, he could only manage thirteenth, albeit against top opposition, and at Castle Combe in October Denis used a JBS, acquired from Ron Frost to take seventh in the heat. Back at Brands, and in the Arnott, Dennis won his heat and the Junior Final on 12th October and finished second to Don Parker in the Seniors Vs Juniors Handicap.

Dennis prepares for battle in his Arnott

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Dennis in the car with the Arnott team. Photo courtesy of John Furlong

Arnott team.jpg (77229 bytes)

Dennis changed cars again for 1953, moving to a Martin to form Ecurie Premier with John Brown. He won his heat and the final at Castle Combe in April, beating Don Parker and came third in his heat later in the month at the Brands Hatch Easter Meeting. Back at Castle Combe at the end of April, Dennis took third behind André Loens and Les Leston. At Brands on the 3rd May, he finished fourth in the Senior Race Final followed by a third in the Open Challenge Final and third in the Coronation Trophy on the 24th. At Crystal Palace on 11th July, Taylor took fourth in the Elizabethan Trophy, loosing out to John Brown in the sister car. On 3rd August at the International Trophy, Brands Hatch, he took second in the August Sprint heat.

Dennis, in the Martin, leads Harold Daniell in his Emeryson at Brands Hatch, April 1953.

In '54  Taylor changes cars again, this time to a Staride, taking a third in heat two of the Ashmead Tankard at Castle Combe on the 3rd of April, fifth in the Senior Race at Brands on 1st May, third at Ibsley a week later. On Whit Monday he won his heat, took fourth in the Open Challenge Final and fourth in the Senior Race and on 4th July Dennis took a second on the Open Challenge heat, again at Brands. In the Beart Trophy at Oulton Park, he finished third in the heats and fifth in the final and at the British Grand Prix, a respectable tenth later in July. August brought second and sixth in the Open Challenge at Brands.

Dennis at Druids Bend, Brands Hatch

Another year and another change of car, this time a Cooper Mk IX and Dennis' first race, at Snetterton in March brought a third behind Jim Russell and Don Parker. Castle Combe brought a second and a third, Don winning both, and Brands on the 11th April brought a third place in the Senior Race First Final, behind Jim and Cliff Allison. In the Sporting Record Trophy, Dennis took a third in his heat followed by a fourth in the First Final followed by a fourth in the Senior Race at Crystal Palace at the end of July. Dennis took fourth in the Daily Telegraph Trophy then, in September in the Francis Beart Trophy he finished second to Russell, beating Don Parker and Stuart Lewis-Evans. Dennis used his Cooper only occasionally for 1956 having moved up classes.

In 1959 he failed to qualify for the British Grand Prix in a Formula II Lotus 12. Dennis died at Monaco, in June 1962, after crashing his Lola in the Formula Junior qualifying.