"Scamp" Porter - South Africa's Mister Renault Racing - Biography by "Puddles" Adler.

  A Biography of  "Scamp" Porter, South Africa's Mister Renault Racing, and also his brother "Phil" (reprint of "Memoirs by Puddles Adler")

It was indeed a fortunate occasion when I met Scamp Porter.   He is without doubt, one of the smartest and most astute hands-on guys, one who stands out amongst my many acquaintances.  It has showed me that learning is not the only important attribute in success.  Like with Henry Ford, it is inventiveness, thinking outside the box and a clear and detailed work ethic that goes with it.  Attentive listening, careful reasoning, combined with knowledge and experience, and a mysterious something extra are the attributes that brought his successes.  That and also an amazing capacity for hard graft.

He was also an outstanding driver and had that incredible gift of being able to quickly pinpoint areas in vehicle handling or engine performance that could improve lap times.  Or, if the vehicle needed nursing, to be able to drive around a problem without losing much time. or exacerbating any threat.

As this is an account of his progress and the history of the times, most of the following is a more factual presentation focusing on the events.  But one cannot move straight into it without talking about the personality of our subject.
Scamp was and is a most modest and fun-loving chap.  He always has time for a laugh and a joke, and was great fun either being good-naturedly teased or him teasing.  While motor racing was one of his overpowering passions, he was always approachable by anyone, and ready to listen or give advice when asked, even with his competitors.  Autograph seekers always got the kindest treatment.   He was great company at all times, and able to make light of any difficult situation, even the grave ones.  If even a serious competitor in direct competition needed help in any way, he would be there, whether it was for information, an idea to rectify some problem, or even muscle power or inventing and fabricating something to help.  His staff and black mechanic-helpers adored him. He always had time for them and made efforts to help them improve their skills, learn something new, or perhaps even listen and assist with any domestic problems.  And the Renault race and rally team drivers also adored and respected him highly.  The same can be said for his fellow  competitors in Renaults.  Anything that would be of help to them was offered, and new ideas he used carefully explained and discussed.  He was also a dedicated family man and father.
But he was a born racer.  Countless times he was teased about his tenseness and worry in the paddock before a race. And especially about his constant habit on the straights of moving back and forward in the driver seat, urging the car faster, as if jockeying a race-horse!   A habit he retained, even on every single lap of the endurance races, or when he was way ahead in the sprint races.  Perhaps it would have helped if he had raced bicycles!  Or horses, but maybe not cars

Looking back at the results, these accomplishments look less than astonishing today.
However, it must be born in mind that Karl Benz, Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Chevrolet, Peugeot, Louis Renault, Enzo Ferrari, Colin Chapman, even Galileo and the Wright Brothers were all enthusiastic pioneers, using only the crude amateur tools of their day to make the admirable breakthroughs for future engineers to follow up on.

As Carl Sagan expressed so eloquently, all the  geniuses of today were only able to see further by standing on their inventors' shoulders.


Scamp and John Conchie met when one of them was buying a motorcycle from the other – can’t remember who.  Scamp was still a young kid, had served a full motor mechanic apprenticeship, owned an older Fiat 1100, loved speed and was already racing cars, accompanying his elder brother, Phil.  They had both entered a couple of races and 9 hour events at Grand Central race track, and somehow managed to get a bit of help and sponsorship from Lucy’s Motors, the Fiat dealer. Phil and Colin Burford always teamed together.  Scamp had no money, having just qualified, and also married, so usually had to beg a ride by doing most of the preparation work.
Conchie also loved speed and was in the process of modifying the engine of his own Fiat 1100. He had also just graduated from an apprenticeship in armature winding, and learnt from the old racing do it yourself “Pros” that internal engine parts had to be immaculately polished. So he showed off his incredibly shiny crankshaft and con-rods he was finishing  to Scamp.  Having worked with Fiat, and knowing the engine shortfalls, Scamp was not very impressed.  Fiat crankshafts were so prone to centre main bearing failure, polishing could never help!   Scamp’s own Fiat 1100 had a banged out sets of these very bearings. Too short of money to do a full repair, he became resigned to fitting a new pair of bearing shells on it from under the car every few months.  Of course, good new bearings on a worn out crank hardly helped, so one of his innovative solutions was effected.   Directly from his father’s work boots!  The long leather tongues were just right.  Snip – snip.  The solution of a distort-able leather bearing worked admirably for a teenager with no money, and reduced down time to once or twice a year!  Who knows Dad’s thoughts.

Valuable crankshaft info for budding racer Conchie, that left him in a quandary, after all the hours of hard work .  So he did careful research, and discovered that a hard chroming process lengthened the life of diesel truck engine crank journals indefinitely!
 Voila.  And so was born a great tuning and prep partnership.  Conchie’s Fiat 1100 and their first Kyalami 9 hour Endurance (Conchie/S Porter) race together brought home a clutch of silverware. 1st Saloon car, class win etc. (5th overall behind real imported and respected sports-car racers) in the 1961 (first) Kyalami 9 hour endurance race.  They tuned with few actual internal component changes, since the performance industry was in its infancy.  But Scamp was a master tuner already, having grasped the nuances of carbs, and would spend endless hours fiddling with the many adjustable carb and distributor bits, and, together with Conchie’s fabricated and laboriously finished parts, they progressed fast together.  This car was so fast and bullet proof because of the meticulous attention to every detail, and their own innovation.  It used high compression and a mirror polished cylinder head from the Fiat 1200. (slightly larger ports and valves).  Adler & Conchie already had procured a pair of early side draught Weber carbs that had just been released. (carb numbers #4 and #6!)  There was no room to fit them in a manifold drawing straight into the portsdue to the right hand drive steering if you wanted to retain the steering box, but this was hardly a deterrent.   A manifold with 165 degree sweeping bends was fabricated with the pair mounted above the valve cover.  So, when you looked at the engine, all you saw were these newfangled type carbs with huge ram tubes and shiny metallic manifolds!  Also, it had a very creative branch exhaust too!  There was no one to bend exhaust tubing to complicated shapes in South Africa!  Pipe benders were unknown.  You would buy 90 bends and fabricate or do without.  These two had different thoughts.  A handy forked branch in a nearby tree.   Some straight pipe, fill it with resin or sand, weld the ends closed, and puff and heave on one end with the other stuck in the tree, making perfect bends to your exact desire.

Being such a keen apprentice, Scamp utilised his theory lessons on front wheel camber, caster and toe to advantage.  Lowering, and adjustments quickly brought down the lap times of the street 1100, and the car went faster and faster at every appearance.  And the shoe leather fix to his own daily transport Fiat rumbled on and on.

The Big Career Step.  

Scamp applied for and started work at Renault Africa as School Instructor.  The job entailed towing a trailer of parts and tools  around the Country, teaching theory, discussing Renault vehicle fixes with the dealer mechanics, demonstrating new factory tools, and better and quicker repair procedures. (Dauphine and Fregate vehicles at the time.)  An early success due to his nature and personality was to encourage these dealer mechanics to make suggestions from their own experience and and methods, then perhaps utilising  and rewarding any innovations or ideas.  This approach resulted in Renault Africa encouraging and offering prizes and rewards for money saving ideas, tools or processes, which was a first, I think, in the Industry.
The French Regie Renault Factory had established a racing reputation during the early part of the century. But the post war cars they produced at the this time were not really competitive, though the Dauphine with Gordini upgrades did quite well in the early local 9 hour endurance races and won a Total - Lourenco Marques Rally overall, piloted by the redoubtable Porter Brothers.    The Renault Fregate was a pretty 4 door Renault and quite large for a European import, with lazy 2200cc front engine.   It was not very popular locally and sold poorly.    The Renault Dauphine was a rear engined small and cramped four door vehicle with 850cc motor and superseded the post WWll 750CV.  Its intention was to compete with the wildly successful VW Beetle.  It offered excellent fuel mileage, but proved not to be anywhere near as popular, and the water cooled engine was not as reliable.  It also suffered the ill manners of the VW in crosswinds and had the same reputation for toppling over easily.  However the lowered Dauphines that raced seemed to have far better handling qualities than the VW, with few such racing incidents. 

Lawson Motors (Volvo Importers and Renault Dealers who had a great racing tradition with their Volvos) were successfully racing their Volvo 444/544 cars, and even encouraging enthusiasts who were prepared to try racing the Dauphine.  Phil Porter, who loved any type of car racing, was now quite involved with the Dauphine (1093) Gordini, and somehow got a 9 hour entry out of it.  Brother Scamp was the preparation man, but the prep work had to be done in their own time.  No time off from duties!   What one doesn’t do for brotherly love!  Brother Phil and Colin Burford had tried and enjoyed quite some success with rear engine vehicle handling when competing in a Fiat 750 Abarth for Lucy Motors at Grand Central Circuit.    But this swing axle rear suspension was something else!    Systematic lowering and tweaking the suspension was a must, but sudden over-steering  situations would still occur!  So, an innovative solution from brother Scamp!  “If you can’t beat it learn to live with a better it”.  So Scamp searched around for a method of getting a faster steering response, to allow good driver's reflexes the ability to catch the sudden steering change.  And the birth of all the Renault quick steering came about.  You modified the rack with a larger pinion and offset bushings, giving just over 1 turn from lock to lock.  The drivers loved this new gadget!  The 9 Hour results with that vehicle proved the excellent, painstaking preparation that Scamp was capable of, as the car was reasonably powerful for an 850cc, ran faultlessly, and gave the two drivers loads of confidence in piloting the rear engined configuration. (1961: P Porter/Burford 9th overall, 1st in class, 1962: 2nd in class.)   That vehicle continued admirably and successfully on to the next season’s sprint racing schedule under the very capable stewardship of Arnold Chatz, and  the next year's 9 hour distance event with Chatz/S Porter.

The new Era

A new Renault R8 956cc vehicle was introduced to the public early in the year.  It offered a dream 5 main bearing engine, and all the internal parts were kept unbelievably small and tidy, making it a high revving delight that cried out for tuning.  This vehicle was a small and tight 4 door saloon, slightly larger than the Dauphine. It was very comfortable and still incredibly fuel efficient, but definitely would not have accommodated four rugger players.   Sales proved it to be not as popular as the VW it competed with, had similar rear engine road manners in certain situations, as well as the water cooled engine  which dogged sales.  However, in Saloon Car racing it quickly established itself as a driver's choice, on its way to becoming THE low budget entry  In S.A. it (The R8/10, Alconi, Alconi upgrades and Gordinis with Alconi upgrades) enjoyed better sales penetration than elsewhere in the world.   It also became most Renault competitive drivers’ (both rally and racing) personal choice for their own personal transport/second car, as well as the preferred  personal vehicle for a multitude of other motor-sport fans.

The name Scamp Porter and  Renault R8/Alconi/Gordini racing became synonymous.
The previous two 9 hour endurance results in Dauphines drove enthusiasm at Renault Africa.  A decision was made to compete in the upcoming 1963 event with a modified hi-powered version of the new car, even though it had not yet proved itself, and no such performance components were yet available from France or anywhere....  But don’t misunderstand, Mr Porter, if the car ebreaks, you’ll still be hung!...   Your future is still on the line! There was no R8 Gordini or Alconi.  They came later, with the 1100cc engine.  A bigger budget was needed, too.  (A budget that would make to-days racers lie down and die laughing; - no mechanics, no pit crew, no pit supplies. (Probably less than the monthly wage of one mechanic!)  Preparation would be a totally spare time effort, so drivers P Porter and Burford also chipped in extensively.   But Renault Africa would also have to sweat a bit.  Building hi-performance parts was not cheap, and many Saturday practise sessions were necessary!
Thus began the South African era of R8 racing history. The very first year the first R8 (956cc engine) was released!  A local performance cam grind was developed.  Friends Conchie and Adler had some ideas on cylinder head flow improvements.  Scamp’s arm was twisted, too.  If you’re going to be hung for a poor finish, what can you lose?  You need to fit twin side draft Weber carbs and tuned length exhaust, everything one could think of at the time. Plus the suspension and quick ratio steering lessons learned from the Dauphine racing days. Adler and Conchie also made up the manifolds, though by now help was at hand, as one could get pipes bent to follow templates you fabricated with smaller diameter copper tubing!  The works all  lovingly put together by Scamp and ready for testing.  In those years Kyalami allowed practice/testing for about 3 hours on Saturdays, afternoons only.   And this had to be shared 50/50 in alternating half hours with the motorcycle racers!

A photograph taken at Renault Africa Head Office to celebrate the 1963 fourth-place Nine-Hour result of Phil Porter and Colin Burford and the seventh of Scamp and Arnold Chatz. Scamp is second from left with Chatz beside him on his left followed by Phil and Burford. (Courtesy Arnold Chatz)

The engine relished the modifications, and the rev limit that Scamp had based his homework on for endurance racing longevity had to be extended well into the 7000 bracket.  Not a healthy sign for job retention!  This was stratospheric!  How would the new mechanicals cope?  Well, there was little time to change or refine anything, because one major problem to bug this Renault and many future Renault R8 racers suddenly materialised.     Fabulous lap times for one or two laps, then a steady loss of power!   All efforts to change jets,  ignition, fuel supply, fuel, spark plugs were futile.  Nothing improved.  It was known that Weber S/D carbs were always highly susceptible to vibration, and needed sensitive vertical damping.   The Renault engine, because it was mounted to a transmission that had to be reasonably solid, did have considerable vertical vibrations.  So, make up softer dampers, make up harder dampers, support the carbs from the engine bay!  Nothing worked!  Until on one lucky practice run, a carb jet change was performed in such a  rush to get a reading before  the practise session closed.  No time to refit the engine (bonnet) lid.   The car took off with the rear open to the atmosphere.  Problem discovered!  Better lap times, and no pace slack off!   This caused a few pub rounds of beer and hours of painful, thoughtful analysis!   It was exhaust manifold heat and coolant heat (the R8 fan sucked the heat through the radiator to the intake and carbs) combining to throttle the engine and overheat the fuel.
Side draughts carbs were the worst offenders, sitting just atop the exhaust!  What to do?  Regulations don’t allow bodywork like engine bonnets to be left off during races!  Lots and lots of experimenting followed, and, with time to the event getting short, it was necessary to use the help of Randburg’s main roads, sprinting down the country lanes, with pieces of wool trailing off the rear bodywork, and spotters and passengers watching to see where they pointed at high speed!  Each genius idee on rectifying the hot air problem failed, and the 9 hour event was eventually completed with makeshift ducting screwed and taped on, and heavy asbestos sheeting between the carbs and the exhaust.  Conchie, being the armature winder, was especially useful, in painstakingly winding many layers of armature insulating asbestos tape around each exhaust runner to prevent as much heat transfer as possible.

Well, that 9 hour race results spoke volumes.  A clean sweep!  4th overall, 1st saloon car to finish, behind pukka racing sports cars, (drivers P. Porter/Burford) and wet weather road holding that embarrassed the sports cars!  All on simple Michelin radials.  Kudos and accolades for Scamp and drivers, but no wage increase!   (Scamp also raced and the Chatz/S Porter Renault Dauphine finished with 7th place overall, 1st in class)

Scamp always wanted to race the fastest cars himself, not just prepare vehicles every night.  Immediately after the 9 hour race, he managed to get a deal on an R8 .   He wanted to do Sprint racing, and was permitted use of the modified parts from the 9 hour car.   He spent hours and hours on the under bonnet heating problem, with all sorts of novel approaches.  Reversing the flow of the whole cooling system, using engine driven fans to blow the heat out, ducts everywhere. 
 Renault introduced a new R8 1100cc (956cc bored out to 1108cc) engine for 1964, which upped power nicely, and good race results started accumulating, but preventing the drop off in power on side-draught carbs cars was always a concern.  This problem was to a large extent solved later in the following year with the arrival of the 1108cc R8 Gordini.  This used a crossflow hemi cylinder head, so the carbs were stuck on the side of the engine opposite the exhaust.   Interesting to note, the Alconi, with downdraft twinchoke carb and original carburetter cold air ductwork, never suffered this malady.
Another area that  Scamp felt needed some improvement was the still slightly tail happy handling.  He felt there was lap time there still.   How he managed all these experiments is a complete mystery.  Because he was totally busy, morning noon and night, repairing private customer cars, helping Fiat owners with performance mods, and even doing bodywork and spray painting, because he sometimes procured a wreck that he repaired and resold for a little extra money to spend on his racing!  And he was working a full day, still doing his instruction tours about the Country, and preparing his racing car and the Factory Rally entries.  And pulling his weight as a husband and father. Talk about living on lack of sleep!

A rather amusing story to come from this.  He was developing another genius idee about swing axle suspension. His race cars were always pre-set with good negative rear wheel camber.  To prevent the rear end jacking on corners, why not shorten the check straps to limit travel and retain some of the negative camber.  Came Saturday afternoon Kyalami practice.  Lets compare lap times.  This experiment ended with the car skidding sideways entering the corner, then flopping onto its driver’s side at Clubhouse bend!  We all rushed down.   Scamp, are you OK?  What happened?  That was the scariest thing we’ve ever seen!  As the car went over, you seemed to fall out of your seat belt.  All we saw were arms and legs sticking out the window!  You could easily have lost a leg or arm! ……
 Nah, that was me, says Scamp.  When it flopped onto its side, it slowly started lifting up to go onto its roof, and I thought:  “I already have to straighten the driver’s side, and I really don’t want to do the roof too, so I stuck my feet out the driver’s window and pushed and strained until it flopped back…….And by the way, the check straps are no great idea either”!
Remember, understanding road holding was in its infancy. 

The next two upgrades during the year really made the R8 a road holding champion.  There was now enough power in that engine for the rear wheels to lose cornering traction through wheel spin.  Changing front or rear or both end spring rates did not help.  To adapt or fabricate a limited slip differential was the next immediate challenge?  You could not buy one - probably still can’t.  This was not  Ford or Volvo or Alfa with Factory Competition Development, and racing parts available!  An R8 has a dinky little gearbox, and nothing already available could be adapted.   So Scamp’s next genius idee was to lock the diff completely.  Wouldn’t work, said  the boffins!  You’ll never get the vehicle off a straight line, and the initial understeer is unmanageable. And wet weather driving would be no cake-walk either!  He pondered this for a while.  Understeer could be a good thing at times with rear engines.  A Renault diff is not an easy thing to get at.  And there are many expensive parts.  Why weld it solid, as the dragsters did?  Welding causes all sorts of fatigue and cracking problems.  So he solved this by adding two extra spider pinions that jammed the diff, and could be removed without damage or cost if it did not work.  His now newly straightened R8 lapped it up.  Handling ease, corner entry speeds, hard acceleration with steering on correction was fabulous.   And so was born the “Porter-Posi! (traction)” All the higher powered sprint R8s from then on were so equipped, including his Renault competitors, who were informed of this new aid, and not one single component failure was recorded.  The second alteration, on advice from his two Alconi (not yet formed) friends, was a stronger front anti roll bar, to limit vehicle roll and improve front/rear balance.  They built him a triple strength bar, about twice the diameter of the car’s road springs!...Better.   So they built an even bigger one, 8 times the strength of the original bar!   Better still.  In fact, the bar was so strong that, should any R8 have an accident and get completely demolished, the bar would keep the two front corners together! All racing R8/Alconi/Gordini’s from this day forth raced with an anti roll bar the equivalent of 8 Renault front anti-roll bars attached to the suspension.  (In fact it might have been a great idea for the Renault Factory to have equipped production Alconis and Gordinis with a hefty standard  anti-roll bar as well, in hindsight.)   These two factors turned the car into an awesome track car, easily coping with the wide wheels and the best tires of the day.   And it made the R8 equal in handling to the best of its imported British and Italian saloon car competitors, and an absolute joy to drive. Sprint and Endurance race results continued to be hauled in, and any wet weather occasions were embraced with open arms.

An advert placed by Renault Africa after the November 1964 Nine-Hour. The Renault Gordini mentioned in the inset driven by Angela Pera and John Myers, was the Dauphine Gordini 1093 driven by Scamp and Arnold Chatz in the 1963 Nine-Hour. In the advert Basil van Rooyen follows the fourth-place Chatz/Porter R8 in the Zephyr, while David Piper is seen coming through in his Ferrari GTO shared with Tony Maggs. (Courtesy Arnold Chatz)

 The Kyalami 9 hour brought another good result, with another 4th place overall, 1st saloon car home and class win (Scamp Porter/Chatz).  These were not simply 9 hour endurance competitions against other somewhat similar cars!  These R8s were beating a slew of high powered and imported sports cars, and many overseas sports car entries as well.  Often, the traditional Kyalami 9 hour rain storm helped them catch up with the Ferraris, Cobras, Porsches, Jaguars, etc., but reliability and preparation also played a big part.  Endurance driving was an absolute pleasure, as the seats were so comfortable, and the steering with rear engine, so light.

And so, a rising tide of Renault R8 entries grew throughout the Country.  This vehicle was becoming a popular choice for would-be racers.
Only a few further steps in handling materialised after this, but more of it later.
These Competitors at the time who were starting to race Renault R8s were offered every bit of this hard earned information and advice, supplied many of the special trick parts, and told how and where to get  the rest.  Never were any sneaky tricks held back from and fellow competitor, so his own entry/ies could win. 
He was at last given his first Factory help!  Wait for it!  The “Big” sponsorship came in the form of….wait for it….free use of any and all the Renault parts that were returned to the factory under warranty! …. And so it happened that his Randburg home became all R8 racers' after hours congregating place and dream parts supplier. The “Renault Randburg Division.”  Open 24/7.  Free advice, a few laughs and always, cup after cup of tea.  He had the largest personal tea cup ever produced, with the name “Daddy” on its sides.  His little home repair and race preparation industry and parts supply was becoming so big now, that an extra double garage and storeroom was needed.  For this, he in-spanned his Dad (a builder and carpenter) to help, and their work was completed shortly thereafter.  Where he ever found the time to do all this extra building work as well, no one could fathom.

Brother Phil Porter, always active and wanting to race/rally, was a senior accountant at Renault Africa, and did much to influence their racing spirit and attitude.   Of course, Renault Africa had enjoyed a fairy tale introduction to racing, and so it was not too difficult to encourage them.  The staff soon became gung-ho.  But they now expected these types of results.   Engine failures and accidents only happened to other inferior makes.  No credit was given to the meticulous and careful preparation and foresight that was the gift of their  “competition department's” sole overworked employee.   Eventually, they did relieve him of his day job, budgeting for Scamp to become the Renault Competition Department (one man). 

 Phil also procured an R8 entry in the year’s premier Total LM Rally, which was not surprising, after their previous success.
At the time Adler and Conchie and the go ahead Renault Africa management had begun discussions in capitalising on the racing success with a factory performance model.  The bosses thought it a worthwhile idea, and a car was offered to this pair of interpid builders.  Work commenced.  A few different arrangements were envisioned, and some ideas were tried.  Within a few weeks this new road car, a modified performance model now called the Alconi, was delivered to Scamp for evaluation before being returned to Renault Africa for testing.  The factory had the intention of letting all their sales reps  hammer it as they drove about the Country, as only sales reps can, evaluate it, and get impressions from their various dealers.  Scamp knew a lot more about what the vehicle was going to be subjected to than the two innocent fabricators, so he used it for a few weeks himself, came back with suggestions and contributions that smoothed  it out amazingly, and made the car very easy to drive, as well as quick and desirable.  All this in addition to his already mammoth work load.  You could not faze this guy with hard work

Phil’s designated Rally entry for the Total LM hwas being prepared at the same time.  However, after driving the new Alconi, both Phil and Scamp opined that a similar performance engine would be ideal for their rally entry, with a few tactical alterations like a single carb to best take advantage of the regulations.  So, an Alconi was involved in its first motor sporting event before the vehicles were even manufactured!  For the rally, Phil had Scamp as his navigator (P.Porter/S Porter), which was fortunate indeed.  In addition to his imaginative forethought and mechanical skills, Scamp was an excellent navigator, completely at ease with all the furious math work necessary to clock in the exact times rally competitors needed.  And he was very successful at this, though prone to terrible car sickness, and one can only imagine what a murderous experience a long rally was.  Before the Rally had reached a third of the distance, a weak point was discovered.  The Alconi intake manifold had cracked badly!   Ever improvising, Scamp managed somehow to strengthen and re-rig it in place during the stages and at the stops, which was incredible, for the car won the event overall on its first outing. (Cheers for racers-tape!)  It gave both Renault and Alconi a feather in their cap, and stress tested parts of the conversion.  Scamp’s innate ability to read, repair and solve a problem was further put to the test in this, the first R8 rally entry.   Awful roads and the many yumps the car was subjected to, caused parts in the front suspension to bend, and affected the vehicle’s front steering and toe so badly it slowly became impossible to aim.  So, while navigating the route map, spinning the calculator, adjusting the Halda and maintaining the mechanicals, he also had to think up tools he would need, and a method to straighten and realign these steering parts at each stop, so the vehicle could continue.   Results prove he did it.  Scamp deserved the kudos, but Renault and Alconi reaped the benefits.  The fact that they had two Total LM rally wins in four years allowed them to compete two times in the Monte-Carlo Rally, and these two experiences were Scamp's only ever trips out of Africa.  Of course, he could not prepare his own entries, and the unusual French regulations got them into trouble too.

With this big win and the general enthusiasm of the staff and dealers for the prototype Alconi, it was not long before the enterprising young Boss of Renault Africa gave a green light for production, and stuck his neck out by retaining the warranty on the rest of the car. But the Alconi Production run that would allow new specifications for racing  standard R8's turned out to be short lived.

1965 and 1966

Because soon after, Renault released  the 1108cc R8 Gordini, with crossflow cylinder head and 4 carburetter throats, and this configuration offered far more performance potential to all-out racers.  The production Gordini was considerably more expensive, yet hardly faster than the Alconi, but the new engine had incredibly far sighted basics, and, especially in 1300cc form and 5 speed gearbox, had distinct power advantages.    Scamp in his capacity as the whole Renault Racing Department plus their preparation person, driver, transporter and pit crew, with  help from Alconi, developed this motor to produce scads of power, especially in the higher rpms.
Alconi found him an excellent camshaft to start with.  But the high-lift profile, together with the huge breathing improvements (giant 39mm and 35mm valves and valve springs able to cope with the higher engine speeds had to be researched and resourced) made many of the Gordini components very delicate and prone to failure, so reliability required a genius in ideas and engineering, a touch of finesse and a lot of testing to improve durability. This all had to be done locally, from scratch.
[ Other competitors, aside from being able to import ready built spring engines and suspension parts, had special gear ratios available to take advantage of the peaky modified engines.  Not Renault, though the Gordini 1300cc did have closer ratio 5 speed box.    Scamp was not quite satisfied with this, so it wasn’t long before he had worked out better gearing, and replaced the five gears with pairs made to his new specs.   He was even toying with the idea of extending the Gordini box to 6 speeds, and with just a few more facilities available, would doubtless have done it!
This kind of power output had never been envisioned by the R8 designers, so some drive train, axles and wheel parts had to be strengthened too, or redesigned. You only learned a weak point from a failure.  So you were kind of the test pilot!  When a rear axle broke due to cornering loads, you could redesign and strengthen it, but only if you survived!  No deep infrastructure of other racers to keep you posted, because it was he alone on the cutting edge!   In fact the only imported Renault competition part utilised were the 1296cc H/C pistons, available from Alpine.  The 1300cc Gordini was really a bored version of the 1108, with the 5 speed and a number of extra refinements and mechanical changes and 4 head lights.
 Double clutches and thicker axles had to be designed and fabricated. (And, of course, made available to other R8 racers.)   But, as teething troubles were overcome, competitive makes to Renault in the 1300cc bracket soon fell away.  Even the imported British racing saloons that were so dominant overseas could not keep up. Those interested in the R8 Gordini modifications, see:
The only threat to class victories came from drivers of a similar type car.   Always more than fair, these drivers, like Geoff Mortimer and Jody Scheckter, were offered all the advice plus the reinforced or redesigned components to make their chariots identical and as safe as his own.  The only disadvantage a fellow competitor had was the fact that acquiring Gordini parts was shockingly expensive, while Scamp’s budget, though meagre, was in better shape.  And he still had the warranty returns! 
This budget would have made the Ford and Alfa teams cringe.  They would have called it petrol money with no change left over for beer!

 Scamp was still essentially a “one man show” in a different world.   He did his own towing, all the preparation on his own car and the factory rally cars. (Rally car preparation was labour intensive, as the chassis needed oodles of reinforcing, and the addition of so many brackets, switches, extra lights, tires and spares.  This work required a very experienced hand, especially in the electrics, to prevent all the possible short circuits or failures, the major bugbear of rally cars in that era.)   Booking of away race and rally accommodation also fell on him, and still he would find the time to entertain and help and make suggestions to other race and rally competitors.  He was constantly on the phone, patiently answer calls from would be racers and rally drivers, and all the while in high demand  by the Renault staff too, for an opinion on the general run of the mill standard Renault warranty breakage or repair work discussions!  Quite a job requirement!  And quite the role for a simple race driver!
Their rally entries and frequent Rally successes increased the size of the Rally component of the Renault Africa budget, and also upped his workload.   Remember, in those days a new plan to garner Rally wins was just coming on stream.  The requirement for the successful Rally cars to be “chased” by Factory maintenance and parts vans. The drivers of these “chasers” had to help with the repairs, maintenance and frequent body straightening in situ, during the special rally stages, or wherever a competitor stopped!  He and the Renault factory reps were these van drivers.
These enthusiastic rally car “chasers” deserve special mention. With all their duties, not only did they get less sleep and rest than an actual competitor, but they had to follow them at first with Renault R4s, later R16s service vehicles.  (The Renault R4 was a front engine small van with a bit more room than an R8 for spare tires an service parts, but had a tiny 850cc engine that could not even keep up with a standard R8, never mind rally car.  And, being bogged down with all the extra weight, they needed a star driver to complete the route behind the competitors, without killing himself.  The Renault R16, when it became available, was a larger 1500cc and later 1600cc front-engined vehicle with more interior room, but was also no star performer.)
 At the time a number of privateers also began to rally Renault R8’s, due to its success and relatively low cost and upkeep.   So, being Scamp, not only were these competitors also kept up to date with all developments in performance, reliability and strengthening needs, as well as advice from the experience and knowledge he had gleaned from his successful factory rallying, but, in addition, he now had to add and equip the “chaser” vans with more parts, tires and bits, as all this help was extended to privateers as well.  The policy proved very popular and also brought good appreciation and publicity, as privateers often also started featuring well in results.

One cannot continue without relating a rather embarrassing story now.  Generally, Scamp’s racing car was housed at the local city Renault dealer during the few days before an away from the Reef sprint event.   At a sojourn at the Cape Town dealer, the sales staff approached and wanted to know how in the world these rally drivers managed to effect  the 180 degree car rotation on its own axis to reverse direction! ….. Oh, you mean the hand brake turn! ….. Let me show you….So, in they climbed, into the brand new showroom Renault R4 demonstrator.  Two salesmen,  Scamp and the dealer big Boss.  Hi-tailing it down the main Cape Town drag.  In a small space in the traffic, Scamp cried "hold on" duly jerked up the hand brake, and spun the steering around.  But the heavily occupied little car responded badly, tipping onto its passenger side.  Right in the centre of town! So, there was poor Scamp, helping the three other occupants out of the two doors that were now facing up in the air, apologising profusely to the Boss… sooo sorry……It was the badly adjusted handbrake!..... Caused a lot of good natured ribbing.  Amazingly no injuries or blood or scrapes or knocked out teeth in the days of no seat belts!

Final Performance gains that made the 1300 R8 Gordini a giant killer.  Regulation changes allowing for after market 13” diameter wheels and the recently factory homologated 2” and 4" factory fender spats.  This almost eliminated rear end jacking and made R8s the finest handling saloons on the circuit.  Sprint race class wins were a formality.  Moving the radiator system to the front also allowed better and cooler engine air, with another slight up in performance. The engine and running gear was bulletproof now, so reliability was affected only by preparation and the odd electric glitch.  And the most enviable endurance race results continued to roll in. Renault Africa offered the fastest racing Gordinis in the world, and the Regie Renault factory asked for parts like camshafts and exhaust systems.
In fact so well did the cars handle that (unlike their competition) a sports car tyre like Michelin was considered adequate for endurance races, and if it occasioned to rain, contesting an overall position was on the cards as well as 1st saloon home, class wins, index wins and team wins! (No diving into the pits for a quick tire change!)   1965 occasioned a slight slip in the Renault’s unbelievable 9 hour runs, as this year an R8 finished 2nd saloon car home and two mere class wins! (Mortimer/Hooper 9th overall & class win, P Porter/Burford 12th overall, class win)  They were beaten by a Volvo, but by less than one lap this year!
For the 1966 9 hour endurance event Scamp’s  Renaults were back on top, with  a 5th and 6th finish overall, 1st saloon car home, class win and  2nd saloon car home plus index wins (S Porter/Adler 5th, P Porter/Burford 6th).  This with the usual R8 Gordini and a new Renault R10 (Alconi entered) hardly 2 laps behind it.  The R10 (essentially an R8 with slightly altered bodywork and longer front and rear overhang) was specially equipped for an index win, and utilised the same Gordini 1300cc engine of the 5th placed car, but had an intake manifold specially fabricated by Alconi to use only one twin choke Alconi type carburetter.
 During practise, for this type of event, a car goes through a lot of assembling and dismantling, and at one stage the new R10's boot lid (front) had been re attached but not perfectly aligned.   This produced an incredible whining sound speeding down the straight, and the pit attendants decided to leave it misaligned, for easy identification at night.  It upset the competitors who wanted to know what was blowing air into the engine for the boost.  It also didn't really please the Renault factory, who were having issues with this exact customer complaint, but it served its purpose well all night and especially through the heavy evening rain session.
One does not hesitate to complement the engine design and strength for much of the performance, but remember that most enhancements and nearly all the handling superiority was all  developed and perfected locally. Overcoming the deficiency of the hot air in the engine compartment and getting the big horsepower numbers and reliability from the engine was painstakingly Scamp and his few helpers.  There was the wonderful Alconi  lobe repositioned camshaft, and improving and gas-flowing the crossflow to an amazingly efficient cylinder head. (Iffy reliability from the hard stressed Gordini cylinder head components and a totally inadequate clutch also had to be overcome.)


An R8 Alconi had already totally dominated Kyalami’s Onyx series races, taking the 1966 trophy  with an overall win in the final event.  (The Onyx series of races were Kyalami Race Track only events for locally produced cars, with classes based on their retail price. Only limited modifications were allowed.  Volvo 122, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Sprint, Cortina GT, Mini Cooper S, Sunbeam Tiger were the usual entrants.)                                                      
 Such was the 1300cc Gordini dominance in modified Saloons, that R8 contenders decided not to ruin each other’s chances by fighting for victory amongs themselves! (They were really only 1-1.5 seconds a laps slower than the overall race winners – usually a Ford 7000cc Galaxy or 2000cc BDA Escort.)  As Renault had sold 946cc R8’s, Jeff Mortimer decided to compete in the 1000cc class. He was immediately competitive with the fast 1000cc imported overseas engined Anglias and Cooper Minis. In 1969 he lost his lead in the Modified saloon championmship in the final race.  In 1970 he won the championship, using a  special new crankshaft he made, de-stroking the Gordini 1300 engine to 1000cc, which made him dominant.   

Here are some interesting comments from Geoff Mortimer during an interview with Run Ride Drive.  Mortimer competed in racing and rallying for more than 30 years, and drove specialised race-bred cars like Chev Canams (5 liter V8 engines) and  factory built Audi Quattro turbos for a number of years.


"Group N racing brought you success in the Renault Gordini in particular. Tell us more about the Gordini?
The Renault 8 Gordini of the 60s and 70s was truly a remarkable car. In South Africa in the hands of Phil Porter, Chris Swanepoel and Louis Cloete it was a very successful rally car. In the National SA Saloon car racing category the car was very successful with myself, Scamp Porter and Jody Schecktar as main drivers. In long distance races we teamed up with the rally drivers to take numerous index wins in the famous Nine Hour race and Springbok Series.
The car was probably the best handling rear engine production car in the world at that time and needed very little in the way of suspension changes to make it a fantastic handling race or rally car. The engine was a brilliant development by Amedee Gordini of the current 1100cc (and later 1255cc) Renault R8 engine and lent itself to race and rally tuning. The 1000cc version was developed by myself and Scamp Porter in the late 60s to compete against the very quick Minis it developed 123bhp and revved to 9000rpm.
What was your favourite car that you raced?
Favourite Race Car: Renault Gordini – Vice free, easy to setup, always competitive even against supposedly faster cars in larger capacity classes.
Favourite Rally Car: Ford Escort MK11 – Did not have to prepare it myself, bit you if you treated it badly – fantastic to drive.
Who were your favourite rivals?
Were those you could race wheel to wheel without actually making contact and not have to have recriminations or bad feelings with after the race. To name a few, Garth McGill, Gordon Briggs, Scamp Porter, Dave Charlton, Willie Hepburn, Tony Viana, Collin Burford and Koos Swanepoel."

And Puddles Adler, (who was only really available to compete at Kyalami on the Reef) would try his hand at supercharging, which multiplied the engine capacity by 1.4, putting the car in the 2000cc class to perhaps contest an overall win.

 (These escapades are a story for another time.  Mortimer legendary dices against the imported works Ford Anglias and Mini Coopers.  In Adler’s case, things were not as easy.   Blowing was a totally new field.  Unlike today, where boost is more or less the performance car norm, previous engines were carburetted.  So, if you sucked the mix into the blower, you had a very hot and potentially extremely explosive intake manifold.  Going through any type of intercooler doubled or trebled this volume.  If you blew plain air into the carburetter, you had a pressurised float bowl and potential blower pressure going all the way through the fuel lines to the tank!  Work demands made it a spare time after hours job, too, and overcoming the pressurised overheating intake air mixture, as well as coping with the further stresses to the drive train took time to overcome.  But race lap records were frequently set, and the car often led the race. (1968 saw it lead the race and the newly imported Auto Delta Alfa Romeo Sprint 2000 for some laps at the South African Grand Prix and make famous French F1 driver J-P Beltoise want to buy it then and there.)  In hindsight, a few simple modern tricks would have unleashed enormous potential and made the car unbeatable.  But it is really modern fuel injection that matured the supercharging and turbocharging concept, and made it so viable today.\

Scamp, like Jody, could get it sideways too, locked diff et al.
At Roy Hesketh, Scamp’s favourite circuit, in the 1970 season. (Colin Camp/motorprint)

So 1967 was a good year for the Renaults in the 1000cc and a totally dominant year in the 1300cc class.  In fact he won the 1968 Modified Saloon Car Championship, taking 1st place in every race that year. 
They also continued their endurance race tradition with a 1st saloon car finish in the 9 hour event, and class win (9th overall P Porter/Burford) and excellent Rally results by both factory sponsored entrants and local privateers.  This year brought South Africa an introduction of French Factory competition in the form of a Renault Alpine at the 9 hour event.   The Renault Alpine, also rear engined, used a version of the newly introduced Renault R16 TS engine, which adapted easily onto the rear configurationed  R8 and R8 Gordini 5 speed gearbox.  The TS used a much more substantial engine of 1600cc, also with crossflow head.  It produced good power, but could not qualify for local R8 racing because the R8 did not come that way to the showroom floor.  In the event, the Gordini 1300cc engine seems to still be the gold standard, and I have not heard of TS equipped cars that could match it in outright performance or lap times. 
A gauge of the sudden  new French Renault Factory interest can also be obtained from the fact that in addition to Alpine, Lotus released the Lotus Europa Model, after an agreement with them, in which they used a slightly higher performance  Renault R16 (1500cc) engine and Renault drivetrain.


Jody Scheckter arrived on the scene as a complete surprise. Here was a youngster with enormous talent, who had already been through a few years of Go Karting (school for underage potential race drivers, a la todays F1 pilots). He had just started an apprenticeship, and being the son of an East London Renault Dealer gave him a leg up financially with influence at Renault Africa, and lots of time on his hands. Because of the connection, Scamp had been his hero as a kid.   Scamp encouraged and helped the keen youngster and gave him the complete handling and performance package, so he was immediately up with the big boys.  An R8 already handled like a Go-Kart, and Jody spent his whole apprenticeship year innocently drilling, carving, plasticising and lightening his race car without a single thought to the weight limits imposed by the regulations.

Suddenly the nicely laid plan of who wins which class was threatened by a usurper!   Most racing drivers  increase cornering speed every lap until they are comfortably on the limit. Jody’s philosophy on driving fast, was that you first went too fast, skidded off the track, then slowly decreased speed every lap until you could just make it through and stay on the road!  Sideways Scheckter was really a simplification!  Jody was usually reappearing from the long grass or perimeter fence after each corner.  But it was not long before he posed a real threat to the Porter winning ways.  In his autobiography “Jody”, a lot of respect and credit is given to Scamp in various references to his early racing years.

As a Competition Department, Scamp felt Rallying and Endurance racing was  a team effort, so every competitor had to have the same potential. It was impossible to prepare and compete in both, and, as Scamp enjoyed the racing side most, he found and employed good Rally drivers. The Rally section was still enjoying many successes and a few overall wins, and quite a few privateers were assisted by the factory for most of these events.

 For the endurance race season, he preferred a team of two cars, and chose to drive the higher powered entry.  His team strategy was to enter one a little more powerful and the other slightly less modified car, to ensure at least one car made it to the finish.  But his meticulous preparation, foresight on the demands of the race, pit preparation and parts at hand always seemed to outdo other competitors, even the one or two faster sports cars makes to the extent that his R8s always featured among the high powered sports cars, beating a good number who were competing for overall victory.  As the annual 9 hour race became internationally more well known, more and more illustrious overseas competitors entered, so it was quite an accomplishment to beat many of them continuously. It was not only being the first saloon car home that was so impressive.  It was like the hare and the tortoise.  The old adage, “to finish first you have to first finish.”   The 1968 endurance races again brought trophies for 1st and 2nd saloon car home and impressive overall results. (S Porter/Swanepoel  9th overall, P Porter/Burford  10th on the same lap)  Chris Swanepoel was his chosen factory Rally driver at the time, who had claimed a number of wins and championships there as well.


Renault released the R12 1300cc, which utilized basically a stroked version of the 1108cc engine.  This  did not alter the racing motors of the Gordini engined sprint racing R8's. However, at the time Jody Scheckter was interested in continuing the campaign with the Alconi developed supercharged engine, and by fitting the longer stroke crankshaft to the 1300cc Gordini engine, capacity would be upped into the 1400cc which he felt was allowed by supercharging.  Jody did pull off one or two impressive overall Sprint race wins, but the reliability of this power-plant was still an unknown.  Scamp and Geoff Mortimer continued on their successful rounds with the usual class wins, Scamp mostly finishing 2nd, 3rd or occasionally 4th overall behind the Galaxy or BDA Escort and Auto-Delta.   His Rally car preparation and results were still one highlight of his accomplishments, his sponsored rally driving pair Swanepoel and Crous achieving a third Renault  overall victory in  the 1969 Total LM rally, (the first two achieved by Phil and Scamp in 1962 & 64) -  the premier Rally event of international importance on the South African calendar.

A highlight of the year was the impressive 9 hour endurance race, once again.  This year another 1st saloon car overall, and a 4th place on distance. (S Porter/Mortimer) The Kyalami 9 hour was continuing to attract more and more illustrious overseas sports car entries, and very many well prepared real racing breeds ended up behind them once again.  The public were no longer surprised to see a Renault R8 featured in the results.  It was a given, as if the car was built for racing and for 9 hour endurance events,  and had the comparative power and  weight of the specifically designed sports racers!

When cars were hairy and the stands packed. The start of the 1969 Nine-Hour. (motorprint)


The French Regie Renault  thinking was moving to front engined larger cars.  The R16 and R16TS had no racing potential, though the TS engine did show itself to be useful overseas with Renault Alpines.  Renault Africa brought out the new R12 front engined, somewhat larger and heavier vehicle, with the same basic engine as the R10..  Naturally, they wanted to compete and continue their run of successes with this new baby.  It was ill suited for track use, but Scamp agreed to try his hand at building it into a rally car. It was starting from square one again, because no other country or developer had even considered this car yet.  Renault in France was happy with the Renault Alpine rally prowess, but as these vehicles were not being offered for sale in South Africa, the local factory saw little benefit.   Gordini was also developing a special GT version of the R12 with the R16TS 1600 or 1700cc engine, but this  would be in the future and would not be available locally.  The local rally drivers, who had been so successful with the R8s were willing to try their hands on the new car, but engine performance, traction and too much weight bugged them throughout the year.   Scamp and Renault entered cars, but for the first time since its introduction, the 9 hour Kyalami event did not include a factory prepared finisher.  A private R8 still achieved a class win., but hey were somewhat down the list.
But 1970 was the twilight years of the rear engined Renault R8, and Renault Racing was hard pressed to compete with the larger less competitive front engine cars.  

You can bet that, had the Renault R5 Gordini, with its rear engine (The midi engined R5 Turbo, with 1527cc engine homologated in the 1980s and made for 'B' class rally work) come out a little earlier, South African Renaults would still have been in the forefront of Saloon car Racing and Rallying, and probably taken a large portion of the overseas production run for local sales!

Actual saloon car racing and rallying was not the only R8 forte.  Ever since its introduction it had been entered and featured in economy runs as well.  The most well-known was the Total Economy Run, where certain minimum speeds had to be maintained over a planned route, and a careful check and scrutiny kept on the competitors.  The Renault R8s and Alconis seemed made for this, especially with the knowledge and tinkering of Scamp.  He had worked out all the carburetter and ignition settings for optimal performance, even to the extent of special adjustment of valve clearances!  Coasting was allowed if you could keep up to their minimum speed requirements (which were quite high, usually 60 to 80 kph).  And brother Phil was an absolute ace at driving in these events. Amazing consumption figures, usually in the high 50 and 60 mpg range were achieved, usually with the R8 Alconi model, which had higher compression and even better engine efficiency!

This exciting era in motor racing was also coming to an end.  Production cars still raced on mainly standard engine internals, and peak engine rpm was approaching 9000.   Electronic ignition was slowly being introduced, but this was a very primitive type, where just the spark was generated in a distributor without the use of contact points.   Ignition advance was still devised by the distributor, so an advantage was  dubious, and the electronics were not in any way reliable.  Fuel injection was also just being introduced.  Formula One vehicles were not boosted and equipped with a Lucas mechanical type injection, which was quite unreliable and certainly not precision, as their many retirements from races in this times will attest.  Cortinas and later, Ford Escorts were available with the Lotus Twin Cam engines, and later with the larger capacity 16 valve formula 2 engines, the size of which increased from 1600cc to 2000cc. Even in their final form the R8 Gordini 1300cc was still a class winner, and would definitely have given them a good run for an overall win, had its capacity been about 1500cc!  The first of the 16 valve fours was a Ford Escort with the Cosworth  BDA, and these were already in use by competitors.   In the EFI department, injection vehicles were slowly being introduced to the public towards the end of the 1960s, notably by VW and Volvo.  This comprised  electronically controlled fuel injector pulse and a computer, which adjusted the fuel according to manifold pressure.  Being in its infancy, it was only notable for the unreliability of the electronics. This is attested by the fact that, a few years later, many vehicles reverted to the mechanical type Bosch K-tronic design.  It is doubtful if these EFI developments (4 valve per cylinder over-head camshaft engines excepted, as these did offer tremendous breathing improvements - consequently far higher rpm) of the early 1970s, even at their best, would have offered more than minimal horsepower gains.  Multi-camshaft profiles activating valves or cam phasing was not even in some engineers infant dreams yet, and dry-sump lubrication  was still a somewhat unreliable single seat formula engine option.  As it happens, Scamp was already working on “Kugelfischer” (introduced on the Peugeot) and another aftermarket injection system, to try and get that tiny extra bit from the engine!  He was also contemplating the possibilities of a dry-sump lubrication system, though electric pumps were notoriously unreliable, so he was toying with some mechanical drive.   But, as stated earlier, the Renault R8 was already obsolescent and production was being phased out in the final year of the 1960 decade, which meant the end of factory promoted competition for the Renault R8.


Phil Porter had moved on and joined Toyota South Africa.  It was not long after, that he enticed Scamp to join him, and run the new Competition Department there, which started with rally cars but had ideas about endurance racing too, and a bigger budget. Their rally cars were Toyota Corollas that were highly modified with special high performance imported engines that were far too powerful for the traction offered.  Race track Formula 1 cars were already brandishing huge wings to help their roadholding, so it was but a small step for the agile Scamp mind to be the first to adapt this idea on his Corollas.  You would see these rally cars with an oversized wing somewhere above the rear window trying to push the rear end down for increased traction.  Rally Champion Ove Anderson frequently came out and established a good rapport, respect and friendship with Scamp. Overseas Rally competitors came out to drive in all the important events,  so there were a number of cars to prepare and service. At first there were a few retirements, but towards the end of the year good results began to accumulate. 

For the 1972 9 hour Toyota decided to compete with an imported, race prepared Toyota Celica 2000cc, equipped with their Japanese twin cam engine.  Neither the car, nor the drive train were sold in South Africa. When it appeared for practice, the car was quite competitive, putting in lap times similar to those of the 2 liter GTs that competed in the sprint events in South Africa during the year.
 But then, in the dark of the evening of official Thursday night practice, two days before the event,  that dreadful collision occurred in a downpour on the fastest part of the main straight, between Scamp, piloting the Celica, and  the rear of a Mini Cooper S of Brian Ferreira.   The fuel tank is in the rear of the Cooper, and the vehicle immediately burst into flames.  By the time his vehicles stopped and Scamp had got over with his extinguisher, and was able to free him from the seat belts, the driver was in a seriously burnt condition.  A sad, sad day.   Brian Ferreira was a good track friend and competitor of Scamps, having worked with the Meissner/Gough Ford Escort team for a number of years.  Unfortunately he did not survive the injuries.
The Celica was an absolute write off.  No other similar car existed in the Republic.  Only Friday and race-day morning remained.  But racing personnel are an unusual breed.  Phil Porter immediately went to work, and through the ownership network, managed to find a Rhodesian owner of a road version of the same car in the Transvaal at the time. 
He somehow contacted the owner, did an immediate deal, and the newly purchased Celica arrived at Toyota Competition workshops late the Friday afternoon!  By then the write-off had been fully stripped, and many of the broken parts were already under repair or new ones in the process of fabrication!   It was an all-nighter for the drivers, pit crew and most of the Toyota factory mechanics and reps.  Sometime next morning a straight, not quite shiny,  but race-worthy vehicle appeared, aligned and ready.  The new car was able to lap at similar times to the one it replaced, a great credit to the repair team and it would have been justice to the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff, had it been able to finish.  Internal damage to the original special 5 speed gearbox from the collision car eventually sidelined it. 

This accident deflated Scamps enthusiasm for racing, and he decided to hang up his helmet thereafter. Shortly after this, Phil Porter died.   This, too, was a major blow, as the brothers were very close in all their life activities, and Scamp had looked up to him as a hero.  He continued to devote his time to the Toyota Rally Department for a number of years, before moving out altogether.
However this is a story about Scamp Porter and the Renault R8 that justly bore the two of them into the annals of racing history.

If the results of this short period of motor racing were tabulated and the success ratio and statistics of all cars and drivers aggregated and compared,  I feel certain that Scamp would feature as one of the  winningest South African drivers ever.  His trophy count for 1st places is prodigious!  Both from sprint and endurance races, especially when compared to the number of starts he made.  But specially endurance races.  IF anyone actually had successes even close to this, it could only have been David Piper.
Added to this, Scamp must also be given accolades for the wonderful results achieved in Renaults by the P.Porter/Burford endurance team on vehicles he prepared.
One also must bear in mind his rally successes and trophies, and brother Phil’s and Chris Swanepoel’s  rally successes in the cars  prepared by him, because the effort  was not the product of a Factory Motor Sport Department, like most Rally entries are today, but by his own work and imagination and that of a few helpers.

In conclusion, it must be evident that Renault Africa and Regie Renault were the ultimate benefactors.  Renault R8/10 sales penetration in Southern Africa had risen incredibly, in all probability due to their performance models and racing successes with the performance mad public of South Africa.  Yet the rewards to the enthusiast race driver/developer/competition manager of that time were actually quite minimal.   Phil Porter, Colin Burford, Geoff Mortimer, Arnold Chatz, Dave Clapham, George Armstrong etc. did it merely for their love of racing!   In many instances it cost them plenty, too! (You know the adage:  Want to make a small fortune motor racing?   Start with a large fortune!)  Most sponsors (like Shell oils, Ferodo Brake linings, Champion Spark Plugs) only supplied free product.  No sponsorship sheckels!   A successful racer was usually on a short list from the tire manufacturers to BUY their latest arrivals of new rubber compounds!   Only the Formula 1 teams were offered money for using sponsored products, and not so much at that either.  Large cigarette distributors started paying Formula 1 entrants towards the end of this decade.  Scamp was certainly paid a fair wage for the job, and had a useful, if not complete, budget from Renault. But it was definitely just a wage, and there was no sitting around and waiting, or negotiating the big bucks with competitive manufacturers for the following year!  You just kept on working to pay the mortgage!

There are many a story of these carefree days.   Adler & Co losing control and rolling the trailer with sprint race car attached, en route to Cape Town to compete on his behalf, when he was awaiting the birth of a son.   Another straightening job for the hard pressed Racing Department!  And finding the extra time to design/build another race car trailer, as the written off  old one had been discarded.
Trailering race cars to meetings was the worst!  Usually they were towed flat out, well above speed and safety limits, mostly by pit crew, the drivers being innocent and inexperienced in this type of vehicle handling, with both tow-car and trailer road-holding diabolical. Of all the tow cars I saw, none were ever vehicles designed with a tow rating for anything near that required for the heavy load.  Nor was any ever driven at a respectable speed! Scamp's tow car was first an R16 and later an R16TS, nowhere near heavy enough or suited to the job.   
Every race driver from that period will tell you harrowing tales, and that towing race cars to the meetings was by far the most dangerous and frightening part of motor racing!
 Every driver I know has at least one hair-raising story, mostly ending in alarming destruction and injury of sort.  . 
Also, screaming down the back roads of Randburg  in a race prepared car with open exhaust, stopwatch in hand to compare some lately thought out midnight modification.  The closer the race date, the more frequent the trial.

               Summary of 9 hour results  with Overall positions               

Year   Driver Scamp Porter                              Driver Phil Porter/Burford

1959     Fiat 1100 17th                                          Fiat 1200  14th
1960     Fiat 2100….?                                          Fiat Abarth 750  11th
1961     Fiat1100 5th-1st Prod car w. Conchie      Dauphine Gordini  9th
1962                not entered                                                             Dauphine Gordini-2nd in class
1963     Dauph Gordini -7th  w Chatz                   Renault 8-956cc 4th-1st                                                                                        Prod Car
1964     Renault 8 4th-1st Prod Car w Chatz        Renault 8   11th
1965     Renault  Alconi  13thw Schultze               Renault 8 Gord   12th
1966     Renault Gord  5th-1stt Prod Car w Adler   Renault 10 1300  6th &  2nd                                                                          Prod Car
1967     Renault Gord w Swanepoel   ?                   Renault Gord 1300 9th-
                                                                                   1st Prod Car
1968     Renault Gord  10th-2 Prod Car w Mortimer  Renault Gord  9th-
                                                                                    1st Prod Car
1969     Renault Gord  4th-1st Prod Car w Mortimer  Renault Gordini- P Porter/
                                                                                      Swanepoel ...crash
1970     Renault Gordini w Mortimer  ?                                            no entry

From above, Scamp achieved 4 First Saloon Car home awards, 1 second.
Brother Phil managed 3 First Saloon car home and 1 second.
Between them 5 finishes in the top 5
All this in 10 years of racing for Renault.  Obviously if one counts up all the class wins, Index of performance results and Team results, it’s a lot of silverware.  And, there was an almost zero record of retirements

No other entrant has got anywhere near these results.

Puddles Adler