A Turner? The product of noted race engineer Jack Turner's concept of a small sports based on Austin A30/35 sedan parts. With an origin years before the world saw its first Bug Eye Sprite(also based on A30/35 parts).
Very strong 3" diameter tube chassis with a body frame of thin steel panels and covered with a fiberglass body with aluminum doors and aluminum floor. Engine set back in the chassis for better weight distribution, A35 front suspension (aka 'Spridget') with a thick racing sway bar, Spridget back axle sprung by adjustable torsion bars, trailing arms, and located with a Panhard rod. By normal MG/Austin Healey standards, quite sophisticated. Rack and pinion steering, originally with drum brakes, now with discs. And a factory listed kerb weight of around 1,300 pounds.
We found this car, oh, maybe 30 years ago. Sold it to a long time SCCA racer in Indiana, he became part of our little 'racer family.' A wonderful fella and wife (who were also 'race partners'), a damned good driver, and a committed Turner enthusiast (yes, he named it 'Tina'). So for many, many years, we kept the car, serviced and prepped it, transported back and forth from events. In the USA and Canada.
And the car during his ownership...expensively done 948cc BMC race engine, balanced, flat top pistons, gas flowed head, full race camshaft, specially modified race prepared SU carbs (as per VSCCA tech requirements), race headers, Accusump oiling system. race prepared adjustable front lever shocks, oil cooler, ATL fuel cell and big on board fire suppression system.
BUT, when our dear friend died, we were asked to sell the car, which we did. Went to an enthusiast in Virginia who did the following: repainted the exterior in black (let me explain, the car was always in black and during its long race history, never damaged. But, sure, the paint was getting tired, hence the respray). And he removed the race roll bar and replaced it with an Audi TT style twin roll bars (and yes, they can be removed or altered).
Race camshaft replaced with a milder cam, SUs replaced with a downdraft Weber, fitted with 14" wire wheels, nicely upholstered seats replacing the single race seat, AND fitted with an original Turner windshield (which we, amazingly, found, frame and all). The result? A true race car, now a genuine road car, and with most everything necessary to convert back to a dandy vintage racecar. OR EVEN to adapt the car to dual purpose use.
Either way, a really neat little car. Only 670 Turners of all models ever built, originally the 803/950, then the 950S (this car), Mk I, and then the Ford powered Mk IIs and Mk IIIs. With even a few built with sophisticated potent Coventry Climax FWA engines. In 1963-4, John E Miles took his Turner to 15 wins out of 17 races against the factory Lotus, Aston-Martin , and Jaguar teams in the UK Autosport championship races. Only around 165-170 950S cars built, a lot fewer have survived. Hence, for not much money, a buyer has the opportunity of buying a very rare, classic British sports car with easy to acquire proprietary BMC mechanical parts. incapable of rusting. FAR more advanced than any Spridget, lighter, better handling, a potent race prepared engine, and what fun to take to car shows. And be the only Turner entrant!
(and unlike any other ex race car Turner I have seen over forty years, this car has a current title for road registration)Click for legal info