Can You Name That Car?
Last weeks Mystery Car, 1955 Turner A30 Sports, AKA Turner 803.
This week Steve Favill tried with Kieft, close but no cigar. From Saturday morning to afternoon came in correct answers from Robert Carlile, Greg Foard, Alan Brand and Gary Kiernan. George Albaugh came in shortly after.
Jack Henry Turner was born in the middle of The Great War, served in the Second World war, after which was a tool and die maker at Wattons in Wolverhampton.
He struck out on his own as a sports car specialist. He repaired, modified, and otherwise rebuilt customer cars. From this he progressed to chassis engineering and fabrication, building a few cars He also designed and built a 500cc engine for Formula Three racing. It was a high revving engine, but without the backup of horsepower it was not a success.
Turner's customers were well heeled and connected. With these contacts he could get an aluminum cast Lea Francis 1760cc engine, which he enlarged and added early fuel injection. One customer, John Webb, had Turner modify his MG K3 Magnette, which was greatly successful. It became known as a Turner.
John Webb partnered with Turner to create Turner Sports Cars (Wolverhampton) Limited. In 1955 the first Turner A30s were marketed as both kits and complete cars.
Turner A30s, also known as, 803s were essentially Austin A30 suspension and drivetrain hung on a tube frame and clothed in a fiberglass body.
The engine was changed to the A series 948cc, this is the Turner 950. Below are a couple of pictures of Petula Clark with her Turner. One picture has the Turner as an 803 while the other has it as a 950. (click on the pictures for a bit of music)
Screen, radio and television celebrity Miss Petula Clark, has chosent a Turner 803 as her first car after qualifying for her licence. The coachwork is in Cellobond and Fibreglass, the chassis is tubular and engine and suspension are of Austin manufacture.
The next development was a new body in 1959 creating the Turner 950 Sports Mk 1. This car still had a BMC 948 but could be ordered with a Coventry Climax engine. With the Sports Mk 2 a Ford 105E engine was available. Front suspension was now from a Spitfire.
The last development to the Turner Sports was the Mk III. The main engine was the Ford 1500, with other Ford engines as options including 1650cc Cosworth. BMC A engines were fitted by special order. Look for the bonnet scoop on this model.
The Turner GT was developed at roughly the same time as the Sports MkII. It had a fibreglass body and monococque with bonded steel floorpan bracing, developed from an experimental Sports Mk 1. This car was conceived for a future, when the two-seater sales would fall, so Turner did not promote it greatly. Available as a special order, nine were built, all with Ford 1,500cc engines though Conventry Climax units were offered. According to Motor Sport Magazine, July 1985, all nine were in existence.
The end of Turner Sports Cars (Wolverhampton) Ltd. came about from the failing health of Jack Turner. He had a heart attack and was unable to run the company. He then closed it down.
Lets see what you can do with this, my last, Mystery Car. The summer has arrived and need the time for other stuff. Look for its return next winter. Here is this week's Mystery Car, sumitted by Gary Kiernan! (He did suggest a Frisky and six wheeled Panther thingy)
Our Mystery Car
E-mail me your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org