1959 Turner MKI

The Turner Mark 1 was first developed in 1959 and typically given a BMC-type power plant. In comparison to the prior Turner models, the MK1 had several substantial revisions both to the body and chassis. Production continued until 1960. 83 examples are known to have survived.

Vehicles fitted with the 948cc Austin engine were named the Turner Sports MK1. Tuners fitted with the 1098cc Coventry Climax engine, the same found in the Lotus 11, are often referred to as Turner-Climaxes. Front disc brakes were optional.

The MKI was replaced by the MKII the following year and it featured improved interior trim and minor styling revisions. Power was from the Austin and Coventry Climax engines, followed by other options in 1961 and 1962 including the Ford 105E 997cc and 109E 1340cc units. In 1963, the Ford Cortina 1500cc became available.

In total, around 150 examples of the Mark 2 were produced.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011
1959 Turner MKI 1959 Turner MKI 1959 Turner MKI
Roadster
Chassis #: 60-275
Engine #: FWA 400 4488
Registration #: 6636RE
Sold for $18,700 at 2013 Gooding and Company - The Amelia Island Auction.
In the early 1950s, Jack Turner of Wolverhampton, England began building small sports and racing cars for himself and friends. By 1955, his cars were in high enough demand to enter limited production. The steel tube-chassis roadster were clothed with an attractive, lightweight fiberglass body and powered by an 803 cc engine borrowed from the Austin A30. By 1975, the base engine was a 948cc BMC 'A'. In 1959 buyers could choose the Turner Sports MK I, powered by either the BMC engine topped with a modified cylinder head or the all-aluminum 1098cc SOHC Coventry Climax engine. Power went to the rear wheels via a BMC A-series gearbox with close-ratio gears with five different rear axle ratios offered. The Turner automobiles were available in kit form as well.

The Turner factory racing team proved to be very successful, and Tuners won a number of series championships in both the UK and the United States. The company remained in business until 1966.

This Turner MKI Sports Climax was the sixth of approximately 159 MK I roadsters built in 1959-1960. It was the works Climax demonstrator and featured in a January 1960 road test in The Autocar.

Road tax documents which accompany the car indicate that it was first registered to the Turner works December 14th of 1959 and sold to Ronald Courtney of Surrey, England, in 1962. It then passed through a series of British owners before coming into the care of John Wright of Tewksbury, Gloucester, during the 1980s.

The car was imported to the United States in 1990 and completed restored in 1997 for VSCCA racing. The engine was rebuilt in December 2000 by Auto Specialties in California.

The car is finished in its original color scheme of Olde English White with a black leatherette interior. There is a period-correct Moto-Lita steering wheel, and a rare 8,000 RPM tachometer and 120 mph speedometer, both made by Turner.

This car has participated in many VSCCA events including Lime Rock and Pocono. The 1098cc SOHC Coventry Climax FWA 4-cylidner engine is fitted with 2 Weber 45 DCOE Side-Draught carburetors and produces 75 horsepower. There is a 4-speed BMC 'A' gearbox and Girling disc brakes in the front. In the back of this lightweight and nimble roadster are drum brakes. The suspension is independent in the front with wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. In the back is a live axle setup with laminated Torsion Bar and trailing arms.


By Daniel Vaughan | May 2013

Related Reading : Turner Mark I History

Jack Turner established Turner Sports Cars Ltd. near Wolverhampton, England in 1949. Shortly thereafter he was joined by John Webb who served as co-director of the company and aided in the handling of finances. Webb stayed with the company until 1960. In the mid-1950s, the company relocated to Pendeford Airport where they stayed until the companies demise in 1966. The Turner automobiles....
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