The Spring Sale 2012

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1961 Turner Mk II Sportscar

Lot No.: 123

Registration: PSJ 261
Chassis Number: 61/459
Engine Number: 9SH 3883
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1,000cc
Year of Manufacture: 1961
Sold for (£): Unsold

Jack Turner was a Welsh engineer who set up a manufacturing business to produce sports cars in the late forties, early fifties. His first project, in 1949, was a supercharged MG race car known as the MGK3. His aim was to produce a simple, affordable, entry level sports car. Cars were supplied either as ‘finished items’ or it was possible to buy them in kit form.  The Turner Sports car Company, based in Wolverhampton, carried on until 1966 when ill health intervened and Jack decided to close the business down.  As was often the case in that period sports cars were simple but effective and the Turners were no exception.  Over the years engines came from a variety of sources such as Coventry Climax, Ford and BMC.  PSJ 261 is a Mark Two model built in 1961 and it came with the bombproof BMC Series A engine that was produced in vast numbers, appearing in cars like the Austin Healey Sprite. On the race track the Turners were able to give the more established, better funded sports car manufacturers like Lotus, MG and Austin Healeys a serious fright.

The 1,275cc engine has since been modified to give what is described as ‘fast road spec’.  Amongst the previous owners was the classic car and auction guru Richard Hudson Evans. (Who may well be at our auction today should you wish to pick his brains!). In 1962 Turners used the front suspension unit from the Sprite. The Mark Two had a strong tubular steel chassis and a lightweight fibreglass body resulting in excellent handling on both race tracks and the public roads.  The red paintwork with those distinctive stripes is in excellent condition as is the interior. The car comes with a hood, side-screens and a tonneau cover, all of which are in fine shape. Production numbers are hard to come by since a fire that broke out while burglars were cutting their way into the company safe ruined the records; however in 2009 the Turner Register established that there were still around 317 Turners in existence worldwide. 128 of these were in the UK and 131 were in the US.

Turner Sports cars are rare, they are straightforward and relatively easy to work on and maintain, they have  their well-earned place in the history of small UK Sports car manufacturers and with PSJ 261 you have an excellent example of the breed and the choice to buy an unusual member of the famous British 1950-60’s sports car club.