If you can fit inside, one of these diminutive Turner sports cars, built from the 1950s until the early 1960s, would make a very tempting small-bore vintage racer. They make for a more interesting alternative to a Sprite, but most Turners still have familiar BMC components. Jack Turner started making a few sports and racing cars in the late 1940s, but in the mid-’50s started selling a more serious production car with Austin A30 running gear called the 803. This car was an immediate hit on the club racing scene and, when BMC introduced the 948 cc version of the A-Series motor, Turner put it into their little sports car, added larger front brakes, and called it the 950. Like the 803 that it replaced, the 950 also had both fiberglass and metal body panels, and weighed next to nothing. Of the few Turners that were built (less than 700) many went racing, and could be seen buzzing their way around tracks on both sides of the Atlantic. One such racing Turner is the car featured here, located in Atlanta, Georgia.
This car was raced in the UK, specifically Scotland, practically from new. In 1969, though, it entered the second phase of its racing life. After being “restored” by its new owner, the Turner sported a later motor fitted with a Judson supercharger and participated in some club races. After that, the car made its way to the United States where it was set up for vintage racing and did some events at Lime Rock. Today, it certainly looks like it has been doing a lot of sitting. According to the seller, a previous owner started but failed to finish a restoration. That’s too bad, but most of the right stuff seems to be there and included in the sale. The car sports a Brooklands screen now, but the seller still has the original windshield, bumpers and other trim pieces. The new buyer will also get two motors.
Turners are rare, but like plenty of other specialist English cars they aren’t worth a ton of money, especially in this kind of condition. Even a pristine Turner probably won’t crack forty grand, so don’t pay too much. This Turner 950 is pretty rusty in spots and restoration of obscure cars like this is never easy, but with its tiny 1950s proportions and egg-crate grille, it has a lot of character. Project cars don’t get much neater than this.
Check out the 1959 Turner 950S here on eBay, where the reserve is not yet met at $1,800.