Turner Sports Cars   Unknown Turners

Photos and information courtesy of Tom Byers

Akron, Ohio was a hotbead of Turner activity in the 60s.  There were two dealers in the "metropolitan" area.  Both of my cars were puchased from Dale Smith (now deceased) of Tri City Motors.  They were LOW mileage used cars, under 2,000 miles.  

The first one purchased in 1965 was a 950 S.  The title document might have listed it as a 1960 model.  The chassis number is unknown.  It was drivenon weekends for about a year, and competed quite successfully in local Gymkhana type speed events.  The only real class competition came from 4 other Turners.  The car was prepped for SCCA G production racing.  The car was quite competetive on a regional level, but gave away too much displacement to the better prepared G Prod 1275 Sprites and Spitfires.  It usually ran somewhere in the middle of the pack, but it was FUUUUNNN!!!.  Enough points were earned in 1968 and 1969 to keep the car in SCCA's General Competition Rules list of acceptable G Production sports cars (the only one in the US).

A Climax powered Turner was purchsed some time later.  It was said to be one of three cars imported to compete in the Sebring 12 hr. race.   The story goes that a Longshoreman's strike delayed the shipment and the cars ended up in the hands of Dale Smith.  One was raced very succesfully by Bill Mallion car in the late 50,s and early 60's.  His "giant killing" exploits were legendary in Turner Owner circles.  This is the blue and white car in the bottom picture after it had passed through many hands and was quite worn out.

My car had about 1,100 miles on it, and had sustained some minor collision damage to the front end and oil cooler.  I repaired the car, tuned the engine (the cam chain was off two links!!) repainted it a nice yellow, and it truly looked better than new.  The car was miserable to drive however.  The Climax engine was not tuned for the street.  It had NO torque, and was very unhappy under 3000-4000RPM.  However, in it's proper RPM range (6000+) it was a different car.  The car was sold to someone who eventually destroyed it !!

The third car was owned for some time by Ken Collings, a local Turner freak.  He owned 4 or 5 Turners at one time.  He sold it to the son of a friend of mine who took it to Georgia and prepared it for Vintage racing.  It's whereabouts is unknown.

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