Turner Sports (1959 – 1966) Review

Turner Sports (1959 – 1966) At A Glance


+Fast and fun

-Fragile and rare

The Turner Sports started life as a low volume sporting special, but because of the appearance of the extremely capable Austin-Healey Sprite, it was unable to establish itself on the market. The problem was that it cost a third more than an Austin-Healey Sprite when it was launched in 1959, and yet it was more basic and not as well built. Using a glassfibre bodyshell on a tubular steel chassis, the Turner was very light, and if the customer specified the 90bhp, 1220cc Coventry Climax engine option, it was very fast indeed.

So-powered it was faster than the Sprite, but at a price. Despite being costly, the car appealed to those who saw the cars being campaigned successfully by the Turner works racing team, which operated between 1960 and 1963. The Turner Sports MkII Sports arrived in 1960, and came with a better interior, an optional hardtop and Triumph Herald suspension in place of the A35 set-up previously used. Ford engines were then used, and in 1963, the final MkIII version appeared. Changes were slight, but the company folded after founder Jack Turner died in 1966. Fewer than 400 cars were built during its seven-year production run.