Turner Sports Cars   Articles

Motor Trend magazine
May 1959, page 56

Courtesy of Keith Burnett, Bob Knijnenburg and Jay Carano

[The article was re-created by re-typing to make down loading time quicker.]

Probably the most flattering end of the Turner is the simple front, revealing the crisp competition-inspired lines around the grille and the low silhouette.

EASY TO DRIVE - easy to look at - easy to keep" is a two-thirds correct slogan devised by promoters of the Turner sportscar.  The middle description - "easy to look at" - is a little unrealistic.  This, plus the fact that when the top is erected the middle bow rests disconcertingly on one's scalp, is about the only thing not "easy" about the Stage I Coventry Climax-powered Turner - except for those who think the $3170 (p.o.e. Cleveland) price tag too high for a single-overhead-cam-engined car.

Distributed by Tri-City Sports Cars, Route 3, Masillon, Ohio, with a sub-distributor in New York and dealerships being negotiated on both coasts, the Turner is available in four varieties.  Lowest-priced of these is the Standard, using an Austin A-35 engine with no modifications.  With dual carburetors, suitable camshaft, higher compression, and 60-hp output, the SPR 60 lists at $2635.  Next are the Stage I and the Stage III, at $3370.  A 95-bhp Stage II model was attempted but eliminated upon development of the Stage III.

With the Stage I car we logged a total of 156 country miles on the open roads abounding Akron, Canton and Masillon with several townships in between.  The car definitely was "easy to drive" and it was a thrilling experience.

Assured by Distributor Dale E. Smith not to fear over-revving, we took the car to 7500 (tach goes to 8000), not once but several times in first and second gears.  Speedo indication in first - with a calibrated instrument - was 45 mph.  In second the speedo needle caromed to an indicated 80 mph - in second gear !  In third gear we leveled off at 6500 rpm and indicated a hair past 90 mph.  By this time we had run out of country road, but we stopped testing with the opinion that the car will turn and honest 115 - 20 mph.

Brakes as installed are satisfactory for everyday driving; however, Girling disc brakes are optional.  I would say they are mandatory for competition work.  Fade on road linings was quite noticeable after six 60-mph stops.

Steering is rack and pinion, 2¼ turns lock-to-lock.  Independent front suspension is by coil springs and Austin A-35 main components, with Armstrong shock absorbers.  Rear suspension is by A-35 live axle on trailing arms sprung by a laminated torsion bar, dampened by telescopic shocks and located by a Panhard rod.  Wheels are 15-inch steel disc (wire optional).

The fiberglass body mounts on an 83-inch-wheelbase tubular frame.  Engine compartment access and luggage space are average for a small car.  Dry weight is 1175 pounds; overall length is 138 inches, overall width 54 inches.

The interior fearures leather-covered bucket seats and leather door paneling.  Top of dash extends inward about four inches with rolled foam padding.  Steering wheel sits a trifle high, considering the limited headroom, but shift lever is well placed.  Pedal location could be improved by a bit more separation.  Instrument cluster is well placed and readable.

Best of all is the performance of the Stage I engine.  The car's discomforts seem to disappear upon the realization that here is a driving machine with more fortitude than its designers had imagination. - Steve DaCosta

It's doubtful how much good the fins will do aerodynamically, but they are distinctive.  Bumpers are fragile, but 'glass body is strong.
Since Turner is a race car, weather equipment is more legal than actual.  With roof erected, there isn't space enough for long hair.
A race car isn't going to carry much luggage, and the Turner's trunk is appropriately commodious.  One spare and a little air is it.

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