Turner Sports Cars   Photos by Chassis Number


Photos and information courtesy of
Russell Filby and George Cagle II

These photos were taken in 1979.  The car is currently is about the same shape as shown.

The car came with various documents regarding its past.  The following is a small excerpt from a letter by the original owner of 30/013, Mr. H.F. Norris, concerning the Stiletto body shell. It was written the 22nd of Oct., 1981 to George.

" ... to start at the beginning, my father joined the 750 Motor Club in the late 30's and had a 2 figure membership number.  The 750 Motor Club was started for Austin 7 owners (747cc engine hence 750 in the title).  I continued as a member after his death in 1949, the club expanding rapidly after the was eventually embracing Ford 8 motors.  Colin Chapman of Lotus fame was a member racing highly modified Austin 7's so successfully that he was asked to become President and stop racing as no one else could touch him.  After all, 56 bhp from a 747cc engine and a timed speed of 100 mph on Hanger Straight at the Silverstone circuit was more that Lord Austin could manage with the works cars.

Anyhow a small group in the 750 Club formed a very small manufacturing firm to produce 2 seater fiber glass body shells for Austin 7 Specials and I joined this group paying an advance subscription to provide money to get the team working.  As each member's name in this group rose to the top of the membership list, he paid the balance of the body shell cost and duly received his shell.  I decided not to build a '7 Special but after visiting the Turner small works, to buy a Turner complete minus body.  This was the complete chassis with engine, wheels, suspension, etc. but no radiator, seats, dash, instruments etc. as the fiber glass body shell, with modification would fit.  Wheelbase was ok, track a bit tight but after suitable mods, all should be ok.  The engine was the standard A30 type of, I think, 803cc capacity.  But I wanted a hard top coupe so I set to work to make one using fiber glass.  I had, I admit, underestimated the ensuing problems, and there were plenty.  Mounting the body on the chassis was only the start as so little was known about the material and its strength under stress, tension, etc.  In addition, owning to a mistake, vary small doors had been cut in the shell so these were re-glassed into the shell and recut to a large size.  A hardtop was designed; the whole of one winter was spent (weather and temperature permitting) in building a male mould and a half-day in making the fiber glass shell.  If you are interested I can give you chapter and verse on this exercise, including the design and construction of a very large, stone age heating oven in which to cure the resin based fiber glass shell, at 104 degrees C, I think.  However, there were masses of problems to solve, for instance the wheel arches were too small in the body shell so these were cut out and remade, a modified radiator obtained with suitable mounting frame which I made from square section steel tube.  The problems seemed endless ranging from body mountings right through to endless troubles with the Customs and Excise people who are, in this country a law unto themselves.  During all this time my health had been none too good, not due to the car but other reasons and eventually having got a long way along the road to completion with virtually all the problems solved, I sold everything to a young acquaintance who worked at AERE (Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell), at which I worked until 1960 when I transferred to part of AERE which became the Rulkerford Laboratory which was eventually to become a part of the Science Research Council.    ......The purchaser, by name, Ron Baldry completed the car replacing the 803cc engine with, I think a 2 liter engine and I think it was an Austin.  By this time he had moved (emigrated I think) to the USA and I eventually had a letter from him saying the car was very successful and had won a number of club races."

This letter continues on for three more pages, getting into more detail on how things were made or adapted for the car.

The following letter is dated 21st March, with no year given.  George assumes the body shell was ordered before the chassis was purchased.  George has the original invoice from Turner Sports Cars LTD, and it is dated July 22nd, 1955, thus this letter was most likely written in 1955 also.  The signature is very hard to read, so George is not sure the last name is correct.

"Dear Harry,

Sorry for this delay in replying, but since your phone call it has taken a little time to unearth my paperwork in the new house - all my furniture, car spares, etc. are just stacked high in the garage.  Having just got married you can guess how much time I get for attending to my own affairs!

However, here are the details of what you ordered:

6' 9" wheelbase - mould "Stiletto" - Racing Green - doors both sides - no interior paneling - no wheelarches ordered (to be decided later) - price 60 pounds - deposit 10 pounds paid.


John Merriman"


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