The Turner Rally
Sunday June 26th 2011
The Manor Hotel, Crickhowell, South Wales
As the end of what seemed like the wettest June month on record approached I must admit I was fearing a wash out for our annual Turner gathering at Crickhowell, but Jack must have had a word for us as Sunday June 26th turned out to be the hottest day of the year with sunshine all day which helped bring out the Turner faithful once again in strong numbers to support the event, not just those with cars to display, but many owners of cars attending to show their support and to seek inspiration for their own projects which are at various stages of restoration.
Lucky number of the day was 13, That was the number of Turners that gathered in the lower car park during the day and represented a good range of the cars that Jack produced from a 1959 950S to a 1963 GT Model to a 1966 MK3.
With my own 950S still in the body shop awaiting paint I had the pleasure of driving my fathers MK1 (60/345) through the winding and picturesque B roads of South Wales to the Manor.
Ken Robbins (30/264) Brian Shaw (66/656) and John Cullis (64/615) had travelled down in convoy from Wolverhampton with all 3 cars proving reliable and attracting many admiring glances on the way. This was the first distance run for John since his ground up rebuild of BAX 500B and it was a testament to his workmanship that the only thing that gave any trouble was cramp in his leg!, Brian had also been hard at work prior replacing a broken half shaft just 2 days before the event, but again the car proved reliable for the journey and no doubt with Ken as a former Turner employee in the convoy this gave the reassurance of works support for them both. Ken's 950S
9 NPC once again attracted many admirers at the Manor in its 'Speedwell Blue'paint work and red interior trim and still looks as immaculate as the day the restoration was completed.
Fresh from his European jaunt in 2 RTD ,Derek Bentley was joined in his Turner (60/375) for the event by our editor Anna Hill as he travelled from East Sussex to the Manor , and John Butcher represented the 'Turner Climax' model with his (Ex Susannah York) Turner MK1 (60/318)
Geoff Long treated all present to the rare sight of a Turner GT model, Geoff's car finished in Red is a stunning example of the model of which just 10 were built and 5 are known to survive, and it is a testament to Geoff's painstaking past restoration that he can just jump in the car and drive from Ireland over to Wales with confidence and reliability. The Ford powered GT is certainly a beautiful body design and both Graham Oxley (GT9) and Brian Shaw (GT2) were most grateful to Geoff for the opportunity to see his car, speak to him about his restoration experiences and take many measurements and photographs of the car.
David Norsworthy (60/310) travelled from Tenbury Wells in his MK1, which has been a regular attendee each year through its restoration, the end result of which is a very attractive and immaculate example finished in white.
Richard and Simon Turnock travelled down from North Wales 443 VTE (61/470)
road going MK2 race car and were joined at the Manor by father Andrew who also owns a Turner Climax (60/410) that awaits restoration.
The smile on their faces as they arrived was no doubt due to the successful installation of a 2 litre Ford Mondeo 16v engine which gives this car incredible performance and the tidy installation was certainly a point of much discussion for those present.
Nigel Taylor travelled from Milton Keynes in his Trusty Turner MK1 (60/291) which looks very smart with 700 AOV now fitted out with a new stainless exhaust and new wire wheels, Nigel as always was on hand to share his vast Turner restoration knowledge with others and his enthusiasm for Turners definitely helps to fire up those with projects on the go to push on and overcome any obstacles to get the cars finished and back on the road.
Pip Greesley and Julian Gerard travelled down from Leistershire in a pair of Turners, Pip driving (61/494) 838 BWB his MK2 Alexander Turner , and Julian in Pip's new addition 6499 MH (60/379) which made its Turner Rally debut having spect most of the last 30 years in dry storage prior to recomissioning in 2008.
6499 MH ran faultlessly for the 250 mile round trip which was quite something as it has unlikely been further than 5 miles in the last 30 years! And after Julian had changed the timing at Crickhowell it seemed to go much better on the return journey. Julian drove it back with his usual gusto (he still holds a lap record at Goodwood) and Pip was having real problems keeping up in 838 BWB, especially on the twisty bits of the B roads back to Leicestershire. Pip reported '' Fortunately, 838 BWB started to overheat and spluttered to a halt conveniently near a pub outside Upton-on-Seven - so we joined the Jazz Festival there for an hour while drivers and cars took on liquid refreshments. We eventually got back to base around 9pm after a highly entertaining drive''
6499 MH in its quirky unmolested form on its original 15" steel wheels and retaining all of its original features proved a real hit with the enthusiasts assembled at the Manor, and to have Julian Gerard present was a privilege as the Son of the late great Mr Bob Gerard who had such a close association to the marque not only through his Bob Gerard Cars dealership being an Agent for Turners back in the day , but also his racing in Turners from 1957 through the early 60s which really helped put the company and the cars on the map early on. Julian has owned a number of Turners of his own through the years and no doubt the drive to Crickhowell and back will only serve to whet his appetite to own another.
Last but certainly not least was 220 WMA, The bright light green MK2 Ford of Ron Taylor who was joined by his wife Liz as co driver this year, With 2011 being the 25th Anniversary of the first Turner gathering at The Manor Ron and his car 62/544 hold the honor of being the only car and driver combination to have attended every single Rally without fail -through its history, A fantastic achievement and a big thanks to Ron for his continuous support over all these years on behalf of Dave Scott and Myself.
My sincere thanks to all who attended and shared in the day, It proved to be a great tribute to Jack Turner in the year of his passing that so many cars and enthusiasts turned out to enjoy the day and with the success of the simultaneous gathering over the same weekend in the USA and Charles Marriott's Turner race wins at Oulton Park a great weekend for Turner Sports Cars.
Follow the link below to the photo gallery.