Seisdon Staffordshire, Motor Sport History 1940s Turner Sports Cars Ltd

Seisdon’s Motor Sport Heritage, Turner Sports Cars Ltd

Thanks to one man — Jack Henry Turner — Seisdon in Staffordshire became the unlikely centre for a successful, if somewhat short-lived, motor sport industry.


Born in Wales, Turner moved to the Old Smithy in Seisdon in the late 1940s where he looked after and tuned racing cars for a variety of wealthy owners. One of the most enthusiastic of these was John Webb, chairman of Stourbridge glassmaker Webb Corbett, who raced a ‘Turner’ (in fact a converted MG Magnette) for a number of years.


In 1953 Webb became a director of Turner Sports Cars Ltd. and the factory moved into Wolverhampton where larger premises had been found in which a new single-seater Formula 2 car could be designed and built. The car, which used a Lea Francis 1767cc engine, unfortunately suffered from poor reliability and it failed to finish in most of the races in which it took part.


The following year a new engine—an Alta—was fitted into the same chassis and the car was entered into various Formula 1 and Formula Libre races with the same disappointing result. As well as track races the same car was frequently used in hill climbs and sprints but its inherent unreliability was still a significant problem.


In 1955, having left behind competition cars, Turner turned his hand to producing small, open two-seater sports cars. Using a standard Austin A30 engine some 670 were manufactured and a number were still used until the mid 1970s. A number were exported to Australia where, for a short while, tracks around Melbourne saw “Turner Challenges” between the Wolverhampton-built cars.


Despite this minor success, though, the factory closed in 1965 when Jack Turner retired through ill-health.


Just to add…

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Source: Kingswinford Village Voice.

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