The 7th annual Wolverhampton Turner Sports Car Rally was held at Bantock Park on a beautiful summer’s day. As usual the event took place on the third Sunday in August, and was greatly enjoyed by the many visitors to the house and grounds. The line-up of cars was a spectacular sight in front to the house, and reminded us of the once-important local car manufacturing industry, which at its height employed thousands of people, and produced high quality products that were known throughout much of the world. Turner sports cars were the last cars produced in Wolverhampton, and so marked the end of an era.

Some of the cars on display in front of Bantock House.

This year’s rally was the first to be held at Bantock since the death of the company’s founder, Jack Turner, who sadly died on the 7th March at the age of 94. The cars have faired well in preservation. Out of the 650 to 700 Turner sports cars produced, over 300 are known to survive, in various states of preservation. The cars came from far and wide to the event, which is the only annual Wolverhampton vehicle rally that is exclusively for locally made cars.

Another view of the Turner line-up.

A newcomer to the event was Mike Anthony who came along with his Bardon-Turner racing car. The car was built in 1948, and based on a Marwyn car kit, which at the time could be purchased for just £200. Unfortunately the early Marwyn cars had a high centre of gravity and proved to be unstable. This particular one crashed on a test run, but luckily Jack Turner came to the rescue. During the winter of 1949/50 he rebuilt the car and added the smaller alloy wheels, which it still has today. The car has since been modified, but in the 1980s it was returned to its 1950 form. It still has some of the original parts that were fitted by Jack Turner.

Also at the rally was John Cullis's Mk III Ford, which has been totally rebuilt, including a number of modifications, since last year’s event.

Mike Anthony's Bardon-Turner special.

The cars and their owners were as follows:
Owner Car type Registration No.
Mike Anthony Bardon-Turner       -
Roy Beasley MKI 922 XUL
Derek Bentley MKI BMC 2 RTD
John Cullis Mk III Ford, 1200c.c. BAX 500B
Ray Jones MKII BMC PBF 570
Ken Robbins 950S BMC 9 NPC
Brian Shaw MKIII Ford, 1500c.c. GOK 444D
Nigel Taylor MKI BMC 700 AOV

As usual Brian Shaw had a number of indoor displays featuring the history of Turner Sports Cars (Wolverhampton) Limited, and some of the achievements of the cars. He was also on hand to help people with their enquiries. The cars received a lot of attention from visitors, many of whom were delighted to talk to the owners, and learn something about the company and its products. They also explored the house, the gardens, and the excellent café, which was busy all afternoon.

Another view of Mike Anthony's Bardon-Turner racing car.

Roy Beasley's MKI.

Derek Bentley's MKI BMC.

John Cullis's Mk III Ford.

Ray Jones' MKII BMC.

Ken Robbins' 950S BMC.

Brian Shaw's MKIII Ford.

Nigel Taylor's MKI BMC.

Some of the visitors inspecting the cars.

Interested visitors inspecting some of Brian Shaw's excellent displays.

Visitors enjoying an afternoon snack.

A final view of the cars, and a few of the many visitors who enjoyed seeing them.
Thanks must go to Brian Shaw who organised the event, and as usual put on an excellent indoor display and slide show.

The 2012 Turner Sports Car Rally will be held at Bantock Park on Sunday 19th August.

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