Sunday 23rd August was a special day at Bantock House, on the occasion of the eleventh Turner Sports Car Rally. The annual event, which began in 2005, celebrates the building of the excellent sports cars that were manufactured by Turner Sports Cars (Wolverhampton) Limited in the 1950s and 1960s. The company, run by the late Jack Turner, built between 650 and 700 of the sports cars, initially in Merridale Street, Wolverhampton, before moving to a factory at Pendeford.

Car manufacturing in Wolverhampton began in the late 1890s, and became one of the main industries in the City, particularly in the 1920s and early 1930s when large numbers of people were employed in the production of well known makes including A.J.S., Clyno, Star, and Sunbeam. In the late 1920s Clyno was the country's third largest car manufacturer.

Turner Sports Cars (Wolverhampton) Limited was the last manufacturer in the City to produce complete cars. Production ended in 1966, which marked the end of an era. Luckily for us, over three hundred Turner sports cars have survived, mainly in the UK and the USA. Many have been lovingly restored by their owners, and are a credit to them. The six cars that were on display at the front of Bantock house, include examples built between 1959 and 1966, so covering much of the eleven years of production.

The cars and their owners are as follows:

Owner Car type Year Registration No.
Derek Bentley Mk 1 BMC 1960 2 RTD
John Cullis Mk 2 BMC, 1098cc. 1961 3355 JW
Ray Jones Mk 2 BMC 1961 PBF 570
David Norsworthy Mk 1 Ford, 1600cc. 1960 9551 RE
Ken Robbins 950S BMC 1959 9 NPC
Brian Shaw Mk 3 Ford, 1500cc. 1966 GOK 444D

As usual, the event organiser, Brian Shaw, put together an excellent indoor display which told the story of Turner sports cars and some of their sporting achievements. The many visitors greatly enjoyed seeing the cars and viewing Brian's display. Thanks to them, Bantock café did a roaring trade. Although the weather was mixed, the rain kept off until after lunch, and so didn't spoil the day.

As usual we must thank Brian for all of his work in organising this special day, and for his help in producing this section. The Turner Sports Car Register has a website at:

The Cars:

Derek Bentley's Turner Mk 1 from 1960.

John Cullis's rebuilt Turner Mk 2.

Ray Jones' Turner Mk 2 from 1961.

Brian Shaw's Turner Mk 3 from 1966.

Ken Robbins' Turner 950S from 1959.

David Norsworthy's Turner Mk 1 was on its first visit to Bantock House. It originally had a Coventry Climax engine, but after lying idle for 30 years was rebuilt by David with a Ford 1600cc. engine. The car won the Turner Sports Car Register's 'Spirit of Turnering' award this year.

Some of the visitors admire Ken Robbins' car.

The line-up of cars outside the house.

Another view of John Cullis's car.

Derek Bentley and his Turner Mk 1 along with the other cars.

Visitors admire Ray Jones' Turner Mk 2 from 1961.

Derek Bentley's Turner Mk 1, and John Cullis's rebuilt Turner Mk 2.

Ray Jones' Turner Mk 2 and Brian Shaw's Turner Mk 3.

Part of Brian Shaw's informative display.

Visitors discovering the story of Jack Turner and his sports cars.

Reading all about the racing achievements of Turner sports car's.

The wet and almost deserted courtyard behind Bantock House.

Another view of the cars outside the house during a heavy downpour.

A final view of the cars outside the house.

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list of rallies