header image
Parts
Homepage. This page: Two rare photographs of a Turner sportscar, at an event in 1951.

Turner Lea-Francis.

The following pair of images turned up in a small pile of random photos in 2012. Amongst the holiday snaps were three taken at an un-named "motor rally" in 1951. Two of them featured the two-tone car reproduced below. Somewhat surprisingly, and very helpfully, one refers to the car as a "Turner-LeaF", which made identifying the exact car a straightforward job. Registered JDA 555, the car is an extremely unusual Turner, powered by a Lea-Francis engine. The location is simply given as the Arboretum, and the date as June 3rd 1951 which, apparently, was a Sunday.
But what "rally" is the Turner shown at? The West Essex Car Club, for example, held their Southend Rally on 1st - 3rd June 1951 but I've not been able to find out where it was held. It may just be that the term "rally" was used in its loosest sense, perhaps referring simply to a car show, rather than a competitive meeting. In the first image, the car's driver is sat at the wheel, speaking to a member of the constabulary.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size images.)
The car photographed in 1951
The JDA registration series came into being in November 1950, so the car itself was put on the road shortly after that date, in the Wolverhampton registration district. Not far from this town is the Arboretum in Walsall, could that be the location of these photographs? Something of a long shot, but it's possible. The lady to whom the photos once belonged lived in Walsall. The second, cropped, photograph shows the side of the car's cabin area, with an inquisitive and well-behaved youth studying it attentively. The two-tone paintjob, narrow door openings, and external hinges, are clearly shown.
Closer look at the car's door
Turner produced sportscars from 1949, using facilities dotted around Staffordshire before settling on a location close to Wolverhampton. A number were powered by modified Lea-Francis engines, and this - chassis 003 - is one of them, a one-off sportscar originally owned and driven in competition by Ken Rose, son of Lea-Francis designer Hugh Rose. The LROC site has a photo of this car, painted in a single light colour, competing at a former airfield circuit. The restored car lives to this day, on display at the Haynes Motor Museum in "The Red Room". The coachwork is by Carbodies (Coventry), apeing the look of Ferrari's 166 Barchetta, although the grille will be familiar to anyone who owns a Morris Minor MM of the era. I've not yet found any other photos of the car when it sported this two-tone colour scheme, with the side crease picked out in a contrasting colour, or finish. The Turner in its current form can be seen in a photo via this external web link.
Visit page 17 in the vintage gallery, or return to the gallery's main index page. A b/w photo of a later Turner-Climax may be seen here.

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers