Turner Kieft

Turner Kieft

Jack Turner collaborated on the construction of the Bardon Turner for Don Truman in 1950 but in late 1953, he embarked on an altogether more ambitious project based on a lengthened Kieft chassis and his own four cylinder, double overhead cam, 500cc engine driving through a Douglas gearbox. The cylinders were air cooled but the nose of the Kieft was modified to incorporate a radiator for cooling the head.

Perhaps Jack was becoming irritated by nosey parkers!

The Turner 500cc engine with four Amal carbs.

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Rear body removed to show engine installation.

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One of the two Turner Kiefts at the Coventry Motor Museum

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The Turner engine from another angle

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The prototype engine featured a roller bearing crankshaft but this proved troublesome and was replaced with a plain bearing type. The cast iron cam followers were also prone to breaking and were replaced with steel.

The car made its debut at Oulton Park, in August 1954, in the hands of James Burgoyne but the engine did not produce sufficient power and reliability to take on the Manx Norton. Jack's premises were in Wolverhampton, near to Jim Burgoyne and the Kieft Works and Cyril took an interest in the project. At one time they planned to build a series of Turner Kiefts but, in the event, only two were made. In truth nobody successfully produced a 500 "four" though Gilera of Italy and JAP both tried. In every case, the additional power was never enough to offset the additional size, weight and complexity.

The business end at Mallory Park in 1954. Photo courtesy Graham Burgoyne.

An article published in November 1954

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Jack Turner became well known for a series of sports and kit cars under his own name during the fifties and sixties.

Our thanks to Russell Filby of the Turner Registry.


Jack works at the lathe.