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23 May 2017

Obituary: Chris Turner (1951-2017)

It is with great sadness we report that Chris Turner passed away on May 9th.

It is with great sadness we report that Chris Turner passed away on May 9th.

While very few could match Chris’ extensive hands-on experience of Porsche, it was the generous, unassuming, welcoming way he helped so many in the Porsche community that truly marked Chris out as “one in a million.”

Chris’ corner of NW10 saw a regular stream of loyal customers and countless others drop-in just to enjoy the easy camaraderie Chris naturally fostered around him. The phone was always ringing with owners asking for his advice.

Progressing from a moped that ferried the teenage Chris between his boarding school near Oxford and his family home in Birmingham, via a spell racing a Mini 1000, Chris found his true automotive calling when introduced to a 356 in the ‘70s.  At the time he was working in London selling advertising space for the publisher of Autosport. 

Buying an old 356 through his employer’s classifieds for £40 was to prove more momentous than Chris might ever have imagined at the time. That 356 was in a very poor condition and at 1974 values it was considered uneconomic to save. Selling its good parts and scrapping the rest helped fund the purchase of a ‘65 911.

Chris raced this 911 in Porsche Club events until he rolled it at Castle Coombe in 1978. Meanwhile his reputation for maintaining and repairing Porsches was growing steadily among the other racers and owners.  This gave Chris the impetus to leave secure employment with The Sun newspaper and set-up as an independent Porsche specialist, at first in a North London lock-up.

It is said that 70% of all Porsche cars ever produced are still on the road – a good many of those in the UK have passed though Chris’ capable hands. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Porsches, regularly reeling-off the history and ownership of any car that had previously been though his workshop without ever needing to check his service records.  Chris had a pragmatic, self-taught mechanical affinity for any Porsche; something that his customers appreciated and he possessed a level of skill other Porsche professionals respected.

Chris’ Carrera 3.2 was regular feature at Porsche get togethers. Always the first to get a round of drinks in, he was the heart of many a Porsche social gathering. Chris was a tractor guy too, undertaking a long-term Porsche Junior renovation project. Motorboats, Photography and Hi-Fi were among his other hobbies. 

Chris often worked seven days per week, starting at the crack of dawn so that he could get away promptly to spend time with his family. Our thoughts go out to his wife Suzanne and the whole Turner family; they have lost a wonderful man. 

In the same week that Porsche made its millionth 911, the Porsche GB community lost “one in a million.” Chris will be very sadly missed.

Porsche Post, Autumn 1978

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