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2018 23 March

An Evening with Stuart Turner

Click Here for An Intro From Ken Davies

When you think of the glory days or British rallysport you think of the Mini Coopers of the 1960s and the Ford Escorts of the 1970s. But did you know that one man led both the BMC and Ford rally teams to those multiple successes?

His name is Stuart Turner and for decades he was one of the most powerful and influencial men in the whole of motorsport. 

Stuart was Champion Navigator for the very first two years of the British Rally Championship, in a Triumph TR3A in 1958, and an Austin-Healey Sprite in 1959! He was also winner of the "Autosport Award" as BTRDA Gold Star navigator for three consecutive years.

Outside Britain, he co-drove in factory cars for Austin-Healey, Auto Union, MG, Mercedes, and Triumph on major events like the Mille Miglia, and the Monte Carlo, Alpine, Liege and Tulip rallies. (Remember the MGA Twin Cam?)

Stuart won the 1960 RAC Rally with Erik Carlsson in a Saab 96.

In 1961 Stuart was lucky enough to join BMC as Competitions Manager just as the Mini Cooper was beginning to take over the leading role from the Austin-Healey 3000. This meant that he had six years working at MG with Alec Issigonis, John Cooper and Donald Healey.

During the '70s and '80s Stuart worked for Ford Britain and then Ford Europe. For the first half-dozen years he was Competitions Manager at Ford of Britain, when the Escort was supreme. He also ran the Advanced Vehicle Operations factory in Essex, making Escort Mexicos and RS2000s.

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