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Past Meeting

Stuart Turner - Twice Lucky: Rallying with Minis and Escorts

We were very fortunate indeed this month to welcome Stuart Turner, our first (?) winner of an After Dinner Speaker of the Year Award.

Stuart recounted his years in Motorsport and the Motor Industry. This was a fascinating and amusing talk from someone who has been right at the heart of motoring and rallying from the late 1950s, spending the next 53 years as driver, navigator, competitions manager, editor and much more. (He also once owned an XK120!)
To set the scene, this period included the famous 1955 Mille Miglia win by Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson in a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR - 1000 miles in just over ten hours, half-an-hour ahead of Fangio!

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. He was also Sports Editor of Motoring News where he created the Motoring News Rally Championship.

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.

In 1968 Stuart became Publicity Manager at Castrol, where he began the Motor Club support programme.
1970s & 1980s
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.

Stuart was Director of Public Affairs at Ford of Britain for some five years before moving back into motorsport as Director of Motorsport for Ford of Europe. Here he introduced the RS200, Sierra Cosworth and Escort Cosworth. He retired (?!) in 1991.
Stuart Turner
Stuart Turner Beside his motoring career outlined above, Stuart was a member of the Motor Sports Association Council (the governing body of the sport in Britain) from 1991 to 2009, when he was awarded the Prince Michael Award of Merit for services to motorsport.

He is the author of over 20 books on motorsport, business and public speaking. These include Harnessing Horsepower (2011), a biography of Pat Moss Carlsson. Last year he also wrote a Haynes Manual - not on Minis or Escorts but on Retirement, although he shows little signs of doing it!

Stuart is Chief Executive of the Motorsport Safety Fund, a charity producing films and publications to help keep the sport safe.

He is also the winner of a Benedictine After Dinner Speaker of the Year Award.

All Stuart's experience distilled into an award winning evening - we do try to bring you the very best, so this really is one not to miss!
Graham Hill, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Jochen Rindt, Jackie Stewart and John Surtees all gained their first racing experience in a 1960s Mini!!
Stuart Turner Books (Selected)
   1965   International Rallying
   1968   Rallying
   1974   The Way To Win
   1978   Drive It! The Complete Book Of Rallying (& New Eds. 1983,4)
   1999   Twice Lucky - My Life In Motorsport


1  Next Meeting

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3  Recent Meeting

Date:14 April 2016

Place:Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3TA

Sqn. Ldr. A. Garretts MBE (retd) - The Berlin Air Lift 1948-1949

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4  Recent Event

Cars to the Claydons - 70 ml run

Date:3rd September 2016

Place:OX18 4JP

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Blackthorn Classic Car Show

Date:4th September 2016

Place:OX25 1TG

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