First and foremost my principal
interest lies with early Land-Rovers, however I have a particular leaning to
the more unusual versions.
I first became aware of the
existence of such a beast as the Turner two stroke a number of years ago, when
an acquaintance of mine, who had been into Land-Rovers a good few years longer
then me, told me in passing that he had a two cylinder unit.
It was some 4 years later that the
lump came into my possession having patiently bided my time. I have yet to
examine what I bought that day, it is still sitting out in the shed along with
a cracked fuel injector pump casing and a box of bits.
Since becoming interested I have
tried a wide range of avenues in an attempt to find out more about the company.
I have come to the conclusion that whilst they may well have received some
press coverage in their day they can't have been too successful judging
by the widespread lack of knowledge in existence today.
I've very recently (31st May 2018) became aware of a posting made in January 2015 as follows:-
Obscure bit of history I suppose, but might be of interest to someone. Have discovered that the RLC archive website allows you to list the various Land Rover contracts and sub-contracts, and by searching for make Rover and Keyword Rover I spotted an order for a 109" pick-up with 2-stroke diesel engine. That was in June 1957. As I have paid to view stuff on-line I can see the ledger page which says it was standard 109 pick-up, then a contract to Turner to install a 3-cylinder L60 2-stroke - no specifics of the vehicle. The original petrol engine valued at £135 was to be returned to the Ministry of Supply.
Unfortunately no other information is known at this point.
There are, however, a band of people
out there, who are interested in these units. I don't pretend to have found
them all, hopefully this Web Page will bring in a few more.
A way back in April 1999 I was aware of the existence of only 6 units, I owned two (an L40 and an L60), one up
in Durham (an L40) and three belonging to another guy (an L40 and two marine
(The known number has now increased somewhat).
Having obtained the L40 unit I had
always planned to install it in an 80" wheelbase Land-Rover as a curiosity
item when time permitted. Ironically having obtained this unit I became aware
of a guy who had a total of 4 units who I went to see. At this time he wasn't
particularly minded to sell.
A year later he had changed his
position and wanted to sell the L40 unit he had, but by now I had decided I
wanted the L60 he owned. Some time later he had changed his mind again and was
prepared, for a fair price, to sell the L60 to me, so he then had the 3 units
left and I had two.
Some time later this same person was now considering selling the other three units as a job lot. As they were
a valuable source of very rare spares I'm just had to bide my time.
Having obtained the engine I wanted
I then had to find a suitable host vehicle, there was no way it would fit into
an 80" Land-Rover. I had seen a suitable vehicle, an 88" Series One,
some years previously but assumed it may have been sold, as luck would have it
it was still there although the owner had started a rebuild. Fortunately he was
minded to sell it, so I then had the vehicle into which to put the engine.
Through a person who supplies some
Turner spares and is, I believe, the unofficial Turner Register Spares person,
I found that there is a another person (who used to work for a branch of what was Turner
and who is very interested in the products of the Turner Manufacturing Company). He
has been able to retain some original drawings that were due to be thrown out.
He was able to supply me with copies
of original drawings of the exhaust system so that I can get them manufactured
as well as a plan of the Turner Diesel badge. I did investigate the costs of
having this re-manufactured but the cost was prohibitive with so few potential
The exhaust for the Land-Rover
consists of two 'boxes', one 30" and the other 18" long, both 5"
in diameter, with 8 1/4" by 2 3/8" diameter tubes each end and
connected by flexible piping and the front section is a length of 3 1/8"
flexible brazed to the exhaust manifold.
The vehicle was up and running, after
a fashion, for the Festival of the Plough event in September 1999 which marked
of the Turner Yeoman of England tractor.