Famed 'Tatty Turner' Mark I Climax racer up for auction

Rushed into racing, successful 1960s club racer 'Tatty Turner' got its name from its naked fibreglass body seen on its debut – and it's now going under the hammer

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Nicknames are funny things, assigned rather than requested, but given the right circumstances that can become iconic. When a Turner Mark I Climax was being hurriedly prepared for a race, its less than appealing appearance earned it the name “Tatty Turner”, something that stuck throughout this car’s successful racing career. Said car is now up for auction complete with its amusing origin story.

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In 1960 a new Turner Climax was being assembled ready for its debut at Mallory Park, the only problem being that its designers and engineers had just a matter of weeks to complete the car.

The machine was finished just in time for Pat Fergusson to take the wheel, though 'finished' is something of a stretch. It had to race with a naked fibreglass body as there simply wasn’t the time to paint it.

Despite its unsightly looks, the car finished third on its first outing with the commentator remarking "it may look tatty, but just see how it's going!” The Tatty Turner name stuck, even after the car received its racing colours, and stayed with the car throughout.

It won its following race at Snetterton and the up to 1500cc sports car event at Mallory Park that year. Tatty continued to see success throughout its career with Gordon Unsworth's Team Turner until 1963.

Bought at auction in 2003, Dave Whitehurst Racing completed a total restoration, returning the car to its original specification. From the looks of it they did an excellent job, with its distinctive British Racing Green paintwork – complete with racing stripe – appearing as it did later in 1960. Tatty Turner returned to racing and won its class in the 2005 HSCC Finals.

Currently listed for auction on Norman’s Pond, Tatty Turner’s current bid is just £100 with 5 days remaining. This could prove to be a great opportunity to get your hands on a classic racer with a great history.

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