Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Turner Special

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Turner Special was a motorcycle produced in 1927, from a design originating in 1925, by Edward Turner of Rye Hill Park, London.

The original design was a failure and had a 348cc single cylinder ohc with gear drive to the camshaft. In 1927, partial success was achieved, and this time a vertical shaft replaced the gears, carrying both cams at its upper end and positioned horizontally. These were contacted by short pushrods, which applied pressure to the outer end of each rocker, the other rocker-end bearing upon the valve stem, with valves inclined at 80°. Lubrication was via a Best and Lloyd mechanical pump, and ball or roller bearings were used on the crankshaft. The exhaust had two ports with open pipes.

That engine was fitted to an experimental machine, with a loop frame to support the motor at three points, Webb front forks, 7-inch diameter Webb brakes, twist-grip-controlled Amac carburettor, three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox and nickel-plated saddle-type petrol tank. The 6-pint/3.3lt oil tank was separate and fitted to the saddle downtube.

The Turner Special was registered for road use with the London County Council as YP 9286.

Priced at £75, the machine was included in the Buyers Guide of February, 1927. It is unlikely that any further models were either constructed or sold.


  • Note: The designer, Edward Turner, later went on to be closely associated with Ariel and the Square Four. Later still he designed the parallel-twin Speed Twin for Triumph.


Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [1] Wikipedia on Edward Turner