Coachlines - October 2022

27.10.22 Freeman Chris Mann

Win a Michael Turner print commemorating events in the South Atlantic 40 years on

Harrier Aircraft Attacking Goose Green, 28–29 May 1982 could be yours for as little as £10

Artist Michael Turner has kindly donated this print of Harrier Aircraft Attacking Goose Green, 28th–29th May 1982, to the company to raise money for our charitable trust. Tickets are £10 each and can be purchased electronically here or in person at the Carol Service on 8th December. The draw will be made at the Coachmakers’ Carol Service.

Born in Harrow in 1934, Michael Turner is one of the foremost motorsport and aviation artists of the past half century. He became interested in aviation and the aeroplanes of the RAF as a schoolboy during WWII, although his aircraft drawings in school exercise books were not always appreciated by his teachers.

Michael’s passion for motorsport emerged on a family holiday to the Isle of Man, when he saw the 1947 British Empire Trophy Race in Douglas. Won by Bob Gerard in an ERA against such notable opponents as Peter Whitehead, Tony Rolt (both later winners of the Le Mans 24 Hour race) and Prince Bira, the race was also notable for the presence of a woman competitor Sheila Darbishire, who finished eighth in her Riley,

After art school and National Service, Michael went to work for a London advertising agency as an illustrator. Turning freelance in 1957, he soon established a reputation as the go-to man for meticulously researched paintings, combining artistic flair with unrivalled accuracy and an in-depth understanding of the subject matter. Turner’s talents also extended to the body designs of the first McLaren Grand Prix car and the all-conquering McLaren M1B Can-Am car, as well as the McLaren team logo.

By the mid 1960s he had set up his own business – Studio 88 – which flourishes today and which Michael still runs with his son Graham, also a successful artist. Today, Michael’s work can be seen on the walls of the RAC and RAF Clubs, the BRDC, assorted race-team headquarters and numerous RAF and Army messes.

Over the years Turner has produced official posters for the Le Mans 24 Hour Race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and a variety of Formula One Grand Prix venues including Monaco, Zandvoort, the Nürburgring and Watkins Glen.

A founder member of The Guild of Aviation Artists, Michael Turner has been its President since 1985, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Motoring Artists. Michael has also flown some 15 times with the Red Arrows in their scarlet Gnats, plus many other fast jets and classic aircraft.

Success as an artist has enabled Michael to indulge both his aeronautical and motoring passions. A keen pilot, Turner owned and flew a de Havilland Chipmunk for many years, selling it only recently. Michael still owns the SS100 Jaguar which he bought in 1955, along with an E-Type and Jaguar MkII. The SS100 is still in regular use, Michael and Helen (his wife of 62 years) competing in last September’s Kop Hill Climb.