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Vintage Trio of Cars Ready to Race, Not Roll, Into Roanoke

You could say John Stanford is a bit of a collector. He has a few beauties he’s ready to brag about, so he is bringing along not one… not two… but three European rides to Rolling Into Roanoke 2018! We asked John about his car collection, and learned a bit more about his different rides.

The first of his cars you can expect to see is a 1965 Triumph Spitfire. It is a car that he prepared to race in Sports Car Club of America national championship road races. John explained, “I have raced this car in over 100 races at about every road race course east of the Mississippi River, plus three courses as far west as Topeka, Kansas. This car has won many races and set many track records for SCCA G production racecars. It has also competed in five end-of-season SCCA National Road Race of Champions. These races were “invitation only,” competing against the 24 best cars in the US. “ Talk about a legacy!

This car was purchased from a new car dealer in Iowa and immediately turned into a racecar. After a few race seasons, a barber in Bryan, Ohio, purchased it and John then purchased it from him. He started racing it in September of 1973, and went all the way through June of 2013!

His next car is a 1965 Turner Mark III, one of 660 cars produced in England by Jack Turner from 1951 to 1966. Stanford’s Turner Mark III is number 647 of those 660 manufactured. The car is constructed on a ladder frame with a fiberglass body and aluminum doors. The engine is a Kent Ford 1500 CC, 4-cylinder engine with 165 horsepower. There were reportedly only 45 of these cars shipped into the United States, and most were shipped to a dealership in Utah.

“I found this Turner covered up in the back of a friend’s shop in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was storing it for a friend of his – after 2 and a half years of trying to buy it, I finally got the job done!” John said. The last 18 months have been spent totally rebuilding everything on the car, in hopes to vintage race it later this June.

Stanford raced this Turner at the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Group Three, and qualified first and won the race! June 16-17, 2018.

John’s last entry to be featured at RIR 2018 is a 1968 Austin Mini Cooper S, manufactured in England and shipped to a new car dealer in Austria. An Army serviceman purchased this Mini and brought it back to the US (Indianapolis) when his tour was completed. As a father-son restoration project, it was partly dismantled and the project died before the project could be completed. According to John, the project came back to life with the help of a friend who bought the car from them as-is.

“My friend worked on it off and on, along with other car projects, and got it 70% completed. I bought the car at that point, got it running, and then finished the rest of the restoration,” said John.


Make sure you come out to Rolling Into Roanoke 2018: Across the Pond on July 21, 2018, to see John’s rides and plenty of others like them! Whether you like racing cars, luxury vehicles, or motorcycles and bikes, we guarantee there will be something for everyone. (Plus food, prizes, and shopping for the whole family, too!)

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