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March is a winding Scottish road. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.

March is a winding Scottish road
Feels like spring has finally arrived. Christopher Beddows describes an ideal way to celebrate it in his TAD LMP.


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March is a Winding Scottish Road The month changes. A calendar page turns and we seek solace in memories of all the good times. Weekends together on lawns and beaches in the company of family and friends. Time to cast away the seasonal sadness and find that road, that special road, where you and your car can be in harmony - the harmony of mind and body and machine.

The heart skips more quickly as you remove the dustsheet and the sinuous lines reveal themselves in carefully crafted reality. As a very wise person once said, "The truly great sports cars look as if they are doing 100mph while standing still." The Turner LMP is a truly great sports car.

Stepping carefully over the broad sill it is a matter of a moment to slip into the snugness of the seat and the cockpit that is so essentially functional. Four-point harness is pulled tight and the rear mirrors checked.

Ignition to the "on" position. Press the button and the adrenalin is already flowing as the motor crackles into life. Pause to prepare for the unadulterated joy ahead and to let the engine and fluids warm up from cold.

The way the gear lever falls so easily to hand is still appreciated for its sheer ergonomic sense. One pull back and you feel the clutch bite. She is ready, impatient even. Floor the throttle, a sudden squeak from the tyres and a massive hand is pushing you back into your seat - hard!

Another pull back and the sequential shifter repeats the whole experience although by now the road is starting to look narrow. Another gear and still she squirms slightly and squeals as rubber grips tarmac and hurls the low, beautiful creature forwards. Quick check in the mirrors as the revs rise past 10,000 again. Snick - another gear and you are hurtling at really high speed towards that wonderful stretch where open curves are followed by diminishing radius bends.

Gentle pressure on the brake pedal and there is that giant hand again - this time hauling down the speed securely and with no drama.

Here we go! Drop a gear and you are on the power band and accelerating towards the apex of the first curve. She turns in as if glued to the road and rockets towards the next opposite curve. Quick shift and she is really humming now.

Braking late you are aware of the suspension working hard but with exquisite balance that has been built into the chassis and suspension there are no unexpected turn-in terrors. Slight trace of oversteer as the throttle is floored and she's away again.

A short straight and you can mentally relax and appreciate the instrument that the LMP has become - attuned to your slightest wish - responsive like a living creature to the directions you give it.

Here comes that curve, the special curve that demands immense precision and judgement. Steadily tightening as the radius diminishes, you and the LMP balance yourselves. Brake, drop down three gears, feed the throttle back slowly and you're through - leaping ahead in the way only a machine with over 400bhp per tonne can.

The air is keen and crisp; there is the smell of spring in the air that screams past you. The firewall at your back is warm now. The LMP is lunging ahead, ready to anticipate and obey your next thought. Crisp, orange leaves spin behind in the vortex of your speed. Life is good - very good.

For further details of this machine check out, or read our own (and impartial!) track test.

Christopher Beddows - 26 Mar 2005

2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Trevor Nicosia.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Trevor Nicosia.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.

2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.2004 Steve Turner Automotive LMP. Image by Lewis J. Houghton.    

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