Dave Turner, for the Love of Performance

Forty years is a long time to still have skin in the game. But for Keystone Canada sales associate Dave Turner, he can’t imagine a weekend without it. “It wasn’t really family influence. More or less the impact of growing up in a rural area where every kid was eager to get their own car and prove themselves,” said Turner. He took a vested interest in what could be done with a car, both legally and illegally for that matter. Call it a natural curiosity for how fast one can make a street car go. Flirting with the law but never breaking it. He tested those theories on everything from a 1970 Duster, 1970 ‘Cuda, and a string of Chryslers, to a 1968 Shelby Mustang, 1971 Ford Maverick, 1972 Ford Maverick, and 1972 Ford Mustang in NHRA/IHRA competition.

Taking the Mustang Pledge

The Shelby Mustang was a game changer in more ways than one. “At the time, the car was seven, but looking 70. Though it was appearing a bit tired, the body was in good shape,” said Turner. “That car turned into a resto project and eventually became a dedicated race car through a series of circumstances that convinced me if I really wanted to test the capability, I wouldn’t be able to compromise,” continued Turner.

“At the time, the car didn’t have the collector value it has today. I didn’t permanently modify to the point where it couldn’t be restored, but it was quite an ordeal,” he said. He’s been a fan of the big, bad Blue Oval ever since—joined the Shelby Automotive Club, attended a few conventions, and even received some nice industry recognition. “It was a little bit of a show vehicle, but ran bracket racing— pure race car [post conversion],” he added.

Bold Moves

After 30 years in the industry, Turner has a handle on the performance scene. “If you’re not having fun doing this, then there’s a problem,” he chuckled. When asked why he’s still at it four decades later, “It’s the drive to do things that you wonder if you can do. And then testing your own ability to achieve that outcome.” He’s not chasing the performance number, even though he’s turned out some sweet elapsed times at the track. “At the end of the day, it’s about the people that are there. Otherwise, I’d be golfing because, truthfully, I’m a better golfer,” laughed Turner. There will be plenty of time for that in the yonder years of retirement—now, let’s race.

Wheels Up with Dave Turner

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