We recently learned of the January 13 passing of Yvonne Turner in Grafton, WI shortly after her 79th birthday. Among her many accomplishments, Yvonne – together with her husband, Dr. Tom Turner – played a key role in promoting the Allard marque during the 1980’s and 90’s.
We first met them at the 1989 Monterey Historics, and we were immediately impressed with their charm and enthusiasm, both for the Allard marque, and life in general. Little did we know that, in addition to Tom racing his flathead Ford J2 “8-Ball” (used with Fred Wacker’s personal blessings), Tom and Yvonne were laying the groundwork for Allard being the featured marque for the 1990 Monterey Historic Auto Races.
Tom and Yvonne worked tirelessly over the next year to assure that the Allard marque was properly presented at Monterey. This included arranging travel to assure the presence of Tom Lush, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and Dudley Hume – along with more than 60 Allards representing virtually all post-WWII models. In addition to their organizing and promotional efforts, Tom and Yvonne brought no fewer than four of their own Allards to this historic event.
Yvonne’s interest and dedication to the Allard marque continued long after Tom’s sudden passing in the fall of 1994. She was guest of honor at the August 1995 Tom Turner Memorial Allard Reunion at Pocono, NJ (AR #20), and a year later decided to try her own hand at vintage racing. She still owned Tom’s beloved “8-Ball” and enrolled in Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving where she completed the course (in her words) “above average.” Yvonne detailed this experience in AR #21, and subsequently ran in several vintage races before deciding to “hang up her helmet.”
She continued to serve as publisher of the Allard Register through 1998. We still hold fond memories of her gentle patience as she worked to give us a basic understanding of the Adobe programs, and the techniques she and Tom had developed to bring the Allard Register into the computer age.
Yvonne had a master's degree in art history from the University of Iowa and TCU. She worked as an art appraiser and operated Turner Art Associates. She was an accomplished pilot and an excellent marksman. Yvonne was a member of St. Monica's Guild and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Most important of all her accomplishments, she was a loving wife, a proud mother and doting grandmother.