Raised in the suburbs of London during the Second World War, Turner developed an talent for identifying aircrafts and enjoyed drawing them. Following a visit to the Isle of Man in 1947, when he saw the British Empire Trophy Race, a similar passion for motor racing emerged. Turner spent a year at art college before embarking on National Service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He went on to work in advertising before becoming a freelance artist in 1957. He is a founder member of The Guild of Aviation Artists.