In July 7 IssueBy Ron Cowell, Columnist
If you attended the Lakefest Car Show this year you missed it if you didn't see the Singer Automobile there, no not a sewing machine but a Singer Car. These cars are very rare and we were lucky to see it. This car had a wooden frame. Unfortunately I didn't get the guys name, but did get a little information. When he bought the car his wife said he was nuts! He spent $500 on a piece of junk. He now has over twenty five thousand dollars in the car and it's safe to say it worth much more than that.
I had never heard of a Singer Car so I got on the internet and did a little searching.
The Singer Roadster was launched by the Singer Motor Company in 1939 as an open version of the Bantam saloon. Production was suspended for the duration of World War II following which production of the car was re-started in virtually unchanged form. It was upgraded to the 4A model in 1949 with a four speed manual gearbox. The short lived 4AB and 4AC models came in 1950 followed finally by the 4AD or SM roadster in 1951. The last cars were made in 1955.
The original Roadster was an occasional four seat, two door Touring car and had the overhead camshaft, 1074 cc I4 engine used in the Bantam range but tuned slightly to give 36 hp by fitting a better manifold and downdraught SU carburetor. Performance was handicapped by the use of a three speed gearbox and top speed was in the order of 65 mph (105 km/h).
The body was built in the traditional method of aluminum panels fixed to a wooden framework. The suspension used leaf springs and was non independent with rigid axle's front and rear. The brakes were mechanically operated.
Post World War II cars had the chassis stiffened and the engine mounted further forwards.
Nearly all production post war was exported.
The Roadster was updated to the 4A model in 1949 by fitting the four speed gearbox from the Singer Hunter. A Solex carburetor replaced the SU used on the previous car.
Home market cars were very rare.
The 4AB received a new chassis with independent front suspension by coil springs. The engine remained unchanged but the brakes became a mixed hydraulic/rod system.
The limited production 4AC used a slightly larger 1194 cc engine
The final version of the Roadster used the 48 hp, 1497 cc engine from the SM1500 saloon fitted to a virtually unchanged chassis and body although the brakes were changed from pure mechanical to a hydraulic/mechanical hybrid system. Power was increased to 58 hp in 1953 by fitting twin carburetors to the engine.
Although early production was still all for export, from 1953 cars became available on the domestic market.
A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1951 had a top speed of 73 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 23.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.8 miles per imperial gallon, 21.5 mpg- was recorded. No price was quoted for the car as it was for export only.
Along with the Singer were many, many beautiful all original vehicles at this show. Doc Monin once again worked hard and put on a fantastic car show. He gets a little static sometimes from the guys who have the modified cars and can't enter them BUT this show is strictly for all original or as close to all original as can be. Thanks Doc for giving us the opportunity to view all this history of the automobile. There were cars from the 20's to the 70's there. If you missed it you really missed a great time and a great car show.
That's it for this week, till next time, "Keep Cruisin."