Singer (car)


Singer (car)

Singer was an automobile company founded in 1905 in Coventry, England. It was acquired by the Rootes Group of the United Kingdom in 1956. The British Singer company had no connection with the Singer company of Mount Vernon, New York, USA, who made luxury cars from 1915 to 1920.

History

Singer started life as one of the many bicycle makers in Coventry. In 1901 they moved into motor tricycles and bicycles. Motorcycle manufacture would continue until the outbreak of war in 1914. In 1905 they made their first four wheel car which had a 3 cylinder 1400 cc engine and was made under licence from Lea-Francis. The first Singer designed car was the 4 cylinder 2.4 litre 12/14 of 1906. The engine was bought in from Aster. For 1907 the Lea-Francis design was dropped and a range of two, three and four cylinder models using White and Poppe engines launched. The Aster engined models were dropped in 1909 and a new range of larger cars introduced. All cars were now White and Poppe powered. In 1911 the first big seller appeared with the 1100cc Ten with Singer's own engine. The use of their own power plants spread through the range until by the outbreak of the First World War all models except the low volume 3.3 litre 20hp were so equipped.

With peace the Ten continued with a redesign in 1923 including a new overhead valve engine. Six cylinder models were introduced in 1922. In 1927 the Ten engine grew to 1300 cc and a new light car the 850 cc overhead cam (ohc) engine, the big selling Junior was announced. By 1928 Singer was Britain's third largest car maker after Austin and Morris. The range continued in a very complex manner using developments of the ohc Junior engine first with the Nine, the 14/6 and the sporty 1 1/2 litre in 1933. The Nine became the Bantam in 1935.

After World War II initially the pre war Nine, Ten and Twelve were re-introduced with little change but in 1948 the all new SM1500 with independent front suspension but still using a chassis was announced. It was however expensive at £799 and failed to sell well as Singer's rivals also got back into full production. The car was restyled to become the Hunter in 1954 which was also available with a twin overhead cam version of the engine few of which were made.

By 1956 the company was in financial difficulties and Rootes Brothers who had handled Singer sales since before World War 1 bought the company which spelled the end for independent designs. The next car, the Gazelle, was a badge engineered Hillman Minx variant which retained the Singer ohc engine for the I and II versions but this too went in 1958 with the IIA. The Vogue which ran alongside the gazelle from 1961 was a rebadged Hillman Super Minx with more luxurious trim.

The last car to carry the Singer name was an upmarket version of the rear engined Hillman Imp called the Chamois. With the take over of Rootes by Chrysler in 1967, many of the brands were to vanish and the Singer name disappeared forever in 1970.

Models

The main models produced were:

* 10 1400 cc 1905
* 12/14 2400 cc 1906-10
* 20/25 3500 cc 1908-10
* 15 2600 cc 1911-14
* Ten 1100 cc 1912-23
* 10/26 1300 cc 1925-27
* 14/34 and Senior 1800 cc 1926-27
* Light Six 1800 cc 1929-31
* Senior Six 1600 cc 1927-30
* Super Six 1920 cc 1930-31
* Junior 850 cc 1927-35
* Nine 970 cc 1933-37
* 1 1/2 litre 1500 cc 1933-37
* Bantam 970 cc 1936-40
* Twelve 1500 cc 1937-39
* Ten 1200 cc 1938-49
* 4A Roadster 1074 cc 1949-1951
* SM1500 1500 cc 1948-54
* 4AD Roadster 1497 cc 1951-1955
* Hunter 1500 cc 1954-56
* Gazelle I 1500 cc (Singer engine) 1956-57
* Gazelle II 1500 cc (Singer engine) 1957-58
* Gazelle IIA 1500 cc (Rootes engine from now on) 1958
* Gazelle III 1500 cc 1958-59
* Gazelle IIIA1500 cc 1959-60
* Gazelle IIIB 1500 cc 1960-61
* Gazelle IIIC 1600 cc 1961-63
* Gazelle V 1600 cc 1963-65
* Gazelle VI 1725 cc 1965-67
* New Gazelle 1725 cc 1967-70
* Vogue I 1600 cc 1961-62
* Vogue II 1600 cc 1963-64
* Vogue III 1600 cc 1964-65
* Vogue IV 1725 cc 1965-66
* New Vogue 1725 cc 1966-70
* Chamois 875 cc 1965-70

ee also

* Premier Motorcycles

External links

* [http://www.singercars.com North American Singer Owners Club]
* [http://www.singeroc.free-online.co.uk/ Singer Owners' Club]
* [http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Autos/Makes_and_Models/Singer/ Category at ODP]


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