Vintage Postbag - Early singers

What a treat to see a picture of a Singer in Motor Sport and of one of the almost unknown I.o.M. racers intended for the 1914 Light Car TT at that.

I am currently researching early Singer history and have only just "discovered" these cars. Two were reported as having been sold by April 1915, one to Mr. Bolton, the other to Mr. J. P. Coates of Berkeley Square. Several sporting Tens were, over the years, offered for sale but not all quoted the I.o.M. engine. One TT racer was offered by a dealer in October 1915 and three more in November, through dealers, although one advert quoted the car as 1915 with special racing engine. This latter possibly reappears in July 1916, white with black wings with, for definite, an I.o.M. engine. Another is offered in September 1916, only 2,600 miles, possibly from the October 1915 advert which then had it with only 2,000 miles on the clock.

By speculation, a pattern emerges. The Bolton car we know was rebodied. The Coates car would appear to have remained unaltered and was last advertised in May 1920, the limit so far of my researches, still as an I.o.M. TT car. The third car must have "lost" its engine to the 1915 chassis.

Pre-WW1, the Singer Ten had many sporting successes, in many hands, all the more noteworthy as it was a car by construction and a cyclecar by definition. If I may mention, briefly, two which caught the headlines. Firstly "Caruso", a factory-prepared car which covered 72.55 miles in one hour, going on to capture 1,100 c.c. class records from one to nine hours at Brooklands in September 1913 in the hands of Haywood and Baker. This lay idle at the factory until it was rebodied in 1918/19 for the son of the Managing Director of Singer and Co. Ltd., Mr. W. E. Bullock. W. E. Bullock Jnr. was to become MD in the early 30s upon the retirement of his father.

Secondly, Lionel Martin, with Bamford as Bamford and Martin, tuned a Ten (did he really call it "Bunny," a name carried by seven Singers 1910-1913?) to good effect and enjoyed a successful season in 1914. This car was offered for sale, still in sporting guise, in March 1920. Did any of these five famous Singer Tens survive for any length of tune after WW1?

Details are as follows:—

"Bunny" 16.20.90 x 110 9' 3" w.b. chassis. October Meet 1910.

"Bunny Junior", same chassis, new 80 x 130. 80 bore record November 1910.

"Bunny 3," Same 80 x 130 motor in 9' 6" chassis. Probably most succesful Songer over a rough period mid-1911 to the end of 1912. Rebodied with 2-seater body and offered for sale 12.7.1913

"Bunny 4," also 80 x 130. Driven by G. Tysoe in 1911 Standard Car race. Also driven at Saltburn Speed trials July 1912 by Rollason.

"Bunny 5, 6 and 7." 1912 GP Dieppe. Declared as 80 x 149. Team of two with the spare car thought to be named Bunny 7. Photo 22.6.1912 p1142 not too clear. B5 was race number 39 and B6, 25. Rollason (25) broke a con-rod, Haywood (39) had a dry skid, hit a tree and smashed control levers.

These cars were later raced by Singers but later declared dimensions were 80 x 142 or 80 x 149 or 80 x 142.6. Percy Lambert bought one 80 x 149 for 1913 season. This was rebodied and owned at one time by Mr. G de Jongh.

Bampton, M.E.N. Moody

Vintage Registrar,

Singer OC