A reader from Milan. after embarrassing me by saying that after 45 yews of readership he finds me “almost never wrong”, takes me to task for attributing 90mph from 41bhp to the 1935 TT Singers. He compares this with the 90mph he can get from his 1934 Singer Le Mans Special which has a Rootes Group 1656cc engine as used for the 1950s Sunbeam Alpine, the Singer and Humber Vogues, and the Hillman Hunter, etc. With twin 1 in SUs, a fairly ‘hot’ camshaft, and extractor exhaust system it develops just over 100bhp and this car will push to 100mph, he says, with a tailwind, which against it reduces the pace to 85 on the 3.95 axle-ratio.
I think he must be right about 41bhp not giving 90mph. My defence is that these TT Singers, of which production replicas were promised but never materialised, were not available to me for roadtest, and that motoring writers are not well enough paid, especially me, to afford their own dynamometers! I have always regarded The Autocar of those days as accurate, and it quotes 90/41 for the TT Singers, as does Kevin Atkinson in one of the best one-make books, The Singer Story, adding the axle ratio as 4.77 to 1. The can were tuned for racing and so the 41bhp we all quoted was very likely false. Maximum safe revs were, I believe, 5500rpm. Sorry.