WE HAVE received an interesting comment from Mr. Terence J. Barnes, whose late father used to be the “gaffer” of the Singer Competition Team, about the photograph at the bottom of page 1323 in last month’s MOTOR SPORT. Those who keep their back numbers may care to look again at this picture of the Dorcas Special in the Paddock at Shelsley Walsh in September 1935, when they will see that in the background are two Singer Nines, No. 22 and No. 23. The 1935 TT race had been a disaster for the Singer team, all three retiring when the steering failed. Alf Langley’s Singer crashed at Bradshaw’s Brae when its steering-arm broke and shortly afterwards the same thing happened to the Singers driven by Norman Black and S. C. H. Davis, Davis’s car landing on top of Black’s, also at Bradshaw’s Brae. None of the drivers was badly hurt.
D.S.J. has reminded me that in those days many TT competitors hurried to get their cars ready for the September Shelsley Walsh hill-climb; in three weeks’ time, in fact. Sammy Davis was no doubt very anxious to have his Singer there, to avenge its miserable TT debut. Mr. Barnes tells us that car No. 23 in our picture is the Singer in which Stanley Barnes won the 1,100 c.c. Sports Car Class at that 1935 Shelsley Walsh meeting, but only because it was the only car in this class. It did 65 sec. on its one run mis-firing preventing a second ascent. It was AVC 483. In the TT it had been withdrawn after the other three Singers had crashed, so was ready to go unscathed to Shelsley Walsh — I wonder what steering-arms they used for the hill-climb? Car No. 22 in the picture is the Singer hurriedly put together by Reg Bicknell and his mechanic’s from the wreckage of the Langley and Black TT cars so as to restore car AVC 482 that had run as No. 37 in the TT, driven by Davis. Instead of in long-tailed body to AIACR sports-car regulations it ran stripped at Shelsley, with a sprint body. It was unplaced. — W.B.