Singer emblem. (source: R Gust Smith)
The first Singer car -the firm had been making motorcycles from 1900- was made under license from Lea-Francis; it was a 15 hp three-cylinder horizontal-engined device with connecting rods no less than 39 inches long!
By 1907 this design had been dropped, and replaced by vertical two-, three- or four-cylinder White and Poppe engines, rated at 8 hp, 10 hp and 12 hp. Two larger models used Aster engines (12/14 hp and 22 hp), though Singer soon developed its own power unit; in 1912 the popular 10 hp was announced, with rear-axle-mounted gearbox.
This was continued after the War, though in l922 a conventional gearbox position was adopted. The car was re-designed the following year. A bewildering number of models followed, the ohc 848cc Junior of 1927 being very significant. The following year, Singer was third in the British car production stakes behind Morris and Austin. By the mid-1930s all models had ohc engines, a particularly appropriate layout for the A. G. Booth-designed Sports Nine. One of these was placed 13th at Le Mans in 1933 and 7th in 1934, resulting in the model being given the generic title of "Le Mans"; 1100cc and 1 1/2-litre engines were supplied to HRG for their sports car production.
After World War Two, pre-war designs were continued until the SM 1500 of 1949, while: the 1500 Roadster appeared two years later. The Hunter saloon of 1955 failed to save the company; in 1956 Singer was taken over by the Rootes Group. The Hunter was replaced by the Gazelle (of Hillman Minx lineage). From then on Singers were upmarket Hillmans, with the Chamois of 1965 being an Imp derivative. The 1496cc-engined Gazelle and the 1725cc Vogue. also lasted until the marque ceased in 1970.
(source: Vintage European Automobiles)
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