Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1914 SINGER 10 HP TWO SEATER
Registration No. BL 3540
Car No. 1389
Engine No. 1451
Light blue with black mudguards and upholstery
Engine: four cylinder bi-bloc, 63 x 88mm bore and stroke, 1,097cc, with fixed head and side-valves, thermo-syphon water-cooling, pump lubrication, Claudel-Hobson carburettor, Bosch magneto ignition; Gearbox: integral gearbox-differential unit giving three speeds and reverse; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: rear-wheel brakes. Sankey steel detachable wheels. Right hand drive.
The Singer Motor Company was one of the many Coventry motorcar makers with a background in the city's cycle industry. After making self-contained 'motor-wheels' that could be fitted to bicycles and tricycles, then tricars, and some unsatisfactory horizontal-engined cars, it was only in 1906 that Singer settled to producing a range of conventional 10 to 20 horsepower cars, mainly fitted with White & Poppe engines. However the firm did not really establish itself in the eyes of the public as a car manufacturer until it introduced the Singer Ten in the latter part of 1912.
The Ten was a proper light car with some interesting design features, most notably the placing of the gearbox in unit with the back axle. A consequence of this is that the engine and drive-train are set slightly to the offside of the chassis - which results in an off-set starting handle.
The Autocar used the prototype for a 300-mile road test at the beginning of October and reported: 'The engine is particularly lively, and enables this sporting little car to soar up hills at a pace which would put many a bigger vehicle to shame' 'Though light, there is nothing flimsy about the car's construction'. What The Autocar did not know was that the engine was very susceptible to tuning and Singers were very successful in hill-climbs and at Brooklands for the next two years until the outbreak of war brought an end to such activities.
Singer advertised the Ten with the alliterative phrase: 'The little car with a lot of luxury', and at £195 it did represent good value for money. This car appears to be entirely representative of the model and the body is complete with hood, windscreen, and the standard domed mudguards. Under the bonnet everything looks to be in good order, and the engine has the correct ancillaries although the small chain-driven dynamo is not present. With its distinctive miniature Rolls-Royce-style radiator and the neat two-seater body this Singer Ten is a very attractive light car of the period. Whether it has a lot of luxury by today's standards is a matter of opinion.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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