1915 SINGER 10HP TWO SEATER
Registration No. LM 7193
Engine No. C2762
Olive with black upholstery
Engine: four cylinder bi-bloc, 63 x 88mm bore & 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 drum. Sankey steel detachable wheels. Right hand drive.
Following its introduction at the end of 1912 the Singer Ten quickly established a reputation as a well thought out and practical design of light car with a strong appeal to buyers of a car in this class. The fact that it also had considerable sporting potential was an unintended bonus.
One of the Singer Ten's most notable achievements was its success, tinged with disappointment, in the 1914 Alpine Trial. The Trial was intended for large cars costing several times the price of the Singer's £195, and the fact that a standard light car could compete in the event at all put many a nose out of joint. The car was driven 5,000 miles to, from, and during the Trial, it climbed all the precipitous Alpine passes, and completed the route in its entirety. It was disqualified because, contrary to the rules, the bonnet had to be opened to clean a plug that had sooted-up whilst it waited for other cars that had stalled on a 1 in 3 gradient to be dragged out of the way by horses. So although the success of Radley's Rolls-Royce is regularly recalled, the achievement of the Singer does not even get a footnote in motoring histories. At least at the time The Light Car and Cyclecar headlined its report: 'The sensation of the Alpine Tour - How the little Singer showed what a Light Car could do', whilst Singer's adverts added the phrase: 'She's simply splendid on hills'.
In a different context, at the last pre-war race-meeting at Brooklands in August 1914, one Lionel Martin persuaded his highly tuned Singer Ten to lap the track at 70.95mph. He had to wait until after hostilities ceased before he could draw on such experience and build Aston-Martin motorcars for sale.
As far as is known this surviving car has no sporting credits in its history - it is just a plain honest Singer Ten, and clearly a late example as it has the rounded-off radiator that was introduced at the end of 1914 for the coming year. The bodywork is to pattern and has the correct windscreen and hood, it may even have its original paint, certainly the olive drab colour is of a shade very popular when the car was new and roads were unsealed and either dusty or muddy. Similarly, apart from the seat-squab, the upholstery looks original, as does the ribbed-linoleum floor-covering. Correctly fitted is a set of Rotax Dynolight electric lights and there are the appropriate Rotax instruments on the dashboard. The engine and its associated parts match illustrations in journals of the period.
The Singer was exhumed from Savage's Garage at Shenfield near Brentwood, Essex, in the 1960s. A tax disc that expired on the 30th September 1925 is on the car and this could well indicate when it was last used on the road. The car appears to be entirely authentic and, apart from having aged, must surely be exactly as the first owner would have known it. A new owner will therefore have an intriguing dilemma to resolve: whether restoration or conservation is the most appropriate course to take with this particular car.