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SM1500 & Hunter registrars report


Singer Clubs in Australasia, over the coming months, for details of the survivors still running about over there. This is going to be a more onerous project, and something that will take some time to complete. I will let you know in 6 months the initial results of my enquiries, and give a more complete picture as to the survival rate, of these much overlooked cars. I have visited Coventry Motor Museum


archives, and viewed the factory records for the SM1500 and Hunter models. They have revealed some fascinating insights into the rate of


will include those cars which were used in contemporary road tests, as well as any which appeared in articles in the motor magazines over the last 50 years or so.


I will be approaching


members, it is clear that I need to do some work to try and get back the cars which have not been in the club for some time. I know of at least one SM1500 which has gone to Eire, and a Hunter which has moved to North Lincolnshire. I have also found, recorded and photographed two very dishevelled Hunters near Spalding, one an early 1955 model, and the second a 1956 twin carb, two tone, leather trimmed model. It would take a very brave man to restore either of these, but you never know. This info I will add to the records, and obviously encourage these people to join the club, and swell the numbers. I am logging all vehicles onto a database, this


As one of the newest appointedmodel registrars, I would like to thank my predecessor – John Terry, who has beenmost helpful in educatingme in the idiosyncrasies related to these models. Indeed both of his partially restored cars – an SM1500 and a Hunter, are now up for sale, with offers invited. With regards to the register, I have already located the new owner of Bob Andrews very well-known and preserved Singer Hunter. It’s moved to Peterborough, and better still has appeared on the SOC stand at the NEC, this November. Looking at the list of current and past


production, and the diverse countries to which these cars were exported. This information will come in very handy next year, to help celebrate the SM1500’s 65th anniversary of its introduction at the 1948 Motor Exhibition held at Earls Court, London. It will also help to correct some urban myths, for example - the first Hunters which appeared with fibreglass bonnet and cat walk panels – were not experimental, as widely reported in the club magazine by my predecessor, but production vehicles, which weremade with these parts for about 10months. Steel replaced them on subsequent production vehicles (this involved a redesign of the bonnet hinges, catch, and the frame which the catch locks onto ). The change was due to many problems, not least of which, was that faced by the dealers when they repaired the cars after accident damage. The panels took a lot to prepare before painting and never quite took the finish of the steel panels, which showed up on the front of the car against the outer steel wings, resulting in many customer complaints. Indeed Singer themselves issued a Technical Data Sheet in January 1955 which explained to the uninitiated, how to repair this new fibreglass material, or ‘reinforced plastic’ as they called it. I have obtained a salesman’s guide to the Hunter issued in 1954, which includes swatches of plastic painted in the available colours, and samples of headlining and seat material. In conclusion, what is abundantly clear is that


there aren’t many SM1500’s or Hunters remaining. However, I hope to increase the numbers of known survivors,


perseverance, and leads generated by owners who knew, and/or know, of existant roadworthy cars.


Rootes Singers I would just like to set the record straight regarding the comment made that there are huge amounts of Rootes cars. This is simply not true. The overall survival rate of Rootes cars is on average just over 10% of the production numbers for each Series / Mk of Gazelles, Vogues and Chamois. They are becoming increasingly difficult to find body panels for and also some engine parts for the later cars, with some components nearly impossible, such as those for the Easidrive transmission. In many respects it is easier to restore Le Mans and Roadsters than a Rootes Singer, mainly due to the latter having a monocoque body construction. As a good example to illustrate this point, Peter Houghton (181MBP) has contacted me to ask for an o/s sill, as his car has failed the MOT, due to corrosion on the underside. However they are easier to drive, and not as prone to head gasket failure as the pre-war cars. Because of their easy to maintain mechanical appeal, they are enjoyed by a wide variety of people in the club, including members like the Salmons, and the Gardeners who have recently bought Rootes Singers because the older cars were becoming too heavy, cumbersome and wearing to enjoy travelling long distances. It is timely for me to remind members of the Club that Billy Rootes was a ‘penny an hour’


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