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had left in 1955 to work for Harry Ferguson - a man he described as the most difficult he ever worked with - and, after a short while, Fred made another move to the Ford Motor Co, where he found his perfect niche in the research division, working on tractor, car and commercial sections where, for $2 each, he sold many patents held in his name to Ford. Upon retirement, Fred and his wife, Lily,


children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.


How I acquired my


1914 Singer 10hp by David Ralph


Wolseley but there are only a limited number of suitable events each year to use the car. As well as the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, there are a couple of excellent driving events organised by the Veteran Car Club (VCC). The Creepy Crawly each April attracts about 100 veterans and covers around 80 miles over the weekend. The Snail Trail in September is a smaller event


I have always admired and wanted to own a small Edwardian car. I didn't have any particular make or model in mind, just a small pre First WorldWar car. But the 1913Morris registered FC 1378 would have been great as it shared garage space with my 1904Wolseley from1952 to 1968. Unfortunately neither the Veteran Car Club nor the Bullnose Morris Club know of the current whereabouts of this Morris. I really enjoy veteran motoring with my


found from Finland to New Zealand, providing a fitting memorial to Fred, who always thought that agricultural engineering must have been the very first form in order to meet mankind's need to produce food. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, two


the owners of OTA and Monarch tractors, and attended the 50th anniversaries of the marques in 1998 and 2002 respectively. Those who attended hold fond memories of meeting the man who designed their tractors. Preserved OTA and Monarch tractors can he


home workshop in which to develop his ideas, and among many other projects he built two glass fibre bodied cars to his own design on Ford running gear. He was also a radio ham, and designed and built his own radio room and remote-controlled aerial system. Fred took great pride and pleasure in meeting


prevented Oaktree from producing enough tractors to meet demand, so in 1953 the firm entered into an agreement with the Singer Motor Co of Coventry to produce the Monarch tractor. Singer was in serious financial difficulties, however, and only 293 Monarch tractors had been produced up to the time of the Rootes Group takeover of 1956. Disillusioned by the problems at Singer, Fred


but still attracts up to 40 cars. Last year the Snail was in the New Forest and over 3 days the Wolseley covered 145 miles. The VCC organises many driving events each year covering all areas of the UK but, other than the Creepy and the Snail, they are really aimed at Edwardian cars as the mileages and types of roads used are not ideally suited to veteran cars. Membership of the VCC is open to all cars built up to 1918. True veterans are cars built before 1905. From1905 to 1918 the cars are referred to as Edwardians (even though King Edward VII died in 1910). Small Edwardian cars rarely come on the


returned to live in Artey, in a house they had built to Fred's own design. A natural engineer, he had a fully equipped


market. Occasionally they appear at auctions or in dealer's adverts, but it is rare to see one advertised privately. Back in the 1990's Smallbone's of Birmingham were advertising a 1914 Singer and a 1912 Swift They were advertised every month in the Automobile magazine for almost 3 years. Every month I would look at the advert and wish that I could afford one of them. Amazingly it is that actual Singer that I now own. Back in 2005 Christie's had an amazing auction of veteran, Edwardian, vintage and classic cars owned by the Sharpe family of Essex. A number of these cars had been on display at the Ramsgate motor museum but the majority were unrestored and had been stored in barns and sheds for decades. I attended the auction to drool over the cars but sadly I wasn't in a position to buy one at that time. There were over 200 cars in the auction and the choice of early cars was mouth-watering. Among the small Edwardians were 4 Swifts, 2 Singers, Calcott, Calthorpe, Humberette, Austin, 4 Renaults, Phoenix, Briton, Peugeot, Kirt, Morris, Thames, and Rover. In April 2011 I did enquire about a 1914 Stellite


that was for sale in Ireland but it needed work to the engine and rear axle. At £25,000 I considered it to expensive considering the work required. The Stellite appealed to me as it was made by Wolseley. At that time Wolseley were making large high-quality cars but wanted to sell a small cheap car to enter that market. But they didn't want to put the Wolseley name on such a cheap car so called it the Stellite. I spoke to someone who used to own a Stellite and his advice was not to bother as it was a cheap and nasty car. The prospect of owning a suitable car seemed


remote until a chance telephone call in May 2011. My friend Rod called to ask how much I thought a 1914 Singer was worth. Someone living near Billingshurst owned the car and was thinking of selling it to a friend who lived close by, but they couldn't agree a price. The owner wanted £18,000 but the potential buyer only wanted to pay £13,000. Rod asked me what I thought it was worth. My reply was that £18,000 was cheap and I wanted it. I already knew the car as I had seen it at a couple of local VSCC meetings. I looked up the owners details in the VCC members' handbook and immediately called him. The man was a bit surprised as the Singer wasn't advertised anywhere as the potential sale was between two friends. I was told to call back in 7 days to see if the car was still available. Exactly a week later I called again


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