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Annual Hill Climb organised by The Sports Car Club based in Toronto, and it was held on Saturday, 1st of May 1954, in the Township of Nelson west of Mississauga. Reference to the race report tells us that the Singer winning the race referred to had race number 22 and was driven by Peter Dillnutt. The car’s registration number was 3D 596 as seen from photographs,


The Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb was the


Roadster Repairs Canadian Influence - Knowles and Foster


Singer Roadsters were enjoying great popularity in America in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, and originally it was Fergus Motors who were the importers of Singer Roadsters after the Second World War, and then around 1950 Vaughan Motors emerged as the distributor for Singers in the US. Both these companies were in New York. Sales of Roadsters were extremely good in the US, due partly to Bill Vaughan’s success in getting Roadsters photographed with celebrities. But then apparently the Vaughan Motors’ franchise was to come to an abrupt end. Various press releases conveyed the story, for example in the UK’s "Autocar" of 27 August 1954, there was a paragraph in their "In Brief" section: - "Spares to the value of more than 25,000


June 18th 1954 was keen to capitalise on Canadian success, and reads that "In a hill course rising 400 feet in 900 yards .. against all high-powered British, European and North American cars under 1500 CC, the new Singer Roadster surged to first place in the Rattlesnake Point Climb."


Rattlesnake Point Hill Climb. The earlier advert from the Toronto Star dated


Foster, who it appears were not actually car traders, but simply an import business in Canada. Nevertheless there was an enthusiastic following of Singers in Canada, and Roadsters were being raced there with success equal to that being experienced in the US. Of course, Knowles and Foster were keen to promote the car, together with the three local companies selling and servicing the Roadster – Autosport; Motor Traders Ltd; and Sports Car Sales & Service. Two of the Knowles and Foster adverts have been unearthed by motor racing historian Rupert Lloyd Thomas of Toronto when he was researching the history of


the famous


dollars are now available for owners of Singer cars in the USA, obtainable through the company’s Canadian agents while the U.S. sales force is being reorganised. The Canadian agents are Knowles and Foster (Canada), Ltd, 353, St. Nicholas Street, Montreal,1. So the spotlight was now on Knowles and


but as the numbers changed annually this is not much use in tracing cars. The particular race was Class 1 for Production Cars over 1250 cc, which Peter Dillnutt won in a time of 62.34 seconds. Also racing the same car number 22 that day was Bob Hanna. There were 5 races that day, and Dillnutt and Hanna were also racing a supercharged MG TC, which had race number 23. My guess is that the Singer belonged to Bob Hanna as I think he was associated with Autosport, one of the Singer agents, and it’s possible that it was a demonstration vehicle, and that the MG belonged to Peter Dillnutt. I imagine that each drove his own car to the event, and then each drove each other’s car as well, so to get extra runs up the hill. And they got evenmore runs by entering into other races where they could qualify for the classification. Ironically also mentioned on the race results was J (Jack ?) Wheeler who was also down to race the same Singer car number 22 that day, but the record shows his entry as "scratched", which possibly means that he failed to complete the course. Clearly the car got there, so the scratched reason remains a bit of a mystery, but had he gained a creditable time, they could have been considered for the "Team Award" for which three drivers needed to be counted. Another Singer there that day was number 11


driven by V Morgan, and in the only race that day when they all raced together, Class F Sports Cars up to 1500 cc, Morgan was faster than both Hanna and Dillnutt when they were driving their Singer. Not surprisingly both Hanna and Dillnutt beat Morgan’s Singer when they were racing their supercharged MG. In fairness it must be said that there were a lot more MG’s present at the meeting, and the fastest time of the day was recorded by an MG fitted with a GMC truck engine, capacity 270 cubic inches, (about 4.4 litres) which competed in Class C Sports Cars over 3000 cc.


11


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