H&H Classics | 12-Oct-2016 | Imperial War Museum Duxford | Venue : Duxford Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR
Category : Classic Cars
Lot No. : 49
Year : 1933
Engine Size : 1993cc
Colour : Red
Interior : Black
Registration No. : YWG 531
Chassis No. : # 4241
Engine No. : # 4241
No longer available - Sold or withdrawn from sale


- Off the road for twenty-three years before entering the current ownership in 1971 as a rolling chassis
- Engine found to contain bespoke 'hot' camshaft and Castrol R when restoration commenced and thus thought to have had past competition usage
- Re-bodied in the style of the Fox & Nicholl Team Car that Lewis / Hindmarsh drove to 7th overall during the 1934 Le Mans 24-hours
- Unofficially timed at 106mph and used for countless Continental tours
- Recent engine overhaul and 'on the button'
A Singer enthusiast through and through, the vendor purchased this particular example - originally a 1933 14hp model - from its previous keeper some forty-five years ago. Taken off the road in 1947 and left exposed to the elements, the Singer's bodywork had rotted away but its chassis and running gear remained intact (albeit they had become entangled in a hedgerow which had grown up around them). Once back in his Lake District workshop, the vendor began to strip down and refurbish his new acquisition. Intrigued by the presence of Castrol R (R for Racing) oil in the engine not to mention a decidedly non-standard camshaft, he thought it likely that the 2-litre OHV straight-six unit had had a competition past. Knowing Fox & Nicholl of Tolworth, Surrey had not only been supplied with three 1? litre Le Mans cars by the Singer Works for the 1934 season but also enlarged one of the engines to 2 litres, he began to wonder whether his powerplant had any link to their endeavours.
Speaking at length to the first owner's nephew revealed the car had been fitted with a new engine just before WW2 and that his uncle had gone to 'somewhere near London to pick up an engine, gearbox and front axle from a crashed 2-litre Sports Singer'. Whether the somewhere near London was Tolworth remains unknown. However, a measuring tape showed the front axle to be wider than a standard 14hp assembly and the presence of twin carburettors, with proper provision for them, cast and bolted to the head was another anomaly. No standard 2-litre Singer 'six' of 1934 had twin carbs . . . but the racer did. Despite much dogged detective work which saw him contact the National Motor Museum, Chrysler (owner of Singer in the early 1970s), Richard Jury and Larry Gains (both mechanics with Fox & Nicholl during the early 1930s) and Bill Arnold (company secretary to Fox & Nicholl in period), the vendor was never able to prove a tangible link between his modified 14hp and the Tolworth-based firm.
Nevertheless, he decided to replicate the distinctive torpedo coachwork worn by 'BPG 333' - the Fox & Nicholl entered Singer 1? Litre that finished seventh overall at the 1934 Le Mans 24-hours - when re-bodying his car. Put back on the road in 1976, the two-seater has been well exercised and much enjoyed over the past 40 years with the vendor and his wife undertaking several 5,000-mile plus tours of Europe aboard it. Taking part in the 75th Anniversary of the Ards Tourist Trophy Races during 2003 and journeying to Le Mans Classic with the Singer Owners' Club in 2008, the latter trip came after a radiator recore, carburettor refurbishment and the renewal of the gearbox bearings etc. While 2013 saw the steering box reconditioned, the front springs reset and the brakes attended to. A thorough engine overhaul followed in 2014 including a reground crankshaft, refaced flywheel, stitch-repaired and rebored / refaced block and six new Arias forged pistons. Reassembled with new valves / guides / springs / gaskets / timing chains / bottom and cam sprockets plus a rejuvenated distributor, the straight-six had covered some 500 running-in miles and been treated to an oil change by May 2015.
Finished in 'Fox & Nicholl' Red with Black leather upholstery, the Singer's detailing extends to a turned aluminium dashboard (complete with Le Mans plaque), passenger grab handle, quick release radiator and fuel filler caps and auxiliary driving lights. Starting readily upon inspection and fitted with a taller than standard rear axle ratio, the two-seater has been unofficially timed at 106mph. Perhaps eligible for Le Mans Classic? not to mention a host of VSCC events, this delightful Singer 2 Litre Fox & Nicholl Team Car Evocation was featured in the January 1983 edition of Classic & Sportscar magazine (a copy of which remains in its history file as does a MOT certificate valid until June 2017).