Because It Looked So Kewl, My Dear Chap…


I have always regarded Singer products with respect – my mother had several of their sewing machines and they were excellent devices. It would appear that they also made motor cars…

And fast motor cars too. This is a 1935 Singer Le Mans Speed Special two-seater. It is jam packed with Pip Pip and By Jove and Haw Haw Haw. One can trace in it all the design and dash of theĀ interval between the two acts of the World War as conceived by the English. For this is a quintessentially English sort of a car.


Birmingham was the place where Singer had their works, and you cannot get more English than that without vaccinations. They appeared in 1904, soldiered on in Act 1, and were very successful as sports cars and racers in the mid 1930’s. Of course they made saloons and other models of larger vehicle but these things were what captured the imagination.


This car was photographed at the 2106 Australia Day Festival Of Asian Fingerprints in Melbourne. I am grateful to the owners for parking it on the slope up to the Governor’s residence as most of the gawkers were standing in line for a chance to see the inside of that place and consequently were not as thick round the cars nearby. Mind you, the owners were still pretty brave people for putting the car there with all the little items still in the driver’s compartment. I do hope they went home that night with the tachometer and most of the upholstery still in the car…

This car may well have independent front suspension as Singer introduced it in 1933. It was too hot and too busy to scootch under the car and look. I suppose I could have poked the Fujifilm X-T10 under there and fired it off on a chance, because this has worked in the past. You can see roughly where you are aimed with the swivelling LCD screen and you don’t have to lie on the pavement. I think I was just too upset at the behaviour of the rest of the crowd on the day and did not think. At the next RACV Gawkathon I will take to strong drink before venturing into the park.


But what about the heading of this post? Kewl? In 1935? British Kewl?

Well, I can think of no other explanation for leaving the engine compartment panels in unpainted metal when the rest of the body is cream and the fenders are red. Unless Singers leak so much oil and coolant from the gaskets that the engine compartment resembles a Rangoon tramp steamer and has to be hosed off with Shellite, there is no other purpose for the shiny bare metal than just…Bling.

Yo, Old Fellow. Yo.



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