At the very first Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1923 Maurice Boutmy and France Jérôme Marcandanti covered 89 laps to finish 18th to become the first 1 litre / 61 cui normally aspirated car to finish the race in an Amilcar CV. Remarkably it was not until 1933 that Singer Competition Manager FS Barnes and Alf Langley were to finish the classic endurance race in a similar sized British built car a Singer 9 Sports which completed 140 laps came 13th and last overall and second in class 21 laps behind a French built Tracta driven by Félix Quinault and Pierre Padrault.
The achievement of simply finishing the 1933 Le Mans 24 Hour race at an average speed of 49.4 miles per hour was enough to encourage Singer to build a two seat version of the Singer 9 Sports, nominally the Singer 9 Sports was a 4 seater however the car used at Le Mans had a large fuel tank that occupied the space for the rear seats, called the Singer Le Mans. In 1934 Norman Black and J.R.H. Baker finish fifteenth overall 7th in class in a Singer Le Mans covering 163 laps.
The popular Singer Le Mans is not to be confused with either the six cylinder 1 1/2 litre Singer Le Mans, or the four Singer Le Mans Replica’s built in 1939 which were out and out 2 seat racing cars. In 1935 a Special Speed version of the Singer Le Mans was introduced, distinguished by the running boards between the front and rear wings and it is this model that is seen here at last years Summer Classics Meeting at Easter Compton.
Power for the Singer Super Speed comes from a 38 hp 972 cc / 59 cui 4 cylinder overhead cam motor still running on a two bearing crank as did the Singer 8 I looked at last week.
This particular car was delivered in December 1935 to HD Acres who a few weeks later used it to compete on the Exeter Trials in January 1936. Acres car can be seen being helped out of a little difficulty on the Simms test by those very nice men from the Automobile Association on this link.
By 1939 this Singer 9 Special Speed had passed into the ownership of RJW Appleton who is known to have driven the car on the Lands End Trial the same year. RJW Appleton was responsible for building the Riley powered Maserati called the Appleton Special which achieved and 1100cc / 67 cui standing mile record of 91.3 mph in 1937.
The current owner of today’s featured car acquired it as a large box of ‘bits’ and has spent many years returning it to it’s present condition.
Thanks for joining me on this “Last On Sunday” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !