The Rare 1952 Singer 4 AD Roadster

The 1952 Singer Roadster featured in this article was advertised as a car with an established reputation. In fact, that reputation went back quite a long way. George Singer began building bicycles in England in 1874 and started building cars in 1901 as Singer Motor Cars.

1952 singer roadster

1952 Singer 4AD Roadster

Singer’s 1901 cars were three wheel motorized vehicles. After that Singer added motorized bicycles. Eventually these became full motorcycles and they were entered in numerous competitions. Singer’s first four wheel vehicle was introduced in 1905 with a two cylinder engine built with horizontal cylinders. By 1908 the cars were entered in races.

The year 1912 was key for Singer Motor Cars in as much as they introduced the Singer Ten,the world’s first light weight automobile. It was often referred to by the press as “The Rolls Royce of Cyclecars“. The Singer Ten first had it’s gear box on the rear wheels but this was moved forward during the 1920′s. Also, six cylinder models came out in 1922.

singer 4ad roadster

The four seat Singer 4AD Roadster

World War One and Singer’s Expansion

Singer Motor Cars was quite involved in armaments during the First World War and the profits were strong. This helped put Singer on a better financial footing compared to the first years of his automobile and motorcycle manufacturing. The war profits helped the company expand during the 1920′s. By 1928 Singer was Britain’s third largest car maker after Austin and Morris.

singer automobiles

Singer badge on elaborate grille

The Singer Roadsters 1939-1952

The Singer 9 Roadsters came out in 1939. These were four passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, the car was in production for about a year before World War Two began in Europe. The Singer 9 Roadster was a very good looking sports car. During this period 1939 to 1952 (no war years production) the total production of the Singer Roadsters was reported to be 7,623 vehicles. After the war the Singers 9 Roadsters came back on the market with very few changes. The Singer 9′s were produced through 1948. In 1949 the Singer Roadster was changed to the 4A model. From 1950 to 1951 Singer produced the 4 AB and 4 AC models.

The final incarnation of the popular Singer Nine sports model appeared in 1951.

From 1951 through 1955 Singer produced their final roadster, that being the 4 AD Series. This model had a 1497 cc engine delivering 48 horsepower. This was the Singer SM Roadster.

Below is a description of the Singer SM Roadster models per an advertisement from Singer Motor Company…

INTO the Singer Roadster is built a combination of qualities which are not usually found in one car. With distinctive lines, it has a powerful 1,500 cc. engine (available with single or twin carburetors) and a lightweight coach built body, giving vivid acceleration and high cruising and maximum speeds. A top speed of about 75 mp.h. (83-85 m.p.h. with the twin carburetor engine) and cruising speeds of 55-60 are normal. Economical performance (about 30 m.p.g. at high cruising speeds) is a further important factor. Yet with all this go many of the advantages of a saloon car. The Roadster is, for example,, an occasional four seater. Furthermore, the hood and side screens are so designed as to provide closed-car comfort when the weather is unfavourable to open-air motoring. With the hood raised and screens in position, the Roadster retains its sporting lines and at the same time gives protection with ample headroom.

The Singer Roadster was eventually thought of as a pure sports car, in the same competitive class as Triumph and MG among others. This competition didn’t go well for Singer and the last roadster was built in 1955. That year there were only 189 roadsters built. In 1956 Singer Motors was taken over by the Rootes Group.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

1964 Sunbeam Tiger

1952 MG TD Roadster

Antique and Classic Car VIN / Serial Numbers…What They Tell Us

An interesting book available about the Singer Motor Cars is…The Singer Story: Cars; Commercial Vehicles; Bicycles; Motorcycles by author Kevin Atkinson.

singer 4ad roadster

Rear view of the 52 Singer 4AD Roadster

1952 Singer Roadster Specifications

The 1952 Singer Roadster came with a 1497 cc inline four cylinder engine delivering 48 horsepower. The export models had twin carburetors that boosted horsepower to 58.

Transmission was a four speed manual.

Front suspension was independent coil springs and rear was a live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

The 52 Singer Roadster had a 81 inch wheelbase. Overall length was 151 inches, the width 58 inches and the car’s height 58.5 inches.

singer roadster dashboard

Dashboard on the 1952 Singer 4AD Roadster

The 1952 Singer Roadster Collector Car

The Singer Roadster is a rare automobile. When original models come on the market they have been seen in a wide variety of conditions. because of this the asking prices vary widely but overall the car is an affordable addition to one’s collection.

As of this writing there is a 1951 Singer Roadster in mint condition with an asking price of $28,000. Also as of this writing there is a 1946 Singer Nine Roadster in excellent condition and with very low mileage with an asking price of $35,000.

Support groups for Singer automobile enthusiasts and owners include the Association of Singer Car Owners and the Singer Owners Club. The Singer Owners Club has been in existence over 60 years and is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of all Singer vehicles spanning over 100 years of production, be they bicycles, motorcycles, cars or commercials.

Websites for these Singer car clubs are http://www.asco.org.uk/ and http://www.singeroc.free-online.co.uk/

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)

 

A Rare 1962 Studebaker Champ Pickup Truck

The truck featured in this article is a 1962 Studebaker Champ 1/2 ton Pickup.

The Studebaker Champ was a light duty pickup truck produced by Studebaker Corporation from 1960 to 1964. The Champ design was based on the 1959-60 Studebaker Lark.

studebaker champ

1962 Studebaker Champ

By the end of the 1950′s Studebaker Corporation was in financial difficulty. One way they proposed to stay afloat was to produce new cars and trucks from parts they already had in inventory. Trucks

Trucks were a particular concern for the automaker. The pickup truck they initially introduced in 1949 became very outdated when compared to their competitors offerings in 1959. Studebaker’s was not in a position to design an entirely new pickup like Chevrolet was doing for the 1960 model year. Instead, Studebaker took the front end of a Lark passenger car, added a unique bumper and grille, and came up with a reasonably good looking truck with a Lark dashboard inside. Some promoted the light truck as having passenger car comfort along with light truck utility.

studebaker champ design

Lark type grille on the 1962 Studebaker Champ light weight pickup

The 1961 Studebaker models had fashionable new “Spaceside” beds. These wide full width cargo boxes weren’t offered until 1961 and incorporated the rear wheels.

The problem if one really noticed was that they didn’t fit the cab. The lines and styling look a little off, and the bed is wider than the cab body. The reason for this was that the beds came from Dodge. Studebaker was not in the financial position to come up with an entirely new cargo bed of their own. The 6½ and 8-foot Spaceside model P2 pickup box used on the Champs became standard equipment, and the narrower P1 box was only available on special order.

The Studebaker Champs for 1963 and 1964 had the distinction of offering service bodies of fiberglass. While Studebaker did offer power steering on their larger truck models they never did offer it on the Champ light pickup models.

Certainly there was a lot of strong competition during the first years of the 1960′s in the light truck marketplace. One way that Studebaker hoped to compete was in price. The 1962 Studebaker Champ 1/2 ton pickup with a six cylinder engine had a price tag of about $1,900. The Champ eights could cost about $2,200.

Studebaker Champ Pickup Production

Studebaker Champ light truck production averaged about 5,500 units in 1960 and about the same for 1961.. Production numbers for 1962 were a little over 7,000 units, about 5,800 in 1963 and about 2,500 units in 1964. All during this time Studebaker was competing for government military truck contracts that could offset costs for their civilian truck production.

Studebaker closed it’s South Bend plant in December 1963 and stopped truck production. After that Studebaker Lark passenger car production continued in it’s Hamilton, Ontario plant.

1962 Studebaker Champ Pickup Specifications

In 1962 the Studebaker Champ Pickup was offered with either a six or eight cylinder engine.

The two sixes were a 170 and 245 cubic inch delivering 90 and 118 horsepower respectively. Also offered were two V-8′s. These were a 259 and 289 cubic inch engines putting out 180 and 210 horsepower respectively. The V-8 Champs were the only models offered with Studebaker’s Flightomatic automatic transmission. The Flightomatic was built by Borg-Warner.

studebaker champ 1962

Rear view of the Studebaker Champ

Studebaker did have a well publicized problem with their six cylinder engines during this time. The overhead-valve six cylinder heads tended to crack.

There was a good selection of transmissions available on the Studebaker Champ. These included a three speed column shifted manual with options for a four or five speed. There was also overdrive offered on the three speed. As mentioned above, a Flightomatic automatic was also available on the eights.

You may enjoy the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The 1955 Studebaker President Speedster

A Restored 1953 Studebaker Champio

There is a good book with plenty of photographs and images of Studebaker trucks. You may want to look for…Studebaker Trucks 1941-1964 Photo Archive by author Howard L. Applegate.

1962 studebaker champ pickup

Studebaker Champ

The Studebaker Champ Pickup Collector Vehicle

There is a small but enthusiastic following for these sleek pickups. You’ll occasionally see these light pickups at car shows and more often at vintage truck events.

The Studebaker Champs were not big sellers. As a comparison, Studebaker truck production numbers were less than half of competitor Willys.

The Studebaker Champs that are for sale are generally inexpensive so they offer a good way to begin a classic car collection. By the same token they are not expected to offer much investment potential.

A major plus for collectors is that there is good club support for Studebakers. These include the Studebaker Drivers Club and the Antique Studebaker Club.

As of this writing you might come across a restored Studebaker Champ for sale in the mid teens. Everything will depend on the degree of restoration and mechanical condition. Non restored but operating Champs could be found below the $10,000 level. Some that are non restored and in need of major work might be in the $2,000 to $4,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)