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

The 1950 Willys Station Wagon


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 and

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)