Tracing the history of a '34 Le Mans

For now, I lumped all the pre-war cars together, I would LOVE for there to be enough demand to split it into groups (hint...hint, post here about your pre-war Singer)
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:47 pm
First Name: COLIN
number: 3

Tracing the history of a '34 Le Mans

Postby colin » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:33 pm

Can anyone please help me to trace the history of a 1934 Singer Le Mans which I bought in December 2012 from the USA.

First of all, I must apologise to Peter, as I recall he posted a note at the time that I bought the car, to say how sorry he was to see a Singer leaving the USA. So please, do forgive me, for bringing the Singer back home to the UK.!

The car was bought from an advertisement on the 'Bring a Trailer' website from a lady living in Michigan. The Michigan registration plate which was on the vehicle is 052 935 and denotes that it was registered as an Historical Vehicle. The car is quite easily identified by a heavier diamond chequer radiator stone guard and fuel tank guards, which I suspect had been added in the USA during its restoration. Sadly, the lady owner was selling the car after her husband had passed away, and did not really know of its previous owners or history. The car has the 972 cc 9 HP, 4 cylinder OHC engine, serial number SS56223 and carries the chassis number 62522 along with the body number F341. I have obtained a copy of the UK Singer Owners Club dating certificate, and whilst this does not have the first UK registration number that was allocated to the vehicle, it shows that the car was sold by the Henly's dealership in Manchester to a Mr. O. Shield on 15th June 1934. Further enquiries to trace owners in the UK have not been successful as the original registration is not known, so I am now hoping that someone in the USA, may be able to identify the car, and hopefully allow me to trace some of its history in America.

Since I took ownership of the Le Mans, I have replaced the head gasket twice and on the second replacement, also fitted some new (old..) +.030" pistons, honed the bores and installed 3 ring pistons rather than the original 4 ring type as recommended by Ian Blackburn in the excellent book 'The Nine workshop Revisited'. Remarkably the crank seemed to be in good order and the car runs with good oil pressure at a steady 80-90 degrees water temperature. I also replaced the kingpins and bushes as well as replacing all wheel cylinder brake seals and linings, which were supplied by Sally and Steve Hardwick after the sad loss of their father and Singer Maestro Dave. The next job is to try a 4.44:1 crownwheel and pinion set instead of the standard 5.57:1 ratio, in the hope that this will provide a more relaxed engine speed when touring on the road.

I have attached a couple of pictures, so if anyone in the NASOC recognises the car, or can help me to trace its history through the Michigan registration number, that would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for such an excellent club website.

Best Regards

Colin Gibson
Singer Mallard 60th 034.JPG
Singer Mallard 60th 031.JPG
Singer Mallard 60th 021.JPG

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Peter McKercher
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:26 am
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Tracing the history of a '34 Le Mans

Postby Peter McKercher » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:02 pm

Very nice to hear from you. Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased that the car has found a good home. But it does dilute the pre war pool here in North America.
I'm afraid I know little about the former owners of the car and it has been a long time since I have corresponded with them. However, it is my understanding that it belonged to a collector in Minnesota or Wisconsin and he donated it to a local hospital as a raffle prize (presumably for a large tax write-off). I did query who the donor was at the time, but the new owners did not know.

That's all I know. Perhaps someone else in NASOC is more aware of the chain of ownership.
Peter McKercher
Vice President - NASOC
Pre war Singer Specialist and Collector
Automotive Historian
Author of "Racing Roadsters"


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