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Singer Le Mans

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History of the Singer Le Mans

The success of the Singer Nine Sport at Le Mans led immediately to the introduction in 1933 of the first Singer Le Mans model. This was the two seater equivalent of the Nine Sports and it was typical of the British sports car of the 1930's. At a price of £215, an output of 34 h.p. and a top speed of over 70 mph ( with the windshield lowered ), it provided keen competition for its closest rival, the MG J2.

The Singer Le Mans was fitted with an uprated version of the 972cc engine that was fitted in the four seater. Body changes included an externally mounted fuel tank (with a quick release filler cap ) and twin rear mounted spare tyres to complete the competition look. The new upswept scuttle cowls also signaled that this was a machine that meant business on the road as well as the track.

One of the most significant engineering changes was the dropped chassis which differentiated the Le Mans cars substantially from the 4 seater by lowering its centre of gravity for enhanced road handling. Optional equipment included, 1 full size or 2 half-size suitcases, a bonnet strap and fittings, a route card holder, competition number plates and a combined chronometer and stopwatch.

For 1935, a Special Speed version of the Le Mans was added to the Singer line up priced at £225. Changes included the introduction of running boards (which followed the line of the front wings), extra interior room (obtained by moving the two spare wheels backwards ) and a larger 13.5 gallon fuel tank. Engine output was increased to over 38 h.p. by raising the compression from 7:1 to 7.4:1, adding a higher lift cam, bigger valves and twin horizontal SU carbs. The coil ignition system was also replaced by the Swiss Scintilla Vertex Magneto, for a more consistent ignition spark. All of this, but perhaps most particularly the change in camhaft, produced an engine that ran more quietly, with a less pronounced exhaust note. The Special Speed would eventually supersede the basic Le Mans model for the production years of 1936 and 1937.