1934 Singer 9hp Le Mans Sports Registration no. BGJ 939 Chassis no. 62536 Engine no. 56340
Coventry cycle manufacturer Singer first ventured into the world of powered transport in 1901, making tricycles and motorcycles. Tri-cars soon followed, with motor car production proper commencing in 1905 using proprietary engines. The first Singer-powered model - the 10hp - debuted at The Cycle & Motor Cycle Show in November 1912. Because it weighed less than 7cwt and was under 1,100cc in capacity (actually 1,096cc) the 10hp Singer was classed as a cyclecar, which explains the choice of venue. But unlike the majority of contemporary cyclecars, which were flimsy affairs of limited practicality, the new baby Singer was a proper light car and thus a development of immense significance. Priced at £185 at launch and produced for more than a decade, the Ten was an immense commercial success for Singer and is regarded as a landmark model in the history of the British motor industry.
By the beginning of the 1930s, Singer was in a secure financial position and the third largest UK car producer behind Morris and Austin. In 1932 the Coventry firm introduced one of its fondest remembered and most successful models: the Nine. The Singer Nine's immediate ancestor was the 8hp Junior, a successful high-quality light car powered by a 848cc four-cylinder overhead-camshaft engine. Built from 1932 to 1939, the Nine employed a 972cc 26.5bhp version of this motor (first used for the Junior Special) in an entirely new chassis. A four-speed freewheel gearbox was standard while both the Nine Sports and the more powerful and faster Nine Le Mans came with hydraulic brakes. The latter model had resulted from a successful venture into endurance racing, when a Nine Sports took 13th place in the 1933 Le Mans 24-Hour Race. But it was in trials events that the sporting Nines proved particularly effective, successfully challenging the previously dominant MGs. In its first season the Sports Nine won eight premier awards in the London-Exeter Trial; eleven in the London-Land's End; twelve in the London-Edinburgh; and four silver cups in the Scottish Six Days. A total of 495 awards had been taken in trials alone by the end of the 1934 season.
The ownership history of this particular Nine Le Mans can be traced back to 1976 when it was owned by Bob Francis of South Wirral, Merseyside. Changing hands in 1977, the car passed to Norman Dunn, who owned it for 20 years. Next owner Frank Wiseman of Bridgenorth, Shropshire kept the Singer from 1997 to 2010 when it was purchased by Robert Goodchild of Bromsgrove, Staffordshire. The current owner, who acquired 'BGJ 939' before the season last year, tells us that the Vintage Sports Car Club registered and event eligible sports car had been well preserved in a dehumidified garage and, from mileages recorded in documents on file, he reckons has been driven less than 1500 miles since the late 1970s.
Circa 1999/2000, during Frank Wiseman's ownership, the Singer was restored, at which time the previously 980cc engine was completely rebuilt and enlarged to 1,056cc. Finished in blue with matching leather interior, 'BGJ 939' is described as in generally good condition and is said to drive well. Recent maintenance has included two new wheel cylinders and brake linings. Retaining matching chassis/engine numbers, this characterful pre-war charmer is offered with an original instruction book and repair manual, current road fund licence and V5C registration document.