1934 A super English sports car with a Brooklands history For Sale
In the 1934 Le Mans 24 hour race three Singer 9 Le Mans models finished first, third and sixth in the 1,000 cc class and since then every Singer Le Mans has carried a dashboard plaque recording that the first car (driven by Black and Baker) covered 2203 kilometres in the allotted 24 hours. In 2006 I was fortunate enough to help the owner of the class winning car to find a new home for it.
During the 1930s these splendid overhead cam engined sports cars continued to be popular in all sorts of competitive events and one keen Singer exponent was John Rowland Hodges (later Sir John Hodge, Baronet) who was also supermodel, racing driver and TV presenter Jodie Kidd's grandfather!
This 1934 car registration number AYK 561 was owned and raced by John Hodge and I have on file a photocopy of the December 1988 edition of an article in the SingerOwner magazine written by the car’s then owner Russ Clark which includes a letter from Rivers Fletcher identifying the car as the first of Hodge’s three Singer 9 Le Mans models. There is also a letter from Hodge himself which confirms his ownership of it and tells of him racing it at Donington and Brooklands as well as the Greenford dirt track (a type of racing reportedly described by Hodge as being the next thing to suicide!!).
I also have confirmation from the Brooklands Museum that during 1934 he raced the Singer in a number of events at the circuit and the Vintage Sports Car Club have also sent me a copy of their Hodge and Singer archives. In addition I have acquired a copy of ghis friend Rivers Fletcher's book Mostly Motor Racing which has several interesting anecdotes about Hodge and his Singers. Apart from the book any further information I get hold of will be passed on to whoever buys the car.
Now let us turn to AYK561 - on inspection the car appears to have been comprehensively rebuilt at some stage which ties in with Russ Clark’s report in the 1988 Singer magazine that “not a screw nor a bolt” was left undone during his complete restoration of the car. Several years have passed since then but the car is obviously very sound mechanically and the body is solid and rattle free. The paintwork and upholstery are smart but now have a nice patina, the hood is good and the Singer looks and feels just like a well-used but properly maintained old sports car should.
The972cc four cylinder overhead cam engine starts readily, revs well, pulls nicely and maintains good oil pressure and water temperature. First gear is admittedly a bit noisy but the gearbox works well, the clutch is smooth and both the transmission and back axle are quiet with no obvious backlash.
The steering box has just been professionally rebuilt and the wheels are in very good condition so the car handles well with none of the wandering sometimes found in cars of this age and the brakes are also good - the combination of all these factors make driving the car a real pleasure.
The instruments, lights and direction indicators all work properly and the wiring looks to be in good condition though I have to note that the panel lights do not work but we will have a look at them to see what can be done.
All in all it’s a little gem which is good looking, great fun to drive and, being a Singer, is just that bit rarer than its MG and Riley contemporaries. It also has an interesting history and not everybody can claim that they are driving an ex Brooklands car!
IMPORTANT NOTE This car has previously held an FIA Class OS5 Historic Technical Passport valid for racing, hill climbing and rallies. FIA HTP passports are time limited and this one has been allowed to lapse but the car has not been changed since it was issued so, whilst I can offer no guarantees, it should therefore be in a good position to be issued with another one.
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