In the late 1880s, George Singer, a Coventry bicycle manufacturer, sold one of his machines to the Queen of Portugal, and from then until the marque’s demise, his name was associated with the quality of both motorcycles and automobiles.
The first four-wheeled Singer – a two-seater with pneumatic tires, a spare wheel and full all-weather equipment – appeared in 1905. While the lineup was not particularly exciting, it firmly established the company in the hierarchy of Britain’s fledgling automotive industry.
The production survived two world wars, supplying the front with equipment. Singer played a huge role in motorsport. Teams competed in the Liman 24 Hours endurance race: an extremely advanced and powerful engine pioneered the highly successful sports cars of the 1930s and started a series that didn’t really stop until 1958. Singers was the first British manufacturer to introduce independent front wheel suspension and clutchless gear shifting achieved through the use of a fluid clutch and, with some forty vehicle types, is the third largest manufacturer in the UK. The latest car to bear the Singer name is a top-of-the-line rear-engined version of the Hillman Imp called the Chamois. With the takeover of Rootes by Chrysler in the 1970s, the Singer name disappeared from the automotive landscape.