This is Charles Sumser-Lupson’s beautifully restored 1939 Bantam. In July 2005 the car featured in the magazine ‘Classics Monthly, and below is a brief summary and some more pictures from the feature article.
It was 1969, and Norwich engineer Charles was looking for an old car as the basis for his hot-rod project, when he saw a Singer Bantam just down the road, and thought it would do nicely. The owner was going to cut it up for scrap and wanted only a fiver for it. Charles could raise only half this from the pocket of his flared trousers, so it was his girl friend Jenny who stepped in with the other £2.10s.
Like so many projects, however, life got in the way, and the Singer got no further than being partially stripped down. The car languished in a garage and then a lock-up for some 20 years, and Charles began to give serious thought to selling it. Jenny, however, didn’t want to lose her investment, so she offered £2.50 to buy out Charles half of the car. By the end of the 1990s the Singer had become a very rare car indeed, and at last Charles took the decision to restore it, not as a hot-rod, but as close to the original as possible.
So he and his friend David Long set about locating all the bits stripped off all those years ago, taking copious photos as the rest of the car was dismantled. The main problem was that the engine block was badly cracked. But Charles hit on the idea of joining ASCO, and sure enough a contact in the club found them a complete engine that was sound, albeit in need of reconditioning.
The wings and some of the body panels were like pepper-pots when they were bead-blasted, but these were all welded up, the body was repainted in as close to the original colour as could be found, and the car was completely re-trimmed and reupholstered.
All the hard work was finally rewarded when DAH 352 won best pre-war car at the 2004 Singer national day.
David Long has set up a website with lots of pictures taken during the search for bits and the restoration process. CLICK HERE to go to his site. The site also includes pictures of ASCO’s recent Singer National Car Rally weekend in North Norfolk.