Sample Article No 2 from the Jan - Feb 2014 Mascot
The Last Singer - from Mike Hyman
Having had a fair bit to say about the first Singer Car in the Jul-Aug 2013 Mascot, I thought it only fair to set the record straight regarding the last. I was quite happy with the last Singer being a Gazelle rolling off the line in May 1970, as recorded in the Singer Story. That was until recently, when I downloaded the ‘Kindle’ version of ‘History of Singer Cars’ by Dawn Martin, from Amazon, at a cost of 77p. One particular statement towards the end of the book took my notice - this says the last car bearing the Singer name rolled off the line in April 1970, and was an upmarket version of the Hillman Imp called the Chamois.
I therefore sought the advice of Kevin Atkinson, author of ‘Singer Story’, and our own ‘Rootes’ guru, Nigel Hughes. Kevin thought I’d been ripped off at 77p, and advised me to give her comments no credence, as Ms Martin is a person who trawls the internet, rehashes whatever she can find, then claims it as her own, with no research.
Nigel replied: “The last Singer car to roll of the assembly lines was neither a Gazelle nor a Chamois. The last (Singer) off the line in Ryton was a blue RHD Vogue saloon - which I bought in 1979. It is in poor condition, (I will get round to restoring it one day!) but in effect it was the very last Singer ever built. Its journey along the assembly line on the night shift of 28th March 1970 was witnessed by Brian Swann, ex-SOC Gazelle and Vogue Registrar, and it was he who told me it was for sale through the SOC mag in the summer of 1979. Gazelle production actually ended in mid-March of 1970 and the Chamois in Feb 1970. Thereafter the Gazelle was dropped completely and the Vogue and Chamois re-badged ‘Sunbeam’, the Vogue being discontinued in the autumn of 1970. The Sunbeam Chamois survived until March 1976.”
I have therefore amended my copy of ‘Singer Story’, page 249, col 3, 2nd para, to read:
“The last Singer Chamois was built in Feb 1970, followed shortly afterwards by the Gazelle in mid-March, and, most poignantly, the final Singer, a Vogue, rolled off the line in the City of Coventry at Ryton, on 28 March 1970.”
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The Last Singer