It was September 2004 when I saw the Singer Junior for sale on eBay. It was stored in Hartlepool, over 250 miles from home, so not convenient to go and take a look. I had thought for some time I would like an earlier car than the Bantam and this one looked very smart. I put in my maximum bid and when the auction was over I was quite disappointed to find I was the under-bidder.
About ten days later, I heard from the seller that when the new owner arrived to collect his car the engine would not start, and it turned out that the Magneto had failed. As a result the deal was cancelled. I was asked if I still wanted the car for the amount of my highest bid, less £300 to get the Magneto rebuilt. I accepted and a few days later collected my new acquisition on a trailer. I was a little disappointed that the owner had just transferred the original registration and was offering it for sale separately, but I was delighted with the car.
Within a week, I had taken the magneto to a specialist, who stripped it down whilst I was there and showed me where the coil had shorted out. When I went again a few days later, he showed me the magnificent spark from the test rig and I went home to install the rebuilt part.
It took me a while to get the timing right, but soon the engine was firing on all four cylinders. I was finally able to take the car for a run and work out the challenges of the centre pedal accelerator and right pedal brake.
I did promise my wife that this was just a bit of fun for a season, and that I would sell the car again the following year. I have now owned it for over ten years and have had tremendous fun in driving all sorts of people to a variety of different places. The Junior has attended four different weddings in that time, including my son and my daughter’s events. On one occasion the bride turned up in a 1930s Rolls Royce, whilst my Junior carried the bridegroom and best man. Parked together, the Junior attracted more attention than the Rolls and even the chauffeur asked to photograph my Junior next to his car!
One day, I will have to pass it on to a new owner, but for now I love my Singer Junior (but don’t tell the Bantam).