Singer SM 4A Roadster
|1950 to 1955|
|Manufacturer||Singer Motor Company|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door convertible|
|Wheelbase||91 in (2,311 mm)|
|Length||151 in (3,835 mm)|
|Width||58 in (1,473 mm)|
|Height||58 in (1,473 mm)|
Singer's SM Roadster, like MG's T D, was an attempt to marry up-to-date chassis engineering with strictly traditional looks. MG succeeded in their attempt, but Singer did not. Although the SM sold in some numbers, it was nothing like as popular as the MG, and it must have contributed to the Singer financial problems which led to the takeover by the Rootes Group in 1956. Changes to Singer sports cars had begun in 1950, when the Type 4AB had completed replacement of the Nine, by the use of a new chassis and coil spring independent front suspension under the existing four-seater open tourer style. Although Singer stated that this car would continue 'in limited production' for 1952 this remark was really only meant to clear existing stocks, as the model had already been replaced by the SM Roadster.
The SM, therefore, used the new chassis from the Type 4AB, and the four-seater tourer style which dated back to the original Nine Roadster of 1939, along with the larger and more powerful 1497cc single-overhead-camshaft engine. Thus equipped, the SM was a much brisker car than the obsolete Nines and 4ABs, though its poor aerodynamics limited its top speed to about 75mph. Until 1954 the SM was strictly an 'export-only' product, but from 1954 it was made available on the home market in twin-carburettor• form. By then, however, Singer was in deep financial trouble, and production of the Roadster ceased in 1955 just before the takeover bid from Rootes arrived.
Total production was of the order of 3000 cars. Singer had proposed to rebody this chassis in 1953 with a glass-fibre shell, but the project, dubbed the SMX, never went into production.
Engine and transmission: Four-cylinders, in-line, with overhead valve cylinder head and single overhead camshaft. Bore, stroke and capacity 73 x 89.4mm., 1497cc. Maximum power 48bhp (net) at 4200rpm.; maximum torque 721b.ft. at 2200rpm. Alternative twin-carb version, 58bhp (net) at 4600rpm. Four-speed manual gearbox in unit with engine. Spiral bevel final drive.
Chassis: Front engine, rear drive. Separate steel chassis frame, with channel section sidemembers, and cruciform bracing. Independent front suspension by coil springs, wishbones and anti-roll bar. Worm and nut steering. Rear suspension of live axle by half-elliptic leaf springs. Front and rear drum brakes.
Bodywork: Coachbuilt bodyshell, on wood framing, with light-alloy skin panels, in two-door, close-coupled four-seater traditional tourer style, by Singer. Length 12ft. 7in.; width 4ft. 10in.; height 4ft. 10.5in. Unladen weight 18151b.
Performance: Maximum speed 75mph. 0-60mph 20.8sec. Typical fuel consumption 29mpg. (Twin carb option) Maximum speed 77mph. 0-60mph 20.2sec. Standing 1/4 -mile 21.6sec. Typical fuel consumption 27mpg.