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Singer Bantam

The Singer Bantam is a car formerly made by Singer Motors Limited. It was the first model produced by Singer to have a Pressed Steel body. It was offered as a new economy model at the 1935 Motor Show in London.

History

There were four models initially, the 2-door and 4-door Singer Bantam Popular as well as the 2-door and 4-door Singer Bantam De-Luxe. All four shared the same basic bodyshell but, whereas the De-Luxe models had a sliding sunroof, the Popular version had a fixed panel over the roof opening. In the ensuing years, many cars had the sliding roof removed but the presence of the drainage channels front and rear indicates the De-Luxe origins. Other features of the De-Luxe model were leather seats, chrome bumpers and a rear luggage rack.

The Singer Bantam re-used many existing components from the production line. It used the Singer Le Mans' underslung chassis and 972cc overhead cam engine, although with a lower compression ratio and single Solex carburettor. Power transmission was through a three-speed manual gearbox with synchromesh on third gear. Early models were equipped with wire wheels, while the optional easyclene wheels became standard from 1937. A chromed mascot portraying a flying Bantam chicken was mounted on the radiator surround until this was outlawed by new legislation in 1937.

For 1937 a Tourer model was announced, although few were made and very few survive. The Saloon got an upgrade in 1937 for the 1938 model year. The chassis and suspension were strengthened to take the larger 1074 cc I4 engine with a stated 30 hp of output, and the brakes were converted to a cable system. The bodyshell remained the same apart from an extra chrome trim strip across the doors and changes to the bonnet louvres.

Many surviving Singer Bantam cars are located in Australia and New Zealand. Singer exported these vehicles as rolling chassis with complete powertrain. They were mainly bodied by the Flood company in Australia as Tourers and Roadsters, and this seems to have prompted the development of the Roadster model by Singer in 1939, based on the Bantam chassis and engine combination.

Australian crime writer Charles Shaw took his nom de plume Bant Singer from the car.

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