In 1959 I was boarding with a family in Portsmouth England while the submarine I was on was in refit. In those days the Navy gave us a living ashore allowance while we could not live aboard the ship. I rented a room with the Perry family who lived at 37 Harley St, Frattan. Ted Perry was an old car enthusiast and I often went with him to see cars that were for sale. He had a lead on a car that had sat in a garage for many years, the owner had died some ten years earlier, and his widow decided it was time to sell. The make of the car was a Singer Junior (Like the photo posted), never heard of a Singer motorcar Eh???? The Singer Motor Car Company was in 1928 the third largest auto manufacturer in Britain selling over 6000 cars per year. They were finally taken over by Rootes Group in the mid 1950’s. But back to my story, when we looked in the garage we were amazed by the condition of this little car. It was like new and covered with sheets to keep the dust off. Ted bought the car on the spot and we towed it home. The tires (tyres)were the originals made by Avon, Ted wrote to the company probably hoping for a bit of advertizing money. However, Avon couldn’t use it because we didn’t know the actual mileage on the tires. The odometer only went to ten thousand miles then clicked back to zero and started over. This was an amazing little car with many unusual features. For instance it had hot water bottles for the rear seat passengers. Two half gallon containers fitted into recesses in the floor well, they were covered in matching carpeting that blended with the floor carpets. The containers could be filled with hot water when a trip was planned and the rear seat passengers would place their feet on the them for warmth. There were no car heaters in those early cars. Another odd feature was dipping headlights, not many cars had this (not many 6 volt systems needed them!!) modern feature. Unlike cars of today with headlights with high and low beam being part of the sealed beam unit. The Singer Junior had a mechanical device that dipped the complete inner workings of the headlights. Not very reliable because they often stuck in one or the other position. Ted only kept the car a few months then sold it to buy something else, it was a lovely little car, just 8HP and a top speed of 40mph. Not a bad thing with the questionable four wheel rod operated brake system. I bought a 1959 Singer Gazelle when I arrived in Halifax in 1964, it cost me $200 and needed only a new battery, it was a great car and I drove it summer and winter for two years. I sold the only Singer I ever owned in 1966 just before I sailed for the UK. Want guess what I sold it for ????$200. Might say I was singing all the way to the bank!!
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