MG Alternative: 1953 Singer SM Roadster

1953-singer-roadster-trailer

Everybody loves MG’s T-Series cars, but since there were so many produced, they can be a common sight today. So if you are looking for something built in the same British sporting spirit, but yet a little different, may we recommend this 1953 Singer? This Roadster shares many similarities with its MG competitor, but also has a few features that make it unique. It needs a lot of work and is currently located in Victoria BC, but the seller is only asking $4,900 or best offer here on eBay. They decided to restore their MG instead, but which would you have picked?

1953-singer-roadster-side

It would be understandable if you confused this car with one of those with an octagon on the radiator. If you look closely though you will notice some major differences. The flowing fenders and fold down windscreen are still there, but the doors are hinged from the front instead of the rear and the side panels of the hood are fixed in place. The MG is obviously more recognizable, but dare I say it, the Singer may be the more handsome of the two… The body look straight with minimal corrosion and the seller claims that the wood looks good from what they can see. They are honest though and admit that there has to be some rot under there. The same construction method was used as that over at the MG factory where the metal body panels were shaped over a wood structure. The metal chassis is solid underneath with a nice coating of grease and grime.

singer-dual-carb

The powerplant from an MGB currently resides under the hood, but the seller does have a couple of spare Singer engines and transmissions that are included in the sale. One even has the optional uprated head which with two carburetors fitted was good for an extra 10 horsepower over the base engine. That may not sound like much, but when you start with only 48 horses, that was a big increase! This car would have been similar to MG’s MKII Competition Model, even sharing similar outputs. Any guesses of which would be quicker around the track though?

 

1953-singer-roadster

This project is going to be quite an undertaking, but luckily the seller has amassed a huge collection of spare parts. Everything is included and there are even some NOS bits in the mix. If you know anything about Singers, then you know this is a huge bonus because replacement parts are not easy to find. That is one area that the MG has this car beat, but then again if uniqueness is more important to you than parts availability, then this Singer is the one to get!

WANT ADS

WANTED 1970 Dodge Charger 440mag R/T Looking for 1970 Charger R/T Blue with white pin stripes, white Vinyl top in Minnesota area Contact

WANTED 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle I am seeking an original 70 chevelle 454 block and heads in good condition Contact

WANTED 1950 Oldsmobile 2 dr coupe Super 88 rust free and running Contact

WANTED 1965-1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Preferrably rust free or minimal rust and in the NW. Looking for a project car. Contact

WANTED 1960 to 2005 Honda any Looking to buy low mileage original Japanese vehicles for my collection Duncanimports.com. gary dunc Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Dave Wright

    These are interesting cars, I have owned 3 of them. As far as a restoration project I think the MG’s would be a better choice. There is better parts availability and higher resale. That being said, the orignal OHC engine was before its time. The brakes are a nightmare, 1/2 hydraulic and 1/2 mechanical. The high dollar Singers are the pre war cars that were very successful on the race tracks. This car could cost more to restore than a comparable MG or even a Morgan but has 1/2 the value when finished. Engine parts are rare, even gasket sets can be very difficult to find. There is a very active club for them in the UK but I think the T series cars are undervalued in today’s market and a better choice. You can usually find an orignal driving TD for less than what it would cost to build a plastic reproduction car.

    • Voorbij

      Hello
      I am looking for the dimensions of the bushing into the crankshaft (spigoth)
      It is roadster 4ad
      Can you help me.
      Of another adres

      With regards
      C voorbij

      • Dave Wright

        There are. 2 very active clubs in England that in typical English fashion know every nail and rivet in the car. They also know where all the parts are. I used to be a member…….I will see if I can revitalize my membership…….and ask the question.

  2. Dave Wright

    I think this would be a good 1000.0 car.

  3. Dolphin Member

    Agree with Dave based on gut reaction, but he’s got the experience with Singers so I’ll take that as the authority.

    This Singer doesn’t appeal to me nearly as much as the T-series MGs. And since the Singers were lower-production and are rarer than the MGs it stands to reason that parts would be hard to come by and expensive when you find them. That might explain why there’s an MGB engine in the car, and presumably the non-original trans is also MGB.

    The good news is that the seller has bought a lot of new parts for the car. The other good news is that the car is in Victoria, British Columbia, which some say is more British than Britain and a great place to visit, but by ferry only if you’re hauling a car because it’s on Vancouver Island. At least some of the ferries run directly from Washington State, and you will get to see something very different and beautiful if you win the auction and pick the car up yourself.

    There are 75 people watching the auction on ebay but the $4900 he wants seems like a long shot to me.

  4. rancho bella

    I agree…….you would be $’s ahead (if there is such a thing) doing a same year MG.
    Once your 25K is gone doing this yourself………..or more, then what? I’m not seeing the value.
    If this were a Riley……..it would be a different story

  5. jim s

    the seller has a lot more photos so everyone can see what they are buying. then make an offer based on parting this out. nice find

    Like 1
  6. Richard V

    I needed to rebuild the brake master cylinder on one of these at my British car repair shop in Glendale, CA sometime in the late 70s, I could not find a replacement cylinder or rebuild kit to save my bum! So, I ended up piecing together a kit from several others and completed the job. It was an interesting car indeed!

  7. Pat L

    I (the owner) enjoyed reading the comments above and would like to address some of your points if I may. Yes, the car is a bit quirky, but I kind of like the “Orphan” type cars ;)

    As to the question do you want to sink “X” amount in to a Singer or a T series car.. well, that really is up to the owner and what the car means to them. People restore Fords, I ask why on earth would they do that, but I respect it. Half the fun, for me at least is the process of restoring the car more so than the end result.

    By the way, I’m listing the car for over a $1000.00 less than I have in to it. Yes, it is a bit more than it should be for a project car but remember, I have a lot of NEW and missing, parts I have been collecting… my goal was to have almost all the parts I needed sitting on the shelf prior to restoration. This is why I have NEW upper/lower engine gaskets, new brake cyl rebuild ktis, new brake M/C (yes, easy to find) rebuilt kit, new susp bushings, new carb rebuild kits bla bla bla. l also hunted down all the missing parts to the car such as trim stuff so the car is very complete. I’ve had no problem getting parts at all.

    As for it costing “as much as a Morgan” maybe, maybe not… knowing how complete this car is with all the extra (a lot new) parts and having just competed my Morgan I would have to argue this comment ;) Not to mention how much of the cost of a restoration goes in to the rust in the body, do you see any hint of rust in this car? It’s pretty much sand and paint.

    I agree, when done the car will not match the value of a Morgan or a T series car.. BUT, it is also a heck of a lot cheaper than either of these two to start off with (even at what I’m asking). My Morgan and my TC (work in progress) was far more than twice the price and not in nearly as good a condition as this car. Once done, it may not fetch the big bucks Morgans do in North America, but it sure will in England, check out the prices over there!

    Pat

    • Richard V

      Re: brake master cylinder rebuild kit being easy to find, I sure wish I’d had use of the Internet in the 70s!

  8. Pat L
  9. Pat L

    Yes Richard, it sure has changed things. I’ve met a lot of great people over the Internet, all car based of course! :)

    Here is what I have in the way of NEW parts is as follows, again see pics:
    4 new hub caps (plus 4 used)
    Brake M/C rebuild kit
    Fan belt
    Hood hinge end clips
    Two air filters
    Trans crank spigot
    Hood buffers
    Front parking light lens (one is cracked)
    Trans rear seal
    Water pump bearings (2)
    Speedo cable (pretty sure it’s for the speedo, could be tac)
    Parts needed for steering rebuild (bushings etc)
    Parts needed to rebuild front suspension (In face, I think I have two sets…)
    Axle oil seals
    Hood emblem/figure head
    2 new door handles (rare)
    S/N plate that goes on the car reproduction I had make fully stamped with S/N
    Wheel cylinder rebuild kit(s)
    NOS spark plugs
    Timing chains (2)
    2 Wiper blades
    Intake/exhaust valves
    2 carb gasket kits
    Block prost plugs
    2 HEAD gaskets (always have a spare!)
    Fender welting (buffers fenders to body, like piping)

    • John steggles

      Pat
      Ihave just bought a 53 Singer,do you still have parts. I am not sure what I need yet

      • Pat L

        Hi John, perhaps give me an email direct so we can chat and keep in touch with each other (and help each other) as I kept the car. I have several contacts for help, parts etc if you have not had one before I’d be happy to share with you.

        pleask “you know what goes here” shaw.ca

        Send me some pics, I’d love to see it.

        Pat

  10. Rancho Bella

    Pat L…………..great response. Thank you.

  11. julian

    Very rare in the UK, but a keen club who will exhibit at the Birmingham classic car show on the 14th-16th of November.
    Singer also built a saloon with the same engine but most have rotted away. My saloon had 4×2″ timber sills when I swapped it away for an MG VA saloon.

    This one is actually a good proposition with an excellent body and nearly all the necessary bits. What you don’t have, the UK club can probably find.

  12. JL Schmidt

    The Classic Car Collection in Kearney, NE, has a yellow 53 Singer. I drove it in a number of parades and often used it to run errands when I was director of the place. Found the brake rebuild kit at a parts supply place in Texas, just a couple years ago. There is a great classic photo of Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr. with a 53 Singer. Fun little car.

  13. ChasdeL

    Interesting listing. I have a 1934 Singer “Special” that started as a coupe. I’ve owned the car since 1972 and it runs great although not something I would drive for any distance at all. The great thing about Singers is that if you are hooked into the right Clubs all parts are relatively easy to get and the fun part is that it’s a super easy car to work on. The value of these cars is totally baffling to me. Here we are in the largest bubble of car values and Singers can’t really get the respect they deserve. So if one were to get this car, it would have to be a project that one wanted to personally work on without a restoration shop being involved. I have been trying to sell my Singer for years but will not let it go for what most people would pay for it. This seller has amassed a large cash of parts all that it left is the elbow and the grease. Good luck with the asking price.

    • Duffy

      It looks rough, but I think it’s restoreable. It even has left hand drive, and that’s a plus, at least in North America.

  14. gunningbar

    I had a T D in high school….wd love anothrr…BUT…I d rather have this car ….way more rare….and if my health were better I d be on this!…..neaten it up and drive for a year….then preserve it…..Good luck Pat L!

  15. gunningbar

    On 2d thought I REALLY LOVE THIS CAR! I think theres even room for my wolfhound!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.