Patrick Collection Singer Nine Le Mans comes to the British Motor Museum

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I have just received this press release from the British Motor Museum and I am particularly pleased to bring it to your attention for the reasons given below.

The British Motor Museum is delighted to be welcoming a new car into its collection  a Singer Le Mans. Not only is this car an ideal fit for the Trust’s collection, it is also a fabulous gift to the Museum in its 30th Anniversary year  and marks the launch of an exciting new partnership with The Patrick Foundation. This new working relationship between the two charitable trusts is meant to be. Both charities can trace their roots directly to the car-building heritage of the Midlands, and both are dedicated to preserving the legacy of the motor industry in Britain.  Stephen Laing, Head of Collections at the British Motor Museum, says: “We’re absolutely delighted that The Patrick Foundation has chosen to donate the Singer Le Mans to the Trust. Inspired by Singer’s success at the great race, the nippy Le Mans model, with its trim styling, looked the part. Embodying the spirit of the 1930s small British sports car, it’s a perfect fit for our collection. However, this Singer is more than just that. Its fantastic backstory, part of the Patrick family for so many years since first campaigned by J. A. M. Patrick, gives the car great provenance, just right for the Museum.” Julian Pritchard, the grandson of the original owner, Joseph Patrick, and one of the trustees of The Patrick Foundation today, said, “To see my grandfather’s car, Chassis Number 1, which he so successfully competed in during the 1930s, being displayed within the fantastic surroundings of the British Motor Museum, is a real treat and something, as a family, we’re immensely proud to be able to facilitate. The trustees are delighted to begin this exciting collaboration with the British Motor Museum as the two organisations are so well-suited to each other. In its new home, the Singer Le Mans can be viewed and appreciated by countless visitors, keeping its spirit alive.”

The SingerLe Mans will be on display in the Museum from Monday 3 July 2023. In addition to the gift of the car itself, the Patrick Foundation has pledged significant funding for a number of upcoming projects, for which the Museum is extremely grateful. Further details will be announced in due course.

J.A.M. Patrick's Singer Nine Le Mans at the British Motor Museum
J.A.M. Patrick’s Singer Nine Le Mans at the British Motor Museum accompanied by Cat Boxall, the Museum’s Curator.
The reasons why this news particularly appeals to me –
  1. I have always held the Singer 9 Le Mans (and the Coupe) in high regard for its aesthetic and historical attributes
  2. My first job was in Jensen Motors’ body design drawing office which was led by Eric Neale. Eric worked for Singer in the 1930s and is believed to have been responsible for the design of the 1933 Singer Nine Sport. He was also responsible for the Jensen 541 series of cars.
  3. In the 1980s I visited the Patrick Collection several times when it was based in Kings Norton, Birmingham. I was sorry when it closed and many of the outstanding cars and automobilia items sold off. So, it is great to read about this new collaboration with the British Motor Museum.
  4. I am a supporter of the Rootes Archive Centre Trust (RACT) which together with the Singer Owners Club is a custodian of some of the Singer Motor Company’s history.

A Brief History of the Singer Nine Le Mans Car –

 The Singer Nine was completely redesigned for 1933, it retained the 972cc engine capacity of the previous car but benefited from a more powerful and much more strongly built cylinder block. This was installed into a new chassis, of increased wheelbase and track, equipped with Lockheed hydraulic brakes all round. The increased chassis dimensions together with a more powerful engine made possible a new four-seater version of the Nine Sports. Styled by Eric Neale, Singer’s first small four-seater sports car was one of the most attractive of its day, featuring a louvred bonnet and scuttle, cutaway doors, Rudge-Whitworth knock-off wire wheels, sprung steering wheel and matching Jaeger instruments.

The ultimate test of a car’s mettle and its appeal in dealers’ showrooms was putting up a strong performance in the Le Mans 24 hour race. Singer management set out to establish the worth of their new sports model at the 1933 race. The car entered was virtually stock, with the exception of a slightly modified gearbox, finer tuning and a larger fuel tank which occupied the car’s entire rear seating compartment. Driven by F.S.Barnes and A.H.Langley, the Nine became the first un-supercharged British car, under 1000c.c.c., ever to qualify for the Rudge Cup, having finished intact and maintaining an average speed of 49.4 m.p.h. It was the last of the thirteen finishers in that year’s race. This was no mean achievement for a light, inexpensive sports car barely into its first year of production. To celebrate and capitalise on this success Singer introduced the Singer Nine ‘Le Mans’ at the 1933 London Motor Show.

Nick

 

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