Eric Weese's Singer 1500SM
This car raced in the early 1950s in Southern California as #106.  Can anyone identify it? 
The owner said that the twin-carb setup was unusual in these cars.
The roll bar looks crude but verifies the car's competition provenance.  If you know anything about this car (or would like to buy it):  Please email me!

From website visitor Bart Ray:  "The car is a 1952-3 Singer 1500 Roadster.   As I had one in 1957-8.  Overhead cam with a back seat. There was a fellow (Duggan) racing a 
Singer Special in 55-56 out of the SF SCCA that did well."


From John DeBoer:  "On your "Mystery Cars -- 3" page there are photos of what appears to be a Singer SM1500 and you say it raced with the number 106 in the early 1950's.  Evidently you must know more? (Nope.  TM)  Although I have not studied Singer cars, a few notes have made it into my files and there must have been quite a few cars that raced.  The only Singer with race #106 I find in my computer at this point was at Cumberland in 1954. It ran in the Ladies race."


From Doretti expert Tom Householder:   "This thing is screaming Standard Triumph with Healey engine at me.  The carb linkage is Healey similar as is the valve cover.  The door hinges and running board to front fender connection are killing me.  Singer pops up in my mind but it's going to take some diggin'.   Any clues?"


More from Tom Householder:  "See September, 1953 Santa Barbara program page on Frank Sheffield's website:  #106  Neil Compton    Singer 1500   (owner)  Nick Nicoliadus." 


More from Tom Householder:   "Nick Nicoliadus -- here is more."


And then...  Your webmaster found this photo of the actual "Mystery Car Singer 1500SM" in action, and much more info!  Our "Mystery Car" was raced by "Singer Owner's Club" past-president Ralph Bush until 1962.  Note rollbar in Bush's car #105 racing at Pomona in 1960, then go back to the "Mystery Car" page and check out the identical rollbar. 


From Mike Jacobsen:  "Your mystery car #1 Singer 1500--ex-Ralph Bush.  I helped Bush with this car in 1959; he was my shop teacher at Pasadena High School (taught wood & metal shop, not auto); I drove a Singer and he gave me the cut down rag top from this car for my own!  He also judged our PHS Boys' League Concours that year--I took our MG Magnette #0878 (now Don Martine's car); Barry Maguire had his uncle's new metal-flake red Buick and won his class. Ralph may still be living; I last saw him about '65 at his home in Pasadena."


From Singer Owner/Racer Ralph Bush:  "What a surprise, there is my old Singer.  I got the car from Robbie Robinette in pieces.  I had been driving and racing my Jag XK120 so I jumped at the chance to make the Singer into a car just for competition.  I got some chrome moly 1030 tubing and had my friend, Phil Kukuruza, weld up the roll bar as roll bars had just become mandatory.  If you will look just under the hood on the passenger side you will see a 2" hole where I had a chrome scoop to duct air to the master cylinder as the brake fluid would boil causing the brakes to be worse than they already were.

Peter McKercher has written a book, Racing Roadsters and  on pages 5, 6 & 7 I tell how I set this car up for production racing. There are pictures of my car on pages 42 & 43 of Peter's book.  Page 43 shows it coming into Turn 3 at Pomona in 1960. I raced it with Cal Club Region of SCCA in the late 50's and the last race was 1962 at Las Vegas where Roger Slowi and I shared the car each in a different class.

Mike Jacobsen is correct as he was in my class at Pasadena High School but I did also teach Auto Shop and oh yes, Mike, I am still alive and still racing I might add.  I am now racing with SCCA and in a "Thunder Roadster" in fact just this weekend, we had a regional race at Buttonwillow.  Last May, I cracked up my Panoz GTA pretty bad coming out of Turn 7 at Road Atlanta.  If you would like to see a picture of my #38 "Thunder Roadster": click here". 


From Peter McKercher of the Singer Owner's Club:

This is part of Ralph Bush's account of how he prepared this car for racing in the late Fifties:   "For those of us who raced the Singer, we found that the shift was a little long and too far forward. I bought a $25.00 short throw after market shifter from fellow racer John Martin (Parts Manager at Vaughan Singer Motors). This required removal of the original shifting lever so the new one could be clamped onto the gearbox and screwed to the drive shaft tunnel. 

The replacement had a very short throw lever with a couple of heim joints (A heim joint is essentially a rod end that looks a lot like a ball bearing with a shaft passing through the hole allowing the bearing to swivel in infinite directions). If I remember correctly it left the gear change lever at your right hand in about the same location as on the Jaguar XK120. It was a great improvement. 

The shifter gave occasional trouble when slamming it into 1st gear and jamming in place. The simple fix was to take the top off and find which bolt from the outside would stop the extra movement. You then replaced it with a longer bolt. 

To prepare my Singer for racing, I installed mandated wheel plates to add strength to the wheel centers. These were steel discs about 1/4" thick, fitted over the hub and bolted on with the existing lug nuts. Without these, the Singer wheels tended to tear out at the hub when pressed hard on the track.

 I installed a roll bar, which added much to making the car more rigid. I also installed a war surplus seat belt from an Army airplane. 

The interior was gutted, except for the seats, and holes drilled in everything that would not detract from the strength to lighten all of it. I even removed the glove box to capture every ounce of excess weight. Lateral stability and handling was improved by using very heavy oil in the shocks. 

It had a dual port head with Solex carbs, which allowed me to jet and re-jet as required. I milled 3/32" off the head and installed larger valves. With a little grinder, I ported the head and installed an Iskendarian cam with stronger valve springs. Everything was balanced, of course. It had a tuned exhaust with a split exhaust manifold. I cast an aluminum cover for the Salisbury rear end, as I was unable to locate the original one. 

On the dash, I added a small tach with a visible red line and a big oil pressure gauge. I also installed a large kill switch in the event of a major shunt."

Now that we know what this car is and have verified its competition history, remember that your webmaster is sort of a sales agent for it.  If you're interested in buying and restoring this car:  Please email me!

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