by Paul Sweeney
The first of this week's two new arrivals is a lovely blue Singer Hunter S sourced from New Zealand's South Island.
Singer launched the SM1500 in 1949. In September 1954 the car was re-branded as the Singer Hunter with a traditional radiator grille and fibreglass bonnet lid.
The Hunter was well equipped with twin horns and screenwash as standard. A horse-head mascot was fitted over the radiator. 4772 Hunters were made.
The Times motoring correspondent tested the new model and reported in June 1955 under the headline "Reversion to "Traditional" Radiator Shell" followed by "Cushioned Comfort" that this car was intended for the motorists who are prepared to pay for a rather better finish and more complete equipment than usually available in cars of this size.
He remarked that the Singer was unusual in having a completely flat windscreen — less expensive to replace — and a good view through it was spoiled by unusually thick pillars, door surround and ventilator window surround. He put the car's fast cruising speed at 67 mph. Top gear acceleration was excellent and the engine quiet beneath its plastic bonnet. The steering column gear lever was "rather stiff". A central old fashioned floor-mounted lever was now available.
The car's outstanding feature was its springing, its ride smoother than most cars provide.
Hunter S and Hunter 75
New models were announced by Rootes for the 1955 Earls Court Motor Show, a more basic model, the Hunter S, and a more powerful Hunter 75 which had a twin overhead camshaft engine (using an HRG designed cylinder head). Very few, possibly 20, of the 75s were made before the range was cancelled. The Singer Gazelle was announced in September 1956 but the Hunter remained available.
About the Singer Hunter
The Hunter name was revived by Rootes in 1966 for their Rootes Arrow range, in the form of the Hillman Hunter.