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Vol. 32 No.1


James Robertson’s 1913 Singer (see page 3)

MARCH 2019


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SINGER CAR CLUB OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA Inc (To preserve the marque and unite the owners) Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at: Seven22 Bistro, 722 Port Rd, Beverley Meet at 6.00 pm for a great meal or just attend the meeting from 7.00 pm. OFFICERS FOR 2019 President

Peter Wright PO Box 254 Tailem Bend SA 5260

0419 800 917 (M)

Vice President

Phil Keany 22 Vendale Drive Flagstaff Hill SA 5159

0418 825 092M)


Diane Wright as above for Peter Wright Michelle Keany

Assistant Secretary & Minutes Secretary Treasurer

as above

Rob Martin 1 Thornton St Angle Vale SA 5117 Stephen Bitmead

0400 010 636 (M)

Events Coordinator

Stephen Bitmead (assisted by P. Keany)

(08) 8254 2716 (H)

Conditional Registration Officers

(08) 8284 7947 (H) (08) 8295 5692 (H)

Editor, Singergram

Rob Martin Ivan Margitich John Eason & P. Wright (tbc by DPTI) Trevor Bailey

Media Officer

Sue Matthews

(08) 8284 7947 (H)

Web Master

Stephen Schild

041 984 8512 (M)

Secretary & Magazine Editor, Singer Car Clubs of Australia

Andrew Bull

(03) 9499 6746

Parts Officer

(08) 8254 2716 (H)

0402 434 398 (M)

INSIDE All British Day Children Travelling in Historic Vehicles Law Change President’s Report, 2019 AGM Motoring Miscellany

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3 8 9 10

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SINGERGRAM EDITOR & CONTACT DETAILS Editor : Trevor Bailey, tel. 0402 434 398 Please send all material for the next edition to the above email address by 31 May 2019 Note, it is not necessary for articles to be about Singers — anything of interest to members will be considered. Past editions of Singergram can






All British Day….continued from page 1


HE Weather Gods again delivered superb weather for the 2019 South Australian All British Day, held at Echunga Oval on February 10th.

Close to 900 entrants participated, with cars spanning the entire history of British engineering excellence. Wendy and I had a fantastic 90 minute drive across the Adelaide Hills from One Tree Hill to get there. It’s such a lovely trip — at 8am you see so much more travelling between 20 and 60kph, as well as greeting lots of other cars on their way to Echunga. All the other traffic is so patient with my Junior, no sign of road rage. Our club members included Stephen & Wendy Bitmead, Stephen & Vida Schild, Ivan & Sue Margitich, Pat & Pete Oxley, Arthur Ackland, plus Diane & Peter Wright. Deidre Solly was also there but with the Historic Motor Vehicles Club in her Austin A35 Van. Guests on the “Singer Patch” were James Robertson and friends/family who came with his 1913 Singer for ‘her’ debut showing (this was James’ first ever car show but more on that in another Singergram about this delightful little car), together with Phil Lacey (Dianne’s brother) in his 1973 MGB. Sadly a few members who had registered didn’t make it, including Rob Martin and Jess, plus Phil and Michele Keany who suffered mechanical issues with their brakes as theyheading off. Phil did make it to Echunga later in the day. The weather was so good there was no need to find a marquee, we all sat out in the sunshine with our cars which meant we could talk to all the people who stopped and admired; the downside was we didn’t mingle enough with our Rootes Group Cousins. The All British Day feature theme this year was “British Racing Heritage” and what a [continued overleaf]

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selection was there to behold: Graham Hill’s Lotus 12 F1 racer that he competed in his first ever GP at Monaco in 1958 is a regular at the ABD; plus a TWS Jaguar V12 that John Goss drove to victory in the 1985 Bathurst. The only Norton Rotary GP Bike in Private Hands in the world was also on display, including an engine demonstration run. The Norton was fired up to the spectators’ joy, lots of smoke and a high pitched “roar”. Sadly, the Norton suffered from a fuel fire damaging the fairing later that day when it was being moved to the presentation area, but this didn’t stop this magnificent beast taking out the Bike Award. There was also Australian Rally and Race icon Colin Bond’s Works Escort on display, and many other cars and bikes to get the blood pumping. I could have taken quite a few of the cars home – sadly no room ;-) But you didn’t need a racer to take part. The selection of cars ranged from “Our” 1913 Singer up to the latest Aston Martins and Jaguars. An Aerobatic display was given over lunch by Australian Legend Chris Sperou – 13 time Australian Champion and, in his 80’s, showed he still has it!! And the crowd loved it. Also sadly for some the “Morris Dancers” weren’t an item this year, but Chris Sperou and the trusty Merlin made up for the lack of bells jingling, sticks waving and a guy riding a toy horse. Many club members found treasures on sale, I bought a “Book of the Singer Nine” “On spec” to maybe swap for a Junior version. The ABD Raffle was once again a roaring success for Rootes Group members. Last year Kevin Hunter scooped a prize. This year I “fluked” the first prize (thanks to Wendy for selecting that ticket). If we win again next year, the ICAC will be called in! Stephen Bitmead

[Ed: as I recall, Stephen, you and Wendy also won the quiz at the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens club outing, a couple of years ago!]

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More ABD pictures

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From the Club’s Facebook page Eldred Norman, the chap from Adelaide who made the famous Norman Superchargers, raced a variety of cars including a Singer SM 1500 tourer. Eldred’s racing interests were diverse, as can be seen in the cutting below from the Port Wakefield Grand Opening Speed Meeting programme of January 1953, and on the far right from the Adelaide Advertiser of the 21st of October 1952. The advertisements (which both used the same photograph, but just cropped differently) show Eldred winning the Production Car Handicap at Sellick’s Beach. The #39 vehicle Eldred is driving is a production Singer SM 1500 Sports, with a 48bhp 1497cc engine. The Production Car handicap referred to is Eldred's Sellick's win from October 1952. The 2nd place win ten days earlier is probably Eldred’s also. As an aside, it is interesting that there were three Singers in the 1938 Australian Grand Prix referred to in the advertisement, piloted by Seville, Pike and Beasley. All three retired from the race (an interesting way to advertise for new car sales). The 1939 Australian Stock Car Championship was Brady's win at Lobethal. In November 1952, Eldred entered the Singer in the Collingrove Hillclimb, recording a time of 51.5 seconds in front of the crowd of 4,000 people. Eldred won the South Australian Sporting Car Club’s Kennedy Memorial Trophy that year for gaining the most points in all forms of competition. He went on to enter the Singer (as the #53 Maughan Thiem Motor Co Ltd vehicle) at the Port Wakefield Grand Opening Speed Meeting of January 1953, taking second place (he was also racing his #5 Maserati at the same event, also gaining second place).

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And another historic Singer photo

Meanwhile, a SA Singer restorer’s dream on the way to the club’s spare parts shed

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CHILDREN TRAVELLING IN HISTORIC VEHICLES — LAW CHANGE South Australian road traffic law stipulates that ALL children under age 7 must use an ageappropriate child restraint (including an infant capsule or booster seat). Until 13 December 2018, there was an exemption under the Road Traffic - Road & Miscellaneous Provisions Regulations 2014 in the case of club-registered historic vehicles where the vehicle concerned did not have seatbelts fitted. In such circumstances, vehicle occupants including children could travel in the vehicle without being restrained. This exemption in relation to children under 7 was removed on 13 December 2018. Since that date, ALL children under 7 are now required by law to be restrained when travelling in historic vehicles. This means if you do not have seatbelts fitted in your historic vehicle, you will NOT be able to carry children under age 7. Note, if due to lack of viable anchorage points you only have lap belts fitted, rather than the recommended diagonal/horizontal lap/sash belt combination, you are unlikely to be able to safely fit a capsule or booster seat in your vehicle. Note also, the requirement for children under 7 to be seated in rear seats unless the rear seats are all occupied by children under 7. Further information on child restraint laws is available from: (Ed: Many thanks to Max Lane for bringing this news item to my attention.)


Brian Bennet (pictured holding a tea towel) from Cremorne, Tasmania, visited Stephen & Vida Schild last January for spare parts assistance with his Singer restoration project.

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PRESIDENT’S REPORT, 2019 AGM First of all I would like to thank the members for their support over the past 12 months, it has been my privilege to have held this position. I would also like to thank Max and Rosemary Lane for all their help and support throughout the year and send Max all our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. I would also like to thank Ivan Margitich for his help and guidance and for stepping in when I have been unable to attend meetings. I must thank Stephen Bitmead for his ability with members’ ideas to formulate a great social calendar that seems to accommodate all members’ interests My thoughts this year have been dominated by the proposed amalgamation of the various Rootes Group car clubs. The proposed merger progresses slowly with many complex issues still to be clarified and agreed to by all members. Importantly, the benefit of joining a combined organisation of car clubs is still unclear to me and the concern around losing our identify remains at the forefront of any final decision that members may arrive at. For the time being we continue to listen to and participate in the discussions, but we seem to agree not to relinquish our club’s independence. Nevertheless, there may be a time in the future when our very existence means that we have to become an active part of this combined group, so how this idea progresses will no doubt continue to be of interest to members. With many of our members living some distance from Adelaide, and the relative time pressures on members, the frequency of our meetings has been raised. Other proposals are to be discussed with options for less formal meetings and more club-run events. The members will be able to discuss and decide when this matter is raised in our next meetings. We have a strong, dedicated group of members who take pride in their cars and in promoting the marque. Our work in restoration of these cars is more than just for selfish pleasure but is important in preserving something for future generations. I for one am looking forward to the day I drive my granddaughter in our Singer 11. Better still she can drive her ‘Poppa’ when I’m too old and decrepit to drive myself! Once again, Thank you, I will be stepping down as President and not seeking re-election, our plans for 2019 involve much travelling. I look forward to seeing you all at the National Singer Rally.

Peter Wright [Ed: Peter, who changed your mind?]

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usually made from burnt limestone or dolomite. It has been known since about 6000 BC, perhaps first discovered around campfires, but it was used extensively by the Egyptians, Cretans, Greeks and Romans, yet largely forgotten after that. The first roadmaking records are of roads built on the Mediterranean Island of Crete in about 2600 BC, partly with flagstones and partly with a concrete made from gypsum, cement, water and sand. Many of the old Cretan roads also featured retaining walls. There is evidence of roads in India built with cement-bound surfaces in 1000 BC. The Greeks were using cement for building by about 300 BC. Their knowledge was likely to have been passed on to the Romans, who, a century later, enhanced cement's strength by adding volcanic ash and gravel to produce the strong structural concrete used throughout the Roman Empire. EMENT IS

The Romans used concrete during their occupation of Britain, with their knowledge and skills subsequently taken up by the Saxons and the Normans. However, the art of burning lime, grinding it, and adding other materials to produce enduring cements and mortars was gradually lost, and was effectively non-existent by the beginning of the 18th century. The Romans had known that certain impurities in some types of lime made it water-resistant when used in damp places and in constructing underwater piles for arches and bridges. This cannot be done with cement made from pure lime. However, the improved form of cement was rediscovered in 1756 though rather for its waterproofing properties than as a strong building or roadmaking material. This preference order changed in about 1828 when Thomas Telford began some concrete road experiments in England. From then on, concrete had a resurgence as a popular roadmaking material, but in competition with bitumen and asphalt, depending on the availability of the materials and the type of land the road was to be built on.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for those in the Northern Hemisphere who are just coming out of a very cold winter. At least the sun was shining!!

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FOR SALE & WANTED TO BUY Singergram is happy to display For Sale and Wanted to Buy ads for up to 3 issues, unless cancelled or extended by request to the Editor (see contact details p.2). John Bray (MG owner) has a hardcover Singer workshop manual he is willing to sell for a small sum to a Singer owner.

If interested, please contact









-o0oA very rare Airstream Singer, believed to be the only complete one in the world is on sale as part of a deceased estate.

Just a slight catch, though, for any keen buyer the car is located in New Zealand! Contact Jen Hall,

MARCH 2019


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CALENDAR OF EVENTS Please advise Stephen Bitmead (Events Coordinator) of any changes or additions to our Calendar of Events (see contact details p. 2 of this Singergram). MARCH 17 2224

Historic Vehicle Gathering, Anzac Hwy, National Historical Machinery Association’s national rally at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge; held in SA once a decade APRIL


Fish n’ Chip annual run Bedford Park to Moana, by Hillman Car Club


McLaren Vale Vintage & Classic;


Gawler to Barossa Veteran/Vintage run (pre 1930);

13 1921

Monthly Meeting 21st Singer National Rally, Ballarat, Victoria


Rootes Group Social Gathering (dinner) at 722 Port Rd, Beverley


British Classics Tour


Copper Coast Classic Cavalcade; JUNE


Monthly Meeting JULY


Monthly Meeting


Club Annual Dinner – Victor Harbor Golf Club AUGUST


Monthly Meeting SEPTEMBER


Monthly Meeting


Bay to Birdwood for post 1950 cars this year;

MARCH 2019


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Profile for Trevor Bailey

Singergram March 2019  

Singergram March 2019