|Hammer value||N/S (est. £5,000 - £6,000)|
|Description||Singer Gazelle Convertible|
|Engine size||1,495 cc|
CATALOGUE AMENDMENT: This car now has an MOT and was driven some 40 miles to the sale.
The Gazelle was the first Singer to be produced following the take-over of the Singer company by the Rootes Group in 1956 and was a version of the mainstream Hillman Minx differing mainly in retaining the 50bhp 1.5-litre Singer overhead cam engine. Externally the only significant difference was a restyled nose based around a traditional Singer grille.
The body style followed by the Gazelle between 1956 and 1967 came to be known as the ‘Audax’ body, with significant input from the US based Loewy design organisation, highly regarded at the time partly on account of Loewy's input to several iconic Studebaker designs.The suspension was independent at the front using coil springs while at the rear was a live axle and half elliptic leaf springs. The steering gear used a worm and nut system. As standard, the car had a bench front seat but individual seats were available as an option. To allow for the bench seat, the handbrake lever was between the seat and the door.
The drophead version had a two position hood where it could be either completely lowered or rolled back to just behind the front seats described as the ‘coupé de ville’ position. All side windows could be completely lowered. To compensate for the loss of body rigidity by the removal of the roof, extra cross bracing was fitted under the car. It was replaced by the MkII in late 1957. Tested by ‘The Motor’ in 1957, it had a top speed of 78mph and could accelerate from 0-60 in 24.8 seconds, while a fuel consumption of 33.5mpg was recorded. The test car cost £1,016 including taxes of £332.
First registered in June 1957, this Gazelle Convertible was acquired by the current vendor in 1975. In the early 1980s it was despatched to Burton Restorations of Cradley Heath for a total restoration which was to cost in excess of £10,000 with many photos on file recording the process, although the bills have long since been lost. The car was then lightly used throughout the summer of 1983 before being put into storage where it has remained until earlier this year. Recently recommissioned, it is hoped that the car will have a fresh MOT before the sale. It remains an extremely sound and attractive example and is now crying out for more regular use.